Monday, May 28, 2012

Jenda Smaha #2

Scan11204 by bucklesw1
Scan11204, a photo by bucklesw1 on Flickr.

He proved me wrong, the following year I kept hearing about this elephant with Bill Griffith's Show.
The future and absolute king of the Night Club Animal Industry was on his way.


Wade G. Burck said...

When and how did Jenda lose his arm? I have heard conflicting stories over the years.

Wade Burck

John Herriott said...

He had a tiy shriveled arm from birth but he could use it sparingly but he always covered it up by say, holding a glove or the elephant hook. In tux it was hardly noriceable due to his clever handling and it sure did not stop any activities good or bad. He had quite a temper tanglefoot

Chic Silber said...

What do the headpiece letters stand

for & who are the young ladies

Ole Whitey said...

Isn't the girl next to the elephant Patti Couls?

Ole Whitey said...

Chic: The AB must be for Adams Bros.

Unknown said...

Jenda’s arm was damaged due to an accident that happened to him when he was five years old on the circus in Czechoslovakia . Some acrobatic kids were playing, throwing him up in the air and accidentally dropped him breaking his arm. His parents took him to the hospital but had to leave him there due to an Air raid. Because they couldn’t get back to him for a full year, he was left at the hospital and was thought of as an orphan. The cast was left on too long and gangrene set in. By the time they noticed a smell coming from the cast it was too late and they had to remove a large part of his forearm bone. Which shortened the arm and shriveled the hand. He also underwent horrible treatments trying to straighten the fingers out because the fingers were shriveled. They did electric shock therapy on the hand as well as hooks to pull the finger straight. But none of this worked and the hand was in a fist shape. It was not able to stretch out. He had minimal use with his hand and was very self-conscious of it all the days of his life. But I believe it gave him the strength and drive to prove himself and become the best of his profession. In spite of his family and everyone telling him that he could not achieve his goals due to being a cripple. That’s what they called it back then. They felt he was of no use and had no place in the circus. Being an unwanted child caused him a lot of emotional grief and he was tossed to many different places because his parents didn’t want a handicapped child. However, Jenda turned his handicap into motivation to push him forward and prove them wrong. It made him very strong and independent. So in a way, it was a blessing. Without this handicap who knows if he would’ve ever gotten through that difficult time. After all it was World War II!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chic Silber said...

Thanks Regina for your detailed explanation

I got to know Jenda fairly well over the years

He spent time at Franz Czeisler's winter quarters

Wasn't Tony senior his brother

I imagine you are somehow related