Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Princess

Halloween 2007 010, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Halloween Pirate

Halloween 2007 007, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

The Pirate at last unveiled!

Halloween 2007 024, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Hugo Christmas Parade 2007

Scan000010403, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Dear former Hugonaut,

As you no doubt know, each year in sunny Hugo (a.k.a. "Circus City, USA") the blow-off of the Christmas parade is Santa riding an elephant. This year, the Chamber of Commerce is emphasizing the circus biz and making it more of an event with a petting zoo, elephant, camel, and pony rides, entertainment, etc. It will be called "Circus City Christmas Parade featuring 500 clowns". They are asking those attending and all participants to don the garb of clown alley. I thought this might be of interest to the readers of your blog.

We are just back in winterquarters, closed on the 25th. in Ardmore, OK, enjoyed a fine season, the first under Ringling family management in 40 years.

Thanks for the blog, we all love it.

Jim Royal, Kelly Miller Circus, cell 580 734-3782.

" Marching the K-M herd to downtown Hugo for the Circus Roundup Parade, March 16, 1950.

Jimmy Hamiter, Bill Woodcock, Irish Kelly, Alonzo Dever, John Carroll, Fred Logan and Smokey Jones."

From Bill Powell

DSC04209, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Buckles, I have a picture or Rex Rossi's trick saddle now in residence at the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum in Los Angeles. Will forward post haste.

Bill Powell

Dailey Bros. Circus Reunion

Scan000010396, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

I stumbled across this undated picture, taken maybe 15 years ago at the Sarasota Circus Festival.
Smokey, Barbara, Buckles, Ward, Duke Keller, Charlie Smith, Rex, Norma, Jimmy Rossi and Donna McMahon.
I was never on the Dailey Show but was allowed in the picture by proxy.

Colombo, Sri Lanka Zoo #1 (From Filipe von Gilsa)

Scan000010395, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

"The man at left appears to be picking up a set of castanets, my first job when working props for my dad's act. Also included was "Anna May's" tambourine and a Spanish mantea that I snapped on her headpiece."

"I might add that when my dad worked "Diamond" on the Atterbury Show, one of the highlights was to strap a set of sleigh bells on his ankles and he would do somewhat of a dance on the tub."

Colombo Zoo #2

Scan000010394, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

"Only saddle up one ride elephant today!"

Colombo Zoo #3

Scan000010393, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Colombo Zoo #4

Scan000010392, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Colombo Zoo #5

Scan000010391, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Colombo Zoo #6

Scan000010390, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Colombo Zoo #7

Scan000010389, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Colombo Zoo #8

Scan000010388, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Colombo Zoo #9

Scan000010387, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

From Henry Penndorf

Hi Bill,

I have to do a lot of catching up to do with regards Buckles Blog. Phylis and I have just returned from Washington, D. C. We were in D. C. to meet the newest member of our family, and our first grandchild, a little girl, Margaret (Maggie) Claire Penndorf. Maggie was born on Monday, October 15 at 6:19 P. M. She was 21 inches long and weighed in at a healthy ten pounds! There is only one word to describe Maggie...gorgeous. Of course, that comes from a very proud grandfather.

Regarding a comment posted by Randy ! to "No.195, Heinz Schielke with Circus Aeros 1966" photo asking about others who ever accomplished such a feat. During the days of the "Cold War" when the Moscow (Soviet) State Circus would tour the United States, I saw a Russian animal trainer do a similar trick with tigers, perhaps even going it one step further. Stepan Denisov would balance himself, like a wire walker, on a wire that was being held by two of his tigers. Like the lions in the posted picture, the tigers held the wire in their mouths. It was impressive to watch, as was the rest of Stepan Denisov's act.

For Bob Cline...Gunther Gebel-Williams did teach two of his tigers to hold a wire in their mouths, but sadly Sigrid was never included in that part of the act. The center portion of the wire would be set on fire, and t! he other tigers would jump from pedestal to pedestal over the wire and the flames. As I recall, Gunther performed this particular part of his act towards the end of his career.

The Big Apple circus will soon be joined in New York City by a new Cirque Du Soleil offering, Wintuk. It is the first time that Cirque Du Soleil will present a holiday show in New York City. Wintuk will be at the Wamu Theater at Madison Square Garden from November 1, 2007 through January 6, 2008.

Hope all is well you and your family.

Happy Halloween!


"WINTUK at the WAMU" sounds like a winner to me! Unless you live in San Francisco, it isn't often you get a chance to see a Nativity Scene done in the nude.


zapashny2, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

"No. 190. Mstislav Sapaschny at Weiner Stadthalle 1982"... Mstislav Zapashny is the current Circus Minister (Director) of Rogoscyrk, the Russian State Circus. Mstislav is the father of Mstislav Zapashny Jr. of the tigers and mirrored balls fame. As a performer, the senior Mstislav is most famous for his presentation of elephants and tigers together in a "peaceable kingdom".

Stepan Denisov

Stepan Denisov.1, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

During the days of the "Cold War" when the Moscow (Soviet) State Circus would tour the United States, I saw a Russian animal trainer do this trick with tigers, Stepan Denisov would balance himself, like a wire walker, on a wire that was being held by two of his tigers.

Rix Bears

Rix Bears.1 Jeanette, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

The pictures that you posted of the Rix Bears were great. I particularly liked the one of the Polar Bear compound.&nb! sp; Imagine having Polar Bears swimming in your back yard. I also enjoyed reading the comments posted about Mr. Rix, and the high esteem that everyone held him in. The Rix compound in Middletown, New York is just on the other side of the Hudson River from where we live.

I saw the the Rix Bear's perform in Rochester, New York at the Mid-Town Mall. It was probably in! the late sixties or very early seventies. Both Albert and Jeanette we re dressed as Russian Cossacks. I do recall at least two Polar Bears in their act. Somewhere I have the newspaper clippings from that appearance in Rochester. I saw their afternoon show. I liked the performance so much, that I stayed around for the evening show. I will confess that I might have had a little bit of a crush on Jeanette.

Brigitta Boccoli

Brigitta Boccoli.1, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Brigitta Bocolli, the blond Italian "starlet" whose pictures created a minor stir when they were first posted on your Blog has become a featured performer with Circo Moira Orfei. She even appears on the Circus' current advertising posters. Brigitta Bocolli presents a tiger act with the circus' star animal trainer Stefano Nones Orfei. I believe she also appears with the circus' elephants, and throughout the performance.

Circo Moira Orfie 2007

Circo Moira Orfie 2007.1, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Daniel Raffo

Daniel Raffo.1 Circus Barum, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

From the German "Foto Community" web site a recent picture of Ringling Brothers' future Blue Unit wild animal trainer, Daniel Raffo. The picture was taken at the Circus Barum-Siemoneit.

Daniel Suskow #1

Daniel Suskow.1, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

The pictures of Daniel Suskow come from his recent appearance at the Museum of the Circus and Illusion.

Daniel Suskow #2

Daniel Suskow.4, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Sarah Houcke

The picture of Sara Houcke was taken while she was with the French Circus Arlette Gruss earlier this year. At the time Sara was presenting a tiger act. The tigers were owned by Flavio Togni. I believe that she has since rejoined former Ringling Brothers clown, David Larible on the German Circus Roncalli, where Sara is presenting horses

Sacha Houcke

Sacha Houcke.1 Circus Pinder, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Sacha Houcke is with the French Circus Pinder and is presenting their elephants.

Monday, October 29, 2007

From Paul Gutheil

Saw the 1:00 RBBB performance in Bridgeport and were horrified to witness the Torres
family's globe act experience a
a 7 person crash inside. On one of the first turns of seven 2 bikes
apparently collided and as they tried to
right them the other five kept circling above. After some anxious moments
everything and everybody seemed
to be ok. They then resumed the act and after what seemed like just a
few turns in the globe
there was another collision and all seven Torres were in a heap in the
bottom of the globe. It took awhile to get the
gate open and when they did it took some time to get all performers and
bikes out, in fact the band kept playing
through the whole ordeal, they went through finale as bikes and performers
were walked out of the "ring". Fire
Dept personnel were involved; there were some gas spills. As the audience
was exiting the "ringmaster" came
through the curtain and announced that all members of the troupe were ok.
When we left the building a short while
however, someone we could not identify was brought out of the building
wrapped up on a gurney and put in an

On another note it was sad for us to realize that after all these years
the only person we really knew on the show was Sonny
Ridley and we could not get passes or permission to go back and even say,

A brighter note, we saw Vicenta Pages for the first time...a beautiful
young lady who worked her 6 or 7 white tigers
with style and grace,,,a pleasure.

Diane wants to log off (?) and put this thing to bed.

Best, Paul

Hoxie Bros. Circus 1961 #1

Scan000010378, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

"Midway with Bradley's bannerline." W.W.

The comments above were written by my father. Whoever sent him the pictures also must have supplied the information. I wonder if he meant Lee Bradley?

I remember seeing a picture of Hoxie Tucker and Col. Tom Parker in Bandwagon. They were arm in arm walking up Central Avenue in Hot Springs. In those days they promoted and booked whatever they could, wrestling matches, concerts, revivals, singers, dancers and even an occasional circus date.
Legend has it that when their partnership was dissolved Hoxie said, "I'll take the circus and you can have the Hillbilly!" Buckles

Hoxie Bros. Circus 1961 #2

Scan000010379, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

"Combination Office, Concession Supplies and Workingman's Sleeper." W.W.

Hoxie Bros. Circus 1961 #3

Scan000010380, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

"Big Top canvas truck." W.W.

Hoxie Bros. Circus 1961 #4

Scan000010381, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

"Big Top poles and all seats." W.W.

Hoxie Bros. Circus 1961 #5

Scan000010382, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

"Cook house" W.W.

Hoxie Bros. Circus 1961 #6

Scan000010383, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

"Semi with "Dinah" and 6 horse liberty act leased from Bill Morris" W.W.

Hoxie Bros. Circus 1961 #7

Scan000010384, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

"Billy and Franklin Silverlake with "Dinah". W.W.

I think this is in error. The rider looks like Col. Melvin Silverlake to me.

Hoxie Bros. Circus 1961 #8

Scan000010385, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

"Light Plant with Big Top in the background". W.W.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Robert & Bernice Caravan

this was our 37ft carapark caravan that we purchased from Greg Bullen Greg had it made in Newcastle NSW and was the first triple axle caravan in Australia had to make a wide turn on the lot or you would crack the centre axle will send photos of the Bullen show during the 50s& 60s Biggest show in australia with 12 Elephants.
Robert Perry

From Filipe von Gilsa

SAVE1954, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

No 206- Gerd Siemoneit with Circus Carla Hagenbeck 1962

Scan000010371, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

No 207- Gerd Siemoneit with Circus Carla Hagenbeck 1962

Scan000010372, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

No 208- Gerd Siemoneit with Circus Barum 1978

Scan000010374, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

No 209- Nikolai Skwirski with Moscow State Circus 1990

Scan000010375, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

No 210- Adela Smieya with RBBB 1966

Scan000010376, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Next time I see her I'll ask her how last name is spelled. This is the third of fourth way I've seen it done.
A regular visitor to the Club, whenever she enters John Herrriott announces, "THE UTTERLY FEARLESS ADA SMEE-JAAAA!"

no 211- Adela Smieya with RBBB 1966

Scan000010377, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Davenport Elephants #1

!cid_X_MA1_1193434868@aol, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

There has been a lot of controversy over two of my elephants this year, and I wanted to post some pictures of them at their home in Leggett, TX. Along with Tina and Jewel, my third elephant, Boo, is also on the property. There are thirteen acres of forest as well as a pond for them to play in. Contrary to rumors, Tina and Jewel are happy, healthy, and able to travel and perform.

Thank you,
Wilbur Davenport

Davenport Elephants #2

!cid_X_MA2_1193434868@aol, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

This is Jewel, playing in the pond on the property.

Davenport Elephants #3

!cid_X_MA3_1193434868@aol, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

This is Tina, snorkeling in the pond.

Davenport Elephants #4

!cid_X_MA4_1193434868@aol, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

And last but not least, Boo.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

From Joey Ratliff

Beatty-Cole, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Hello Buckles,

Hope the day finds you well. After seeing this morning's edition, I pulled this out of the frame on
the wall to send in. The program cover from the 1996 season. This was Capt. Fred C. Logan's last tour with the show as Brad Jewell took command for "97. This was the first show I saw at age six with my grandfather. Watching the big herd go by on the lot and my grandfather talking with the Capt. made a big stamp on my future. "Let's go, this ain't no rest home!"


Dave Hoover 1969 (From Eric Beheim)

Dave Hoover 1969, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Attached are two Dave Hoover photos. The one from 1969 was taken in Norfolk, Virginia while Dave was doing a stand up TV interview. The one from 1971 was taken in Newport, R.I. and shows Dave reloading blank cartridges prior to the start of the evening performance.


"I recently received a set of about 30 Beatty-Cole pictures from Hal Guyon taken in 1988 which pretty well covers everything from "hoof to helmet". I'll run them on the next few Saturdays." Buckles

Dave Hoover 1971

Dave Hoover 1971, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Beatty-Cole 1960's-70's #1 (From Richard Flint)

Beatty-Cole poles, 7-70, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

PHOTO 1 (Beatty-Cole poles, 7-70)
For eastern US fans in the late 1960s, the big tent show of America
was the Beatty-Cole show. By then, veteran Frank McClosky was the
principal active partner and this new circus corporation of the 1960s
also toured the smaller Sells & Gray and a revived King title.
Longtime favorites such as Mills, Hunt, and the smaller and elusive
Beers-Barnes shows had had their last tours by the mid-1960s. Dory
Miller's big Al G. Kelly-Miller Bros. limped east about 1965 facing
IRS problems and though it tried parading, was no longer the glory
show of the 1950s that eastern fans had heard about. Beatty-Cole with
its herd of 11 elephants, numerous 3-ring displays, a circusy 8-piece
band, and traditional rail show style of moving nightly was the
favorite. Here it is seen in a photo I took at about 6am on the
morning of June 15, 1970, in Springfield, Mass.

Beatty-Cole 1960's-70's #2

Beatty-Cole ele, 7-70, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

PHOTO 2 (Beatty-Cole ele, 7-70)
Here is Pete pulling up the main pole on that same Monday morning of
June 15, 1970, in a photo taken just a few minutes later. For years,
I think it was little Bobby Cline who worked Pete. While Steve
Fanning had the elephant herd when I first saw the show in 1961 (and I
haven't missed it since!), it was the arrival of Rex Williams that
resulted in the very impressive walking long mount on the hippodrome
track. If you were in the front row grandstand chairs, the bellies of
those big beasts swayed just above you, an unforgettable experience!
Perhaps others can tell us more.
In the background of this and the next photo can be seen the
mechanical seat wagons devised by Art Concello during his very brief
partnership in this show several years earlier.