Saturday, October 27, 2007

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.


Jon Pult said...

Is that the same Pete (Petunia) that was on the show through the 1990s?

And another question if I may, Buckles. Is the Charley Ed who got away in the mountains of Canada (I think) the one who ended up as Wally in San Franciso?



Buckles said...

Right on both counts, you know your elephants.

Anonymous said...

The walking long mount was done on the Beatty RR show with the Beatty herd at the time and Freddy put it back together using the nucleous of earlier times. Needless to say it was spectacular as it always is with any number of elephants. Seems like Rex did it as well but am not sure.

Anonymous said...

Another great set of photos, when I started as a candy butcher this is the way we did it, every day. Birdliver had the top, and he would give me a fin on days we were late, to come in and tie the quarter pole jump ropes. The combination of man and elephant has a certain romance, we will never get from forklifts and electric winches. Little John Walker and I always commented, how he was moving the last traditional bale ring big top, with Walker Bros Circus.
Erik Jaeger

Anonymous said...

But wasn't Pete also the same elephant as "Pee Wee" of the fifties and early sixties, having come on the show as a youngster?

When did she pick up the Pete moniker?

Buckles said...

You are right but when Rex took over the Beatty herd he changed "Pee Wee" and "Suzy Q" to "Pete" and "Sue" for obvious reasons, fewer syllables to contend with.
Some time later "Petunia" crept in, sounds like something Ted Svertesky would come up with.

Anonymous said...

In the 1970 film "Man on the Flying Trapeze" by George Plimpton, the narrator (Plimpton) cites some nicknames used by the Big Top/Butcher Depts, including "Bird Liver" as well as a "Dry County"

Anonymous said...

Comment on the current show. New Cole Bros. made it's return to the New Orleans area two weekends ago. Pretty good show with a nice pace. Excellent elephant act by George Hanneford that included an "over the garden wall" sit-up and the famed walking long mount out the back door! And the crowd went wild both nights I was there. Best part of all, the patrons took the animal rights folks as a joke.