Wednesday, February 29, 2012

CHS Convention in Baraboo June 13-16th

You don't want to miss out on the Hotel rooms or the great opportunity June will bring in Baraboo. Get your reservations in ASAP. Things are filling up fast. Go to the CHS website at

To make the CHS Convention as attractive as possible, a special room rate of $66.00 (not including room tax) per night has been negotiated with the Clarion Hotel, 626 Highway 12, Baraboo, WI 53913, 608-356-6422. To ensure getting your reservation at this very busy popular tourist area, call early and ask for the special CHS rate before May 12th. Hotel information: Glacier Rock Clarion.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Can you help?

I just finished scanning and cropping another photo album again last night. This is Ringling / Barnum from 1940 to 1956. This photo is an 8 x 10 glossy. I want to say that I have seen this photo before. The only markings in this album say circa 1948. No mention of location or photographer.

Does anyone have anymore information on it? It's a great photo.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Nik Wallenda will walk Niagara Falls

Wallenda's Niagara Falls tightrope walk is a go
By CAROLYN THOMPSON Associated Press

NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario (AP) — Daredevil Nik Wallenda is set to walk a 1,800 foot tightrope across Niagara Falls this summer, a feat the seventh-generation member of the famed Flying Wallendas said has been his childhood dream.

"I feel like I'm on top of the world," Wallenda said Wednesday after the Niagara Parks Commission, which months ago refused even to consider the idea, voted unanimously to allow the walk between the United States and Canada.

Approval from the Canadian panel was Wallenda's largest remaining obstacle after he convinced the New York Legislature to pass a bill allowing the walk last year.

Wallenda plans to run a custom-made 2-inch wire 60 to 70 feet above the 160-foot gorge, which will dip down in the middle, meaning he'll walk downhill during the first half of the 30- to 40-minute walk and uphill until the end.

"My dream really is to walk down through that mist and walk back out," he said.
Wallenda has until the end of March to work out details of the walk, including its start and end points. He has a deal with Discovery television to broadcast the spectacle live.

While U.S. authorities immediately saw a potential economic and tourism boom, the Canadian panel feared such a stunt would cheapen the natural wonder of the falls and invite a return to the carnival-like atmosphere seen beginning in the mid-1800s, when daredevils sailed over the brink in barrels with mixed success and tightrope walkers traversed the gorge, though never the falls themselves.

The commissioners reconsidered the request after Wallenda gained the support of Ontario tourism minister Michael Chan and elected officials. They overcame their concerns by making the walk a once-in-a-generation event. Future walks will be considered only once every 20 years.

"Our primary focus is on recognizing that daredevil acts and stunting, tightrope walking, that they form part of the rich history of Niagara Falls itself and it's being recognized and in a way paid tribute to," Commission Chairwoman Janice Thomson said. "What we're attempting to do here is control it and treat it as a tribute."

The panel also was reassured by studies showing the walk wouldn't cost them anything and had the potential to increase revenue, she said. Wallenda will fund the walk himself.

"This has been a dream of mine ever since I was 6 years old," said the daredevil, who holds six Guinness World Records, including one set in 2008 for the longest distance and greatest height ever traveled by bicycle on a high wire.

CHS Convention in Baraboo June 13-16th

( Circus World Museum in 1965 - Richard Cline photo )

Ladiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeesssss and Gentlemennnnnnn! Hurry, Hurry, Hurry over to the wonderful Circus Historical Society website and sign up for this year's amazing Convention in lovely Baraboo, Wisconsin. In addition to the two days of Historical presentations, there is the always great CHS Fundraising auction, the Featured Banquet Friday evening, the Circus Kirk Discussion Panel Saturday morning at the Circus World Museum and then rest of the day at Circus World Museum where you'll see the terrifically detailed counterparts of the Circus Model Builders in the wagon pavillion, the live performances, musical instruments, and other marvelous historical displays plus a tour of CWM's Parkinson Research Library.

ANYONE Can attend the Convention. You do not have to belong to the CHS. Registration of $140.00 per person covers the Banquet, a couple lunches, Circus World Museum all day on Saturday. There will also be a special evening meal Saturday at the Museum.

Go to Use PayPal or print it and mail it to me. It's going to be HUGE!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Blackhawk Slides

Blackhawk Films produced several circus films in 8 mm and circus oriented slide formats. In fact even the Cecil B. DeMille film "the Greatest Show on Earth" is saved in still frames in slide format. There was at least two different sets of Circus Poster slides issued with the the original posters being in the Library of Congress as I recall. Here are a few of them.

Blackhawk Slides

Blackhawk Slides

Blackhawk Slides

Blackhawk Slides

Blackhawk Slides

Blackhawk Slides

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Finally - Common Sense at work!

Steve Flint found this in his newspapers. I hadn't seen anything about this down here. Thanks Steve. ( Double click to make this larger. )

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Circus Montana

I dug this poster out of my dad and uncle's stuff the other day. The poster measures 11" x 24" and has been written in pencil on it, the year 1984.

Does anyone know anything about this Circus?

Monday, February 06, 2012

HR 3359, the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act

Folks listen UP!!!!!


I contacted my House of Representatives member through the PopVox survey and by mail. I received a phone call from his Washington DC office staff today. We spoke for about 15 minutes. His office was not even aware of this legislation as HIS Office isn't on the sub-committee. You have got to STOP what you are doing and get in touch with your Representative today. The people in this business with animals have a huge fight on their hands in the daily operations now. This is something ALL of you can do to help them and the circus in general.

Click on this link to learn all about it!

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Peru Amateur Circus

Peru circus to begin charging performers fees

By: The Associated Press 02/04/12 10:21

Performers at Peru's Amateur Circus won't just need skill this year. They'll need some cold, hard cash if they want to show off their talents.

The Circus City Festival Board says it will begin charging performers a sign-up fee after donations from businesses and benefactors declined.

"It's a situation where we looked around us — there aren't a lot of free, unstructured activities that give the kids everything they get out of (the) circus," producer Mark Hall told the Peru Tribune. The new fees are $30 per child. Families with more than one child participating will pay $30 for the first child and $20 for each additional child.

"We looked at the minimum we could charge to make a little bit of an impact on our budget," Hall said. "We also looked at youth circus programs throughout the country. Ours is definitely a true bargain. There are places that charge thousands of dollars just to work in a similar program for shorter periods of time. It's a very unique skill set."

Circus City Festival treasurer Kurt Krauskopf said the festival has a 2012 budget of about $260,000. The festival spends more than a fourth of that on insurance and utilities, with other money going toward scholarships, publicity, a parade and the event itself.

"We haven't raised ticket prices in four years and we can only charge so much for certain things," Krauskopf said.

He said organizers decided to implement the performer fees after reviewing the budget and realizing they wouldn't have enough money to cover their expenses. "This was not a decision taken lightly by the board," he said.

The board expects the fees to generate about $6,000. The $30 fee doesn't guarantee that a child will be chosen for the show; participants still have to pay for equipment such as boots, tumbling leotards and wrist tapes.

The Circus City Festival dates from 1960 and draws on the area's rich circus history. Many of the country's top circuses wintered in Miami County in the late 1800s, and the area is home to the International Circus Hall of Fame, according to the festival's website.

The circus is held each July. About 250 people ages 7 to 21, along with a team of clowns, join forces to present performances over eight days. This year's circus is scheduled for July 14 to July 21.
Information from: Peru Tribune, Read more at the Washington Examiner:

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Bode Wagon Company

Bode Wagon Company

Fred Dahlinger Jr. wrote an excellent series on the old circus wagon makers. The Bode Wagon Co. was located at 1649-1673 Central Avenue in Cincinnati, Ohio. Fred's article about Bode can be found in the Bandwagon: Nov. / Dec. 1982 on pages 5-11. This is a Jack Richmond photo via Arthur Dicken in the Cincinnati Historical Society Library.

Bode Wagon Company

This is a Jack Richmond photo via Arthur Dicken in the Albert Conover collection as seen in the Bandwagon: Nov. / Dec. 1982 issue on page 6.

Bode Wagon Company

This is a Jack Richmond photo viaArthur Dicken in the Albert Conover collection.

Bode Wagon Company

This is a Jack Richmond photo via Arthur Dicken in the Cincinnati Historical Society Library.

Bode Wagon Company

This is a Jack Richmond photo via Arthur Dicken in the Albert Conover collection as seen in the Bandwagon: Nov. / Dec. 1982 issue on page 9.

Bode Wagon Company

The Gentleman with the cane is Albert Bode. The photo is found in the Bandwagon: Nov. / Dec. 1982 issue on page 9. This is a Jack Richmond photo via Arthur Dicken in the Albert Conover collection.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

United States Tableau

Wade Burck's great blog ( ) had some discussion on a few of the old circus wagons recently. Racked up in the discussion was the confusion of wagons being called the same thing. Here is a fairly good example.

The notes I have are from Joseph Bradbury's wagon files. This United States Tableau was one of 16 built by the Bode Wagon Co. of Cincinnati, Ohio in 1918 for Frank Spellman's U.S. Motorized Circus. This was originally built to go on a truck chassis. It was only on the U.S. Motorized Circus for a short season before going out of business. Sold to Bob Schiller in 1920 he kept it until 1924 when he sold it to Fred Buchanan. It was then converted into a wagon for Buchanan's railroad show, the Robbins Bros. Circus. When Robbins folded in 1931, the show went to the Wm. P. Hall farm and remained there until Zack Terrell and Jess Adkins bought it for their new Cole Bros. Circus in 1935. This wagon was lost in the Rochester, IN. winter quarters fire on Feb. 20, 1940.

United States Bandwagon

Originally built in 1903 by the Bode Wagon Co. of Cincinnati, Ohio, this wagon spent it's entire life under the Ringling title. Used in the Ringling parades from 1903 till 1918, and then on the Ringling / Barnum parades in 1919 and 1920, it then went to the Bridgeport winter quarters where it remained until 1927. When the Bridgeport quarters were abandoned in favor of the Gulf Coast of Florida, this wagon was taken to Sarasota where it eventually rotted away.

This photo came from Chappie Fox's book, "A ticket to the Circus" on page 82.

United States Bandwagon

This was taken in the Ringling / Barnum Sarasota Winter quarters. This is still in fairly good condition with the skyboards still up in place. This is a Bob Good photo. No date is indicated.

United States Bandwagon

Note the canvas tarp still covering the wagon. It wasn't being used anymore but it wasn't ready to be thrown out either. No date or photographers ID on this one.

United States Bandwagon

These next three photos were taken on Feb. 21, 1951 in the Ringling / Barnum graveyard at the Sarasota Winter Quarters. You can see that any carving within reach has already disappearred. These three photos are from the Richard J. Reynolds III collection.

United States Bandwagon

United States Bandwagon

United States Bandwagon

Most people don't realize that this wagon is a completely new construction at Circus World Museum. While the wheels and braces or sort may have been around the CWM Shops, there was nothing left of the original wagon to save except for a few carvings that John Zweifel had. So standing here in it glory, this is a terrific recreation of an old time Bandwagon. I took this photo in 2008.

Very Interesting!

This went to court in Atlanta last week. It is TRUE! I've been following some of the news as it comes out. It will be very interesting to see if this is upheld and how it will affect other state elections if any.

Obama's eligibility case. VERY Exciting!
By Craig Andresen on January 26, 2012 at 9:25 am

Given the testimony from today’s court case in Georgia, Obama has a lot of explaining to do. His attorney, Jablonski, was a NO SHOW as of course, was Obama.The following is a nutshell account of the proceedings.Promptly at 9am EST, all attorneys involved in the Obama Georgia eligibility case were called to the Judge’s chambers. This was indeed a very interesting beginning to this long awaited and important case.The case revolved around the Natural Born clause of the Constitution and whether or not Obama qualifies under it to serve. More to the point, if found ineligible, Obama’s name would not appear on the 2012 ballot in Georgia.

With the small courtroom crowded, several in attendance could be seen fanning themselves with pamphlets as they waited for the return of the attorneys and the appearance of the judge.Obama himself, who had been subpoenaed to appear, of course was nowhere near Georgia. Instead, Obama was on a campaign swing appearing in Las Vegas and in Colorado ignoring the court in Georgia. Over the last several weeks, Obama’s attorney, Michael Jablonski, had attempted several tactics to keep this case from moving forward. He first tried to have it dismissed, then argued that it was irrelevant to Obama. After that, Jablonski argued that a state could not, under the law, determine who would or would not be on a ballot and later, that Obama was simply too busy with the duties of office to appear. After all these arguments were dispatched by the Georgia Court, Jablonski, in desperation, wrote to the Georgia Secretary of State attempting to place Obama above the law and declared that the case was not to he heard and neither he nor his client would participate.Secretary of State, Brian Kemp, fired back a letter hours later telling Jablonski he was free to abandon the case and not participate but that he would do so at his and his clients peril.

Game on.5 minutes.10 minutes.15 minutes with the attorneys in the judge’s chambers.20 minutes.It appears Jablonski is not in attendance as the attorneys return, all go to the plaintiff table 24 minutes after meeting in the judge’s chambers. Has Obama’s attorney made good on his stated threat not to participate? Is he directly ignoring the court’s subpoena? Is he placing Obama above the law? It seems so. Were you or I subpoenaed to appear in court, would we or our attorney be allowed such action or, non action? Certainly not. Court is called to order.

Obama’s birth certificate is entered into evidence.Obama’s father’s place of birth, Kenya East Africa is entered into evidence. Pages 214 and 215 from Obama’s book, “Dreams from My Father” entered into evidence. Highlighted. This is where Obama indicates that, in 1966 or 1967 that his father’s history is mentioned. It states that his father’s passport had been revoked and he was unable to leave Kenya. Immigration Services documents entered into evidence regarding Obama Sr.June 27th, 1962, is the date on those documents. Obama’s father’s status shown as a non citizen of the United States. Documents were gotten through the Freedom of Information Act.Testimony regarding the definition of Natural Born Citizen is given citing Minor vs Happersett opinion from a Supreme Court written opinion from 1875. The attorney points out the difference between “citizen” and “Natural Born Citizen” using charts and copies of the Minor vs. Happersett opinion. It is also pointed out that the 14th Amendment does not alter the definition or supersede the meaning of Natural Born. It is pointed out that lower court rulings do not conflict with the Supreme Court opinion nor do they over rule the Supreme Court Minor vs Happersett opinion.The point is, to be a natural born citizen, one must have 2 parents who, at the time of the birth in question, be citizens of the United States. As Obama’s father was not a citizen, the argument is that Obama, constitutionally, is ineligible to serve as President.

Judge notes that as Obama nor his attorney is present, action will be taken accordingly. Carl Swinson takes the stand. Testimony is presented that the SOS has agreed to hear this case, laws applicable, and that the DNC of Georgia will be on the ballot and the challenge to it by Swinson.

2nd witness, a Mr. Powell, takes the stand and presents testimony regarding documents of challenge to Obama’s appearance on the Georgia ballot and his candidacy. Court records of Obama’s mother and father entered into evidence. Official certificate of nomination of Obama entered into evidence. RNC certificate of nomination entered into evidence. DNC language does NOT include language stating Obama is Qualified while the RNC document DOES. This shows a direct difference trying to establish that the DNC MAY possibly have known that Obama was not qualified.

Jablonski letter to Kemp yesterday entered into evidence showing their desire that these proceedings not take place and that they would not participate. Dreams From My Father entered. Mr. Allen from Tuscon AZ sworn in. Disc received from Immigration and Naturalization Service entered into evidence. This disc contains information regarding the status of Obama’s father received through the Freedom of Information Act. This information states clearly that Obama’s father was NEVER a U.S. Citizen. At this point, the judge takes a recess. The judge returns. David Farrar takes the stand. Evidence showing Obama’s book of records listing his nationality as Indoneasan. Deemed not relevant by the judge.

Orly Taitz calls 2nd witness. Mr. Strump.Enters into evidence a portion of letter received from attorney showing a renewal form from Obama’s mother for her passport listing Obama’s last name something other than Obama. State Licensed PI takes the stand.She was hired to look into Obama’s background and found a Social Security number for him from 1977. Professional opinion given that this number was fraudulent. The number used or attached to Obama in 1977, shows that Obama was born in 1890. This shows that the number was originally assigned to someone else who was indeed born in 1890 and should never have been used by Obama. Same SS number came up with addresses in IL, D.C. and MA.

Next witness takes the stand. This witness is an expert in information technology and photo shop. He testifies that the birth certificate Obama provided to the public is layered, multiple layered. This, he testifies, indicates that different parts of the certificate have been lifted from more than one original document. Linda Jordan takes the stand. Document entered regarding SS number assigned to Obama. SS number is not verified under E Verify. It comes back as suspected fraudulent. This is the system by which the Government verifies ones citizenship. Next witness.

Mr. Gogt. Expert in document imaging and scanners for 18 years.Mr. Gogt testifies that the birth certificate, posted online by Obama, is suspicious. States white lines around all the type face is caused by “unsharp mask” in Photoshop. Testifies that any document showing this, is considered to be a fraud.States this is a product of layering. Mr. Gogt testifies that a straight scan of an original document would not show such layering.Also testifies that the date stamps shown on Obama documents should not be in exact same place on various documents as they are hand stamped. Obama’s documents are all even, straight and exactly the same indicating they were NOT hand stamped by layered into the document by computer.

Next witness, Mr. Sampson a former police officer and former immigration officer specializing in immigration fraud.Ran Obama’s SS number through database and found that the number was issued to Obama in 1977 in the state of Connecticut. Obama never resided in that state. At the time of issue, Obama was living in Hawaii.Serial number on birth certificate is out of sequence with others issued at that hospital. Also certification is different than others and different than twins born 24 hours ahead of Obama. Mr. Sampson also states that portion of documents regarding Mr. Sotoroe, who adopted Obama have been redacted which is highly unusual with regards to immigration records. Suggests all records from Social Security, Immigration, Hawaii birth records be made available to see if there are criminal charges to be filed or not. Without them, nothing can be ruled out. Mr. Sampson indicates if Obama is shown not to be a citizen, he should be arrested and deported and until all records are released nobody can know for sure if he is or is not a U.S. Citizen.

Taitz shows records for Barry Sotoro aka Barack Obama, showing he resides in Hawaii and in Indonesia at the same time. Taitz takes the stand herself. Testifies that records indicate Obama records have been altered and he is hiding his identity and citizenship. Taitz leave the stand to make her closing arguments. Taitz states that Obama should be found, because of the evidence presented, ineligible to serve as President. And with that, the judge closes the hearing. What can we take away from this? It’s interesting. Now, all of this has finally been entered OFFICIALLY into court records.

One huge question is now more than ever before, unanswered. WHO THE HELL IS THIS GUY?Without his attorney present, Obama’s identity, his Social Security number, his citizenship status, and his past are all OFFICIALLY in question. One thing to which there seems no doubt. He does NOT qualify, under the definition of Natural Born Citizen” provided by SCOTUS opinions, to be eligible to serve as President.

What will the judge decide?

That is yet to be known, but it seems nearly impossible to believe, without counter testimony or evidence, because Obama and his attorney chose not to participate, that Obama will be allowed on the Georgia ballot. It also opens the door for such cases pending or to be brought in other states as well.Obama is in it deep and the DNC has some, a LOT of explaining to do unless they start looking for a new candidate for 2012.