Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween #1

The lovely Princess anxiously awaits her escort for an evening of Trick or Treat Adventure.

Happy Halloween #2

Her Hero arrives with a recepticle for the treats and a vehicle to whisk her away.

(Please indulge an old man and his folly)

From the Baraboo Newspaper

This item from Bob Cline:

Tony Smaha said his brother told him he wanted to go to Africa "one last time," even though family members had warned him not to because of his failing health.

"He just loved to take pictures and see the elephants," Tony Smaha said. "He loved Africa and he loved safaris. This was his fourth trip."

Jenda Smaha was only in Baraboo for a few years, spending the rest of his life touring around the world, meeting famous people such as Johnny Carson, Jack Nicklaus and Joe DiMaggio along the way. He spent 12 years working in Las Vegas before moving to Sarasota, Fla.

"He got four entertainer of the year awards when he was out in (Las) Vegas," Tony Smaha said.

Tony Smaha said his brother was a pioneer with elephant acts, and was instrumental in starting up the practice of having animals at Circus World Museum.

"He helped start the live entertainment there," Tony Smaha said. "Jenda had 'Bertha' the elephant. Everybody around town knew my brother."

Human Projectiles #1 (From the Jim Cole collection)

Brian Miser in flight #1 in 2004.

Human Projectiles #2

Brian Miser in flight #2 in 2001.

(I believe this picture was taken in Jimmy's back yard, much to the alarm of his neighbors).

Human Projectiles #3

Dave Smith 1985.

Human Projectiles #4

Jim Cole and Hugo Zacchini II in 1988.

Human Projectiles #5

Hugo Zacchini Cannon in 1953.

Human Projectiles #6

Hugo Zacchini cannon in 2003.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Copy and Paste

Shannon has made me an official Computer Nerd by showing me how to "copy and paste".
I'll begin by showing this interesting eMail from Toby Styles that informed parties might comment on.
In this instance, I'm not of any help to Mr. Styles at all, generally speaking the 24 Hour man would have the lot cleared and prepared before the show's arrival and a "22 Car Show" doesn't sound right, the Railroad rates were determined by incruments of five so a 22 car show would have to pay for 25.
Circus tents can be surprisingly flexible, out in California, showing Shopping Center parking lots with Sid Kellner, his boss canvasman Nick Bangor would put up the old Mills Bros. 120' top and on more than one occasion he would have a light post sticking up thru the lace line half way up the tent and once we had a row of parking meters in front of the grandstand.

Dear Mr Woodcock
I thought you might be interested in this story and hopefully you can fill
in some of the blanks.
Shortly before retiring from the Toronto Zoo, I was part of a team invited
to Cochrane, Ontario a small town 425 miles north of Toronto. A town deep
in the boreal forest. They were planning a tourism driven project and wanted
to include Polar Bears, the town is not in Polar Bear country but is the
terminus of a popular tour train named the Polar Bear Express. The zoo
realized that there was a need for a place to help in the rescue of orphaned
polar bears, and so we were happy to help. Last year they opened a wonderful
facility that is good for bears and people.
While there I was shown around town to look at various potential sites. One
was near the local school,while driving by the school my guide explained
that the original site for the school had been cleared by elephants from a
visiting circus. Needless to say this story intrigued me; I have just come
upon an exert from a book , Northland Post,The Story of The Town of
Cochrane by Alice Marwick. In the book the author refers to a circus (no
name ) evidently 3 rings traveling by a train of 22 cars, which when it
arrived in town found the proposed show grounds covered with tree stumps
she describes how the circus used three elephants named "Big Jumbo", "Tim"
and"Tony" to clear the site.
I wondered if you might have any information on the above incident?
Thanks for your help. I really enjoy your Blog keep up the good work.

Toby Styles

Ringling-Barnum Circus 1941 #13 (Eric Beheim slides)

Ringling-Barnum Circus 1941 #14

Ringling-Barnum Circus 1941 #15

Ringling-Barnum Circus 1941 #16

Ringling-Barnum Circus 1941 # 17

Ringling-Barnum Circus 1941 #18

Ringling-Barnum Circus 1941 #19

Ringling-Barnum Circus 1941 #20

Ringling-Barnum Circus 1941 #21

Ringling-Barnum Circus 1941 #22

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Bertram Mills' Circus #1 (Photos and comments by Sue Lenz)

"Thought the attachments might be of interest. The one of Bertram Mills' Circus in the UK must have been taken in the mid 1930's as they are still using the two pole tent".

Bertram Mills' Circus Equestrians #2

"Dickie, Pat and Billy Baker with my dad Freddy and his two brothers Claude and Tony Yelding."

Bertram Mills' Circus Equestrians #3

"This is my dad with his brother Claude and the two other people are Jim and Betty Fossett, the parents of Jimmy Fossett of the swaypoles".

Bertram Mills' Circus Equestrians #4

"The Cumberlands Riding Act with Wensel Kossmayer, the Bakers including Maisy and the Yelding brothers with their one sister Dolly".

Bertram Mills' Circus Equestrians #5

"As I know you specialize in elephant pictures, I am including one of me riding one of Roberts Bros. Circus elephants in 1958".

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Vicenta Pages

Just had an interesting conversation with Jim Elliott regarding Miss Pages introduction to the Ken & Nicole Show, the crux of which he has submitted beneath yesterday's picture.

Diamond O Ranch 1954 #1

I lifted these photos from one of my wifes scap books, what she doesn't know won't hurt her.
I always thought that Tony Diano fancied himself as Frank Buck, they were even quite similar in appearance.
At the close of Ben Davenport's "Diano Bros. Circus" in 1953, Mr. Diano added the young tusker "Tommy" (King Tusk) to his animal collection, along with a number of former Dailey Show people including Rex and Barbara.
In 1954 he framed an animal show on the back end of the World of Mirth midway which included eight elephants, a hippo, rhino, giraffe, etc.
Here we see him in the ticket box doing his Frank Buck act.

Diamond O Ranch 1954 #2

Barbara, Rex and "Tommy" with the Diano Animal Show. The elephants were moved by rail since Mr. Diano had purchased the Cole Show bull car.

Diamond O Ranch 1954 #3

Located just outside Canton, Ohio, this was sure a convenient place for animal acts to break the jump and unload the stock.

Diamond O Ranch 1954 #4

Barbara said you could always tell how far along Rex was on a training project by the condition of his hat which was his weapon of choice.

Diamond O Ranch 1954 #5

Smokey and Rex examining a monkey.

Diamond O Ranch 1954 #6

Mr. Diano has stopped by his farm which was usually bad news. Smokey told me that if he was short handed at the cement plant he would round up all the hands at the farm as slave labor to finish out the days work.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Sad News!

Heard today that Jenda Smaha died while on vacation in Africa. I was talking to him at the club recently and he mentioned how much he enjoyed it over there and even invited me to accompany him.
When Barbara and I showed Las Vegas and Reno with the Polack Show he always rolled out the red carpet and would take us on back stage tours of the Dunes or the Nugget.
He was the absolute King of the Casino elephant trainers.

Ladies of the Steel Arena Vol. 3 (Jim Cole Collection)

Sara Houcke

Evelyn Currie

Jacqueline Zerbini

Patty Zerbini

Vicenta Pages

Helen Carpenter (Picture from Bill Strong)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Barnett Bros. Circus early 1930's #1 (Group 1)

Another set of remarkable slides from Eric Beheim, taken 70 years ago and as they say in Bandwagon Magazine, "A window to the past".

I have been invited to submit dozen or so "highlights" from the past year's Buckles Blog for the upcoming Showfolks Circus Program. Very flattering.

And on an unrelated matter, in one of my advertisements shown above, it states that you can see Banum & Bailey Circus free. Looks like Dickie Garden and Bob Commerford get the last laugh.

Barnett Bros. Circus early 1930's #2


1903-18 Sun Bros. Circus- (One of the first elephants trained by Cheerful Gardner)
1919-31 Johnny J. Jones Carnival
1932-36 Barnett Bros. Circus
1937-43 Wallace Bros. Circus
1944-60 Beers-Barnes Circus- (Died in 1960 at winter quarters)

Barnett Bros. Circus early 1930's #3

Barnett Bros. Circus early 1930's #4

Barnett Bros. Circus early 1930's #5

Barnett Bros. Circus early 1930's #6

Barnett Bros. Circus early 1930's #7

This 1930's picture of Bert Pettus from Dave Price.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Dailey Bros. Circus 1949

Donna Pyle, Tony Martin and Barbara Ray.

The Greatest Show on Earth 1951 (Group 4)

This is the conclusion of the Eric Beheim 1951 transparencies.

Paul Wenzel

Unknown Clown

Tony Martin

When my parents and I saw the show in 1954, Tony was now Mrs. Arky Scott.
Barbara recently mentioned that she and Tony had been together on the Dailey Show in the late 1940's.
John Herriott thinks that there is a Eugene Scott Jr. living in Sarasota.
Seems to me that when we were with Rudy Bros. in 1959 and layed off at Jungleland, I recall two little blonde kids with Arky and Tony. Maybe Roger Smith can clear this up.

Jeanie Sleeter and Arky Scott with "Minyak"

Elephant Display

"The Big Show is all out and over, watch your step coming down off the seats and please use the front exit only!"
THANK YOU AND AU REVOIR- John Ringling North.