Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Kingford Circus #1 (From John Pult)

101_0783, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

The "Kingford" Circus came to town (New Orleans) this weekend. I
attach some photos of the elephant they call Queenie or Boo depending,
evidently, on what the name of the show is. Anyway, I've taken a shine
to this elephant, she seems a real old pro. I have a slew of photos of
her and want to make a little children's book about her for my young
neice for Christmas. I'm curious if you might provide me with one of
your thumbnail histories of her, you know, a little list of where
she's been. The young Davenport fellow says she's 52 or so....is that
so? Anyway, thanks for any info on this elephant.

I might also send some photos next week of Joey Ratliff at work at the
Audubon Zoo. He's been extremely kind to me, bringing me back into the
barn, answering all my questions...he even made me a bull hook (now I
just need an elephant). For the record, he does a really fine job with
the show and letting the patrons get up close to the animals. It's
really quite something. Also, I just like a fellow who has a photo of
Al G. Barnes in his office (!), and yours as well...in front of
Diano's Tommy as I recall.

Thanks again,

Jon P.


Anonymous said...

Kinda low rent version of a headpiece. Looks like it was made at 1:45 for a 2:00 show.

Buckles said...

If that shield was uncovered it might reveal "CB".

David said...

Buckles, I didn't have time to comment yesterday, but your story in the Tampa vicinity and the picture of the baby elephants brought back memories of growing up in Tampa near Lowry Park Zoo. In the late 1950's or early 1960's a baby elephant arrived with a lot of fanfare, and a name contest resulted in "Shena." Any idea if Shena is still there or what happened to her?

Buckles said...

You know, I have never been to the Lowrey Park Zoo. Not even sure were it is located.
They are doing big business these days which seems strange to me, being so close to Busch Gardens.
I don't know if they even have any Asian elephants anymore. All they show in their TV commercials are Africans.

Anonymous said...

CB on the shield? Hmmmm...Oh yes, that's CIRCO BAMBOOZLE-O.

Jon Pult said...

Actully the fabric on one of the other headpeices (there were three elephants, making a herd-and-a half if one uses Brad Jewell's cbcb late 90's explanation "a herd is two, we have six. That means, like the poster says, we have three herds of performing elephants") anyway the fabric was peeling back and did reveal the tops of the letters CB.

Anonymous said...

Aw yes the King Royal-Ford-L E Barnes and Bailey Bros Great Combined Shows.

They say Kingford, is the hottest charcoal!!

Jon Pult said...

Bamboozled, I believe that's the "King Royal-Ford-L E Barnes and Bailey Bros Great Combined Shows...of China!"

Anonymous said...

There was an urban legend that Floyd King carried around an old dictionary that defined "herd" as "one or more of a species" or something along those lines.

Say he was handling publicity on a show with three elephants, he advertised it as having three herds and if challenged on the point the dictionary could be brought out.

Maybe the story's a stretch but the old doctor did love to cite numbers in his advertising that were difficult to verify.

Bob Cline said...

To David:

The Asian elephant studbook only lists one elephant with the spelling Shena. She was called Barbara most of her life. She is listed as coming from the Billy Smart Circus in England. The listing says Busch Gardens in Tampa but does not mention Lowry Park. The year is 1967. She died at the infamous Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee on May 18, 2001.

I don't know if this is the elephant you are referring to or not. Don't be dismayed about the studbook not mentioning Lowry Park either as there are gaps in a lot of elephant listings.

Sazzie: contact me at fivetiger@marlboroelectric.net
Bob Cline

Casey McCoy Cainan said...

I have heard Boo came originally from the Portland Zoo. Then to the Chicago Zoo. Then purchased by a family in Newcastle IN. who I cannot remember the name of. They owned some rides and a unit of Rodeo Equip.This family had her for sometime as a pet. Later the Lunsfords (Red, I could be way off on spelling) while framing a show on school busses, was offered use of the elephant. He is said to have put some behaviors...oh sorry...tricks on her. They eventually purchased her, then later sold the elephant to Gopher, via Bill Swain. This is mostly hear say, but a lot was confirmed by a visit from the man who owned her before Lunsford, in New Castle, while I was with Boo in 05, He said she looked great for 63.

Anonymous said...

G'day All,
Michael Hackenberger picked up Shena back in I believe '85 and drove her up to the African Lion Safari Park, where he was working at the time. Lowry Park was under major renovation and Mike was going to keep her until the Elephant facility was completed. Unfortunetly she was found dead one morning, sometime I think in the spring of '86. The Zoo then bought Tilly (formerly Chocolate)and her male calf from Roman, so they would have an Elephant for their new exhibit. Unfortunetly a Keeper was in the wrong place and wrong time and Tilly killed her. Ted then had Tilly and the calf brought up to the Two-Tail Ranch.

Happy Days

David said...

Thanks, Buckles, Bob, & Wayne for the information. I'm amazed at this network of people and how elephents can be traced. My brother had told me back in the 1980's how Lowry Park had undergone a major renovation and was a much bigger attraction than when we were kids. It's been many years since I've been in Tampa.

Anonymous said...

Back in the 60's, cbcb advertised three herds of performing elephants. 3 in each ring made up three herds in those days.