The first circus I
worked for was the Cole Bros (railroad) Circus, I was a prop boy
at age 14, 1944 1945.
Colossal Wild West Show and Hollywood Thrill Circus Combined
worlds worst clown 1946, 47, 48, 49 Sideshow fire eater and
magician. The last two years I also did ventriloquist and in 49
for a short time I was in the cage fighting the untamable lion.
Winter 1946-47 with
Ray Brydons store show (indoor sideshow, my partner Harry
Leonard "Leonardo" threw knives at me. winter of 47-48 Woods
Famous Show (tent show with lots of show owned animal acts and
Harry and I did the knife throwing He also did Punch and
Judy and Magic. I did vent, a novelty music act, and fire. They
were 3 night stands, with different show each night. Left
there in Feb to Rogers Bros. Circus, I was their sideshow
manager (age 17) and acts. Left in June to operate
sideshow with Frears United Shows carnival, carnival owned
sideshow equipment, all brands new. Carnival closed season in
Sept. returned to
Dailey Bros Circus,
1950 Bud Andersons "Seal Bros Circus' Bud got killed in a truck
wreck in Montana in June. Show closed July 3rd I was sideshow
manager. Joined Stevens Bros for the rest of season, as sideshow
manager and did a juggling act in center ring.
Andersons Wallace and Clark. sideshow manager and acts and
center ring juggling and balancing acts.
PS. On the Stevens
show for a short time I did the tight wire act with Alfredo and
CHA CHA Sanchez. We left Wallace and Clark in June and bought a
sideshow from a defunct carnival on July 3rd. The rest of the
season worked fairs, The winters of 54-55, 56-57 Byron
Gosh American Indoor Circus.
1954 Investor and independent sideshow Loyal Repensky European
Circus, opened Miami Feb 24 closed Leeds Ala April 2.
In the winters of 54-55 We also operated a small indoor show for
the Froman Bros Society Circus.
1956 Moose Circus (circus acts) Macon Ga. other indoor dates
winter 57-58 independent sideshow Tom Packs Circus, Havana Cuba
winter 59-60 with Sam Alexanders sideshow E K Fernandez Circus
Hawaii Spring 1959 had an independent sideshow (using circus
owned equipment) Al G Kelly Miller Bros.
1960 - 1967 Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey, Madison Square
Gardens, N Y. In 1962 and 61 I brought some sideshow acts to the
Beatty Cole Show for Phila, and I talked the front, Tommy Hart
was sideshow manager and in 67 I had acts (I Did vent for Beatty
Cole at Commack LI before the Garden with RBBB and after at
Philly. That time Stuart Miller was Beatty-Cole-Bros Sideshow
The winters of 68-69
toured a tent show through the Caribbean Islands. "Dr. Miracles
Wondecade". Sold the show to Charlie Cox at close of tour in US
1972 or 73? "Wondercade
toured indoor in Calif. produced and operated by Bill Rice.1975
Chris converted a Ballroom at Crystal Beach Ontario into a 700
seat theatre for Dr, Miracles Wondercade for full summer season.
This unit was managed by Jerry Ross.
In 1972 at seasons
end Chris and I acquired a piece of Circus Vargas, and built a
new independent sideshow managed by Jim and Sandra Windland. In
Oct 1976 we sold our interest in the circus plus the sideshow to
In 1976 that show
was greatly increased with several top grade circus acts added
titled "Magic On Parade" and was booked in Mexico for eighteen
months. (Opened in early April through mid July at one lot in
Mexico City that show managed by Leonard Simons, I sold it to a
Mexican promoter that year.
In 1976 we also had
a tent stage show "Wondercade" at Crystal Beach Ontario for the
season, Managed by Dick Johnson In 1976, 77 we also provided an
independent side- show to be in the main entrance bldg for Irvin
Feld at Circus World Park in Fl.
In 1981 we were
contacted to provide 12 shows on a buy out with Pugh Am, Co. for
Ohio State Fair. Chris built the Sky High Circus which was all
high acts. Bought a Globe of death and imported motorcyclists
from Columbia, S A. Built a Water Circus seating 1500 featuring
three Gold Medal Olympic high divers, and other shows which
including another "Wondercade" under a big top. with the Campa
family Bobby and Joe Fairchild etc. Harry and Bea Fees
Monkey Speedway, and Gladiators Versus The Man killers, our
For the 1982 season
we greatly enlarged the Wondercade, with a Big Top from John
Pugh. stage 60% the size of Radio City Music Hall, seating 2700
seats. Wondercade always had a live orchestra. In 82 it was
conducted by Jerry Mass, there were five big production numbers
with chorus line dancers plus 2 boy dancers six show girls, and
a production singer, utilizing the grand staircase. Acts: Mike
with elephant, his wife with trained tropical birds, Elizabeth
Campa, wire act. a family with aerial act and Roy Huston
presenting 17 major illusions. With the private vehicles the
show was moving on twenty trucks and trailers, making two three
day stands per week.
1983 Wondercade made
it's final stand at the state fair grounds at Baton Rouge, La.
in November 1983. Winters 1983-84 we presented wrestling under
the big top at selected Florida towns. With Chris promoting the
events it was a very successful tour.
Jan. 1984 We opened
the season with sideshow acts on Circus Vargas, after five weeks
we brought on the sideshow for the California tour. We took the
sideshow plus two pit shows to Roller Bros Circus opening that
shows season and remaining until about August first to fulfill
our fair contracts.
In 1985 at our
Gibsonton winter quarters shop Chris built a beautiful one ring
circus from scratch in just 32 days, for Alan Hill. "Circus USA.
Chris was the manager and I was there till late June, THE CIRCUS
HAD ONE OF OUR SIDESHOWS. In July I took our big sideshow to the
Blue Unit of Ringling Bros, and Barnum and Bailey for some towns
in the west.
In 1986 we had an
independent sideshow and other attractions with Dick at the
"Toby Tyler Circus"
In the winters of 1987, 88 I was announcer on Gardens "Sterling
Bros. Circus". WE DID A LOT OF Television AND MOVIE WORK THOSE
LATTER YEARS, I PRODUCED SOME MUSICALS FOR THEATRE AND CHRIS WAS
A PROMOTER FOR WORLD CAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING FOR SEVERAL YEARS AND
HAS BEEN THE PROMOTER FOR LE BARNES CIRCUS IN 2003 AND HOLLY
BROS, BARNES AND BIDWELL CIRCIS IN 2005. He was also the
promoter for American All Star Circus (Brad Bradbury, I think it
was 2000, Some select dates for Cole Bros, and every year for
quite a long time is the promoter for the Gibsonton Showmens
Assn Circus, produced by Lee Stevens. I was the Announcer
Chris still does
promotions and I go on lecture tours.
In 2010 we had two
sideshows and a girl to gorilla illusion show on the road.
The "World Of
Wonders will be playing fairs as usual.
Through all our years of circus experience we have had shows at
fairs, in the 70s and 80s we were operating five ten in one show
plus grind shows etc, at one point in the 1981 season we had
sixteen shows touring simultaneously.
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