Tuesday, July 23, 2013

From Tim O'Brien

     We all know and love Ward Hall for the amazing sideshows he has created through the years. Now, Ward promises the “Whole” story in the new, official biography that veteran journalist Tim O’Brien is now writing. The process has just begun and Tim and Ward have teamed up with Kickstarter, the crowdfunding site, to raise funds to help make sure this project becomes a reality. Please check out the site and the colorful video of Ward to learn of their plans and see the awesome awards that have been created for those who help out by participating in the project. Many include personal interaction with Ward and entry level to be a part of this book project is only $2. Hopefully, the sideshow community will get behind Ward and Tim and make what promises to be an engaging and colorful biography – a reality! Please check out our Kickstarter page and the special video of Ward.


Tim sent this to me about two weeks ago when Blogger was locked up. Then I was gone to the CHS Convention so I apologize for the delay in getting this out.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Circus City Festival Parade

With an early morning downpour overwith, the humidity had finally broken, blue skies were shining and the crowds were coming out. No sir, it wasn't going to rain on our parade today!

Circus City Festival Parade

The circus parade featured parade wagons and baggage wagons alike. Circus Parade or Horse Dung Trail, everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

Circus City Festival Parade

Our CHS President, Judy Griffin, was given the ride of a lifetime as part of the parade this year. This is a Rick Purdue photo. His turned out so much better than mine.

Circus City Festival Parade

Every parade needs the marching bands and what better way to have a circus parade than a band playing circus music.

Here's the grest brass...... Wait a minute,... Jim, did you take my video? What's going on here?

Circus City Festival Parade

Here's Mr. Brian Miser, his wife Tina, and their daughter who is one of the performers in the youth circus.

Circus City Festival Parade

Here's one of the all time great guys out there, Mr. Dom Yodice riding on the "Greatest Show on Earth" Betty Hutton Trapeze float. Dom and Mike BButash have been in Peru all week working on getting a couple more wagons refreshed again.

Circus City Festival Parade

There's nothing like an old fashioned steam calliope to bring up the rear of a great circus parade. Here is the original Gentry Bros. Calliope. The elephants followed a good distance behind.

The CHS Convention was going to the Miami County Musuem in the afternoon and then enjoying the International Circus Hall of Fame Induction banquet where Jacqueline Zerbini Garden was being inducted into the Hall of Fame this year.

I was heading towards Ohio after the parade so I'll have to get the reports from others of the Banquet.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

International Circus Hall of Fame

Today was spent out at the International Circus Hall of Fame. Several talks were given about the circus under the Big Top. We enjoyed a 60 piece concert band from the Indiana Symphony under the direction of Charles Conrad, talked with John Fugate and Tino Wallenda Zoppe early in the morning, then caught all the activities out there including the circus performance, demonstrations, the exhibits, catered lunch and more.
This is the Sig Sautelle Band Chariot. It was built by Sullivan and Eagle right here in Peru.

International Circus Hall of Fame

This was a small exhibit about the movie the Greatest Show on Earth.

International Circus Hall of Fame

When you talk about great circus music, you have the names of Fred Jewell, Karl L. King, Sousa and Merle Evans come up in the conversations. Here's a nice display dedicated to Merle's fabulous career on the circus bandstand.

Peru Youth Circus

This evening we were astonished at the professional performance of the Peru Youth Circus. Every performer is under the age of 21. We saw so many things that just aren't seen in the travelling circus anymore. There were double traps, swinging ladders, iron jaw on three occasions, rolling globe, teeterboard, unsupported ladders, cradle acts, six ladies on a 6 trapeze configuration and three young ladies in a cube framed design. That was really interesting. The flying trapeze even had a flyer piggy back over to the catcher on another flyer.
You hear some people say they have a bucket list. This HAS to be one your list of things to go see. You won't be disappointed.

Peru Youth Circus

This incredible team of performers did some amazing tricks and climaxed their act with the seven person pyramid. needless to say, they received a standing ovation.

Friday, July 19, 2013

What a great morning!

The Welcome wagon was set-up right beside this beautifully etched glass near the pool of the Best Western in Circus City.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Welcome to Peru

This was this year's official souvenir poster for all of the Convention goers.

Magic Lantern Projector

Having never seen a Magic Lantern Projector before, this was pretty interesting stuff.

Magic Lantern Slides

Dick Moore brought his amazing collection of hand tinted magic lantern slides in from Connecticut to amaze everyone with turn of the century color photography.

Circus Music

 Charles Conrad brought a unique presentation to the stage when 25 members of the Indiana Symphony came to play pieces of circus music that was interwoven into his story of the European travels of the Barnum & Bailey circus bands.

Grand Prize Bidder

Tonight's auction featured a rare 1892 lithograph from Strobridge that was mounted on linen. The winning bidder this year was Daniel Lyon from Canada. What a great piece.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Let's get started!

This was the Paul and Dorothy Kelly Circus Farm. The Cole Bros. Circus came to rest here. Some of the wagons didn't sell at the auction around 1997 and have remained right where they were ever since. I was told tonight that Eddie Kelly is now living in a facility nearby.

Let's Get Started

Here's part of the showcase exhibits at the Miami County Museum in downtown, Peru.

Let's get started!

This is the triple headed stake driver that was at the Paul Kelly farm for so many years until the auction there around 1997 when it was bought by the International Circus Hall of Fame.

Let's get started!

The Robbins Bros. Circus was based out of the Rochester Winter Quarters which is about 20 miles from Peru.

Let's get started!

This forge is located inside the wagon sheds at the International Circus Hall of Fame. As you can see, when they were building the wagons they were doing their own fabricating of steel at the same time.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Lot's to do in Peru!

If you are coming to Peru during Circus week, you HAVE to see the Youth Circus.

Lot's to do in Peru!

You won't want to miss the Miami County Museum's collection. The Museum is housed in the old Ben Wallace owned Dept. Store. They have quite a circus collection to do research in as well. I've been there most of the day myself.

Lot's to do in Peru!

Art and Grace Johns were good friends of my aunt and uncle, Bill and Gen Lerche. We had the chance to meet them when we were young. Many of you remember Art as a show painter who painted above all the cages at the Kelly farm / Terrell Jacobs barn.

Lot's to do in Peru!

You should go see the International Circus Hall of Fame members board while in Peru. You'll see the names of some circus legends there.

Lot's to do in Peru!

Perhaps you would like to get your tickets here. Dom Yodice will be glad to give you a ticket you can exchange for a paint brush and a gallon of paint.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Peru - here we come!

The day has finally arrived when the train heads for Peru, Indiana. Having spent two glorious days at home again with my mom and my brother, it's time to head for the huge Circus Historical Society Convention in Peru. Come on, let's go!

Peru - here we come!

All this driving is making me thirsty. Root Beer anyone?

Peru - here we come

Oh looky, we are almost there!

Peru - here we come!

There are circus wagons everywhere!

Peru - here we come!

Yes sir, it's going to be a great week!

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Happy July 4th

It took a tremendous amount of sacrifice from tons of people to make the United States an independent nation. May you enjoy this day because of all their sacrifices! Have a safe and happy fourth of July. We plan on enjoying the amazing Boston Pops and NY Fireworks from the comforts of home tonight as everything around here has been postponed due to the bad weather this week and the rains coming again today.