Friday, December 10, 2010

From Vickie Cristiani #1

4516976999_72274fc87c_b, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

(Photo taken and information compiled by John Goodall)

Here’s the red show elephant department as seen in Fairfax, Virginia, two weeks ago. From left to right—elephants first with ages—are Asia 42, Tonka 26, Luna 26, Assan 53, Sara 53, Toby 49, Banko 34, Siam 32, and Baby 49.

The elephant care department human staff, also left to right, are:

Jimmy Stricklin – 14-year veteran on the show and also the union steward on the red unit.

Brian French – newly arrived from the blue unit and now head of the red show elephants; he’s a grandson of Oscar Cristiani through his daughter Karin and her husband Larry French. Brain tells me that he still has one of Oscar’s elephants at a retirement home in Valdosta, GA, that is now a very old 61 years.

Ryan Henning – grandson of longtime CWM librarian Bob Parkinson (for whom I worked in 1972-73) and nephew of former CWM executive director Greg Parkinson; Ryan got much of his elephant tutelage under Sasha Houcke, one of the circus world's best.

Lorenzo Delmoral – step-son of Tina Gebel-Williams.

Nicoli (didn’t get his last name) – worked with bears on a circus in his native Moldova.

Tripp Gorman – has worked for zoos in Greenville and Columbia, SC, as well as Knoxville, TN.

Barbra Libby Garcia – is the grandniece of Dorey Miller.

Kara Haggerty – has a zoology degree from an upstate NY college and has worked at the Buffalo and Rosamond Gifford zoos.

Amanda Olson – has an animal ecology degree from Iowa State and has worked at Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines and Vince Shute Sanctuary in Orr, MN.

Alex Vargas – Former flyer and now head of the animal department on the red show.

Mario Bovio – grew up on Carson and Barnes circus and his family still works there.

Justin Garret – Since this photo was taken, he’s been moved to the blue show.

The only other individual who works with the elephants that is not in this picture is Pista, their night watchman. My thanks to Ryan, Brian, and all of these fine folks for their good work and friendship.


Wade G. Burck said...

Am I missing something here? Are there 9 elephants listed here, and 11 people, plus a night watchman listed to "look after and present them????" A few years ago, when the Hawthorn elephants were dropped in my lap in 2004, a sage elephant veteran as me if I thought the elephant profession had changed much from the mid 80's. I told him, "not much, except today they use brummel hooks instead of clevis's, and a leaf blower instead of a broom." It appears I was wrong, and it has changed much more then I thought, and myself and my two men with 13 elephants should have been paid a lot more then we were. LOL
Wade Burck

Anonymous said...

Wade, I guess you could add Tabaya to that group as well being that he is the new GGW and will present all of the Ringling major banimal presentations. Howevger I understand that Libby Garcia i9s bringing her elephant expertise to the Baltimore Zoo. The more the merrier and I can well imagine what a congenial group they must be in all pulling on the oars of the boat together.

Anonymous said...

When I was with Hoxie we had eleven elephants on the show and two hands, namely Leo Entwhistle and Art Duval who also drove the water wagon and these guys had to clean the elephant area every morn at 5.30 AM before making the jump on 30 some weeks of one day stands seven days ba week and Leo always got drunk on Mondays but still worked. Two great guys and I cherish their memory cherish their memory. Art got killed when in a windstorm a stake flew accross the lot hitting him in the head.. Little Leo could outwork any hand I was ever around. May they rest in piece, they deserved it.john herriott

Anonymous said...

With all of their fantastic resumas and credentials gives thought to I don't see any "whiteys, Blacki4es, Slim, Shorty, etc." So wonder who shovels the shit. Also I note no Capt. of eminence with the moniker of "Deafy","Cheerful", "Buckles""Smokey" that would immediately cause for respect and attention to detail in back and not in front.That would be up too Bobby, Turtle and some of the other glad handlers doing the "Dick Smith" routine. tanglefoot.No biz like showbiz.

Wade G. Burck said...

"Dick Smith" routine!!!!!! That's too funny. It needs to go in the all time hit's book. LOL
Wade Burck