Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christmas Cards

Christmas Cards

I don't know who sent this or whose act it is but it's about the shortest arena I've ever seen.

Christmas Cards

I've been out of the loop for a few days. You hear those remarks about "Since I retired, I'm busier than ever"? Well my story goes, "since I lost my job, I'm busier than ever". Two many things in the works right now.

So since the Christmas holidays are about to greet us again, I'll run some Christmas cards for the next couple weeks that were sent to my aunt and uncle who were performers in the 1920's to 1940's.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Christmas Cards

The wagon in the back is titled Hagenbeck Wallace and Forepaugh Sells.

Christmas Cards

Gollmar Bros. 1915

Christmas Cards

On the bottom it says, Al G. Barnes Circus in Baraboo, Wisconsin - Aug. 10, 1917.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

RBBB WQ in 1950's

I found this one photo in my dad's slides of the old Sarasota WQ. One other one I found, was identified by Dom Yodice as 1953 so I feel like this was taken at the same time. Check out the great WQ photos on Buckles blog yesterday at

Friday, November 21, 2008

Paul & Dorothy Kelly farm in Peru, IN. vandalized

Dear friends, It is with great sadness that I write to tell you of the tragedy that has occured at the Kelly Winterquarters in Peru, Indiana. Sometime last week vandals broke into the barns and smashed doors, windows, and basically trashed the place.Dorothy is 93 and her son Eddie is in his 70's and they don't have the funds to even board up the damaged doors and windows to protect what is left of the barns from the upcoming winter.This historical property was the last known winterquarters of the Cole Bros Circus (railroad show) and still has caging and artwork in the ring barn. Many famous Circus families spent time there in the winter practicing in the ring barns or the cat barn. There is hope that soon someone will take over and restore the place but that doesn't help now. I am writing to let everyone know that a fund has been established to help with the repairs or, at least, board up the place to help secure it through the winter.Joey Kubesch, a dear friend of the Kelly's, has set up an account to handle the Kelly's repairs and is donating the labor. Any funds sent will be spent specifically on the repairs at the Kelly farm. Dorothy and Eddie will appreciate this so much, remember that no donation is too small! Anyone wishing to donate can send their donation to: Mrs. Joey Kubesch, Indiana Rural Preservation Council, 1325 S. Frances Slocum Trail, Peru, IN--46970

New Cannon Act!

Brian Miser maneuvers a double human cannon out of a trailer Monday, which is to be stored at Treasured Memories in Peru. The cannon (and its act, which included Brian and Tina being launched from it together) is being retired for the moment from Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus.A new double cannon is being built for an act to debut in January where Tina and Katia Borzikove will be shot out together. Brian is taking a break for now, but promises he isn't done with the human cannonball act forever. ( In the Peru Daily Tribune Nov. 18th )

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ringling's newest member!

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation announced the birth of "Sundara" a female Asian Elephant that arrived into this world on November 9, 2008 at 7:15 PM. She came in weighing an amazing 310 pounds. Sundara means "beautiful" in Hindi.

Her mother is Sally, a 39 year old mother of four other babies and her father is Charlie, a 35 year old.

Sundara becomes the 21st elephant born at the Ringling Elephant Compound in central Florida.
The photo is the RBBB herd in the 1950's.

Monday, November 17, 2008

CWM wagons to parade again!

The Circus World Museum’s wagon collection will be seen in several parades in the very near future again. Starting out at the Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade the grand United States Bandwagon will make a guest appearance again this year. The United States Bandwagon was originally built for the Ringling Bros. World’s Greatest Shows in 1903 by the Bode Wagon Works. Ringling used it through 1918 and then combined with the Barnum & Bailey Show to still travel in 1919 and 1920. The wagon remained in storage in the Bridgeport, CT. winter quarters until 1927 when it was taken to the new Sarasota, Fl winter quarters. It was never used again. By 1950, it was in complete ruin with only a few carvings salvaged. When Circus World Museum decided to rebuild this grand Bandwagon, they utilized these few carvings to start the pattern and completely rebuilt this wagon from the ground up. What a beauty it is.

Circus World’s CEO Steve Freese tells me details are still being worked out for a Parade in Baraboo, WI. during the Christmas holidays. The huge extravaganza in Milwaukee next year is scheduled for July 12th with over 50 of the Museum’s wagons being taken to Milwaukee for the huge Great Circus Parade.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

USDA Confiscates another elephant

The Associated Press is reporting tonight that the USDA confiscated "NED" a 21 year old Male Asian elephant from Trainer Lance Ramos in Florida today for failure to comply with the Animal Welfare Act. He is described as underweight and will be transported to the Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwold, Tennessee that is operated by Carol Buckley.

The Elephant Sanctuary has maintained they will not take any males. Now they are saying they will nurse him back to health then find a permanent home for him somewhere else.

Friday, November 07, 2008

He's BACK!

Whhhooooo! He's Back! I've been giving it all I had and Thankfully he has heard our ....... Anyway, we are mighty glad to have the Maestro of Mayhem, Merriment, Mirth and Magazine covers back with us once again. His site is available at

Chicago passes “Watered Down” Elephant Bill

Ald. Mary Ann Smith (48th) didn’t get what she wanted tonight when she half heartedly agreed to an elephant protection bill that was no where near what she wanted to see in Chicago. Her original request would have eliminated the use of an elephant management tool called an ankus that is used by every elephant Professional throughout the world including Zoos and the Circuses that visit Chicago.

Former Elephant trainer David Blasko stated the bull hook or ankus is a tool to guide and direct elephants, not to harm them with. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Vice-President of Operations, Tom Albert said “We take proper care of our elephants. We use the tool properly.”

“The animal can feel a bull hook just like a dog can feel a leash. Otherwise, it would serve no purpose. But, it’s not cruel if it’s used properly,” Blasko said.

Ald. Smith, whose bill was passed by a City Council committee Thursday, admitted she had to settle for a lesser Bill as she didn’t have the votes to pass the measure as she introduced it following her 2005 campaign to stop the use of elephants in Chicago.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Circus Historical Society

Several of us were corresponding the other day and realized that some people visiting my blog or even my Circus Store ( ) might not know about the Circus Historical Society, Inc. We are an International Organization with about 750 members at present. I am the current Secretary for the Organization. We have a website that is updated daily at The site is full of information from Routes to Rosters and now has our first video placed on there about the colossal Poster Display at the Big "E" a few weeks ago. I covered a lot of the convention on this blog a couple weeks back.
The Circus Historical Society issues their journal the Bandwagon, six times a year. It is the ONLY Circus Publication that carries a complete review of all shows on the road the previous year. We offer many different articles pertaining to circus history from the wagon show days, rail road shows and the truck shows to the new venues on the road. We offer the chance to join us at the Annual Convention each year to hear two days of Circus Presentations by some of the leading Historians in this country. We enjoy a great Circus Auction, a Banquet with a keynote Speaker, and a Circus related event. Next year's convention will be held in Milwaukee where we will coincide with the Great Circus Parade on July 12th.
Anyone seeking more information may contact me ( Bob Cline - Secretary ) directly at or go to the Circus Historical Society website again at . You can find an application online to join us.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Sandusky, Ohio 1968

This is the Calliope that was owned by George Roose who was an owner of Cedar Point, the huge Amusement park in Sandusky. You can see the CP on the side. If I remember correctly, these were a plastic type of carving. She was a really honest to goodness steamer. This one was pulled by a team of 4 or 6 Draft horses. I believe this still exists in a location around the Cleveland, Ohio area. A Historical Society village perhaps?

Sandusky, Ohio 1968

Taking us back 40 years ago to Sandusky, Ohio we had the Sesquicentenial Parade on June 23, 1968. Here is my dad's cage being pulled with a two pony hitch. Sorry Jim, no Percherons here.