Monday, November 30, 2009

To Erik Jaeger

Scan000010967, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.


1925-26 Wm. P. Hall Animal Farm
1927-31 Robbins Bros. Circus (Fred Buchanan)
1932-34 Wm. P. Hall Animal Farm
1935-50 Cole Bros. Circus
1951-56 Kelly-Morris Circus
1957 Benson Bros. Circus
1958-60 Various Morris Family Units
(Died in 1960)

This is my dad and "Blanche" who was half grown when imported in 1925 and already broke for harness and other work related efforts.
Beautiful specimen and very gentle and although she didn't perform in the ring she did quite an act in the morning unrolling canvas under the direction of Billy Cox.
She had a knack of unrolling it in a straight line by shoving the bale over with her front feet if it started to drift to one side. Seemed to come natural to her.
Billy later worked an act for Rex Williams on the Beatty Show for quite a while and finished his days here at Busch Gardens.



Anonymous said...

Thanks for the photo and interesting information. Some of my fondest memories, are of building up the big top with the harness elephants. The winches and forklifts will never have the visual or nostalgic impact of several harness bulls and a large crew doing the work together. I am growing more anachronistic each day! Thanks again for your "wise counsel".
Erik Jaeger

Harry Kingston said...

I to have many fond memories of the Beatty Cole big top going up with Capt. Fred logan pulling up the poles and tent.
Also Okie Carr on Carson and Barnes pulling up a bale ring tent.
Also when the trucks were knee deep in the mud using three to four elephants to get them out of it.
And the best of all was in Kileen, Texas when Dory Millers trucks were buried deep in the Texas mud and he had a cat D-10 trying to pull them out and was just spinning in the mud.
So D R. hooked 3 or 4 elephants in harness on the front of the cat and out goes the very heavy truck. And the look on the cat drivers face and he was just shaking his head with surprise at the elephants.
That is something I will never forget as the show must go on.
Harry Kingston

Anonymous said...

I remember a rice field in Baycity Tx one time with C&B that it didn't get off till the next day. Gumbo so bad that the wheels wouldn't roll. Once the trucks got on the farm to market they had to have them towed for aways to break the gumbo loose from the tires.

Eric said...

The B&W Encyclopedia Britannica educational film CIRCUS DAY IN OUR TOWN (which was filmed on the Cole show about 1949)has a sequence showing Blanche unrolling canvas. The narrator even identifies her by name.

Anonymous said...

Is the film you mentioned available? My e-mail:
Erik Jaeger

Anonymous said...

I found the film online by searching for the title on google. Great footage, thanks for the information. Buckles, what a circus network you have created!
Erik Jaeger

Anonymous said...

Mike's Sheba is a trooper at straightening out the large, heavy rubber matting, using trunk, toes, or knees to nudge them into position with finess. Teamwork. Made it easy to flip them for pressure-washing.

Unknown said...

Blanche was my Dad's elephant. She did work in the ring as I did mounts on her. She passed away in Oak Hill Fl and is buried there. Billy Cox was with us for a few years and we were very fond of him and of course we loved Blanche.
Jo Bernie (Morris ) Weaver

Unknown said...

Blanche did work a ring act. I know as I did the mounts on her. Billy Cox was with us several years and we were very fond of him.
Jo Bernie (Morris) Weaver