Ward Hall

 

The first circus I worked for was the Cole Bros (railroad) Circus, I was a prop boy at  age 14, 1944 1945.

 

Sunbrocks Super 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.

 

1951 Norman 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  manage.

 

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 Virgin Islands.

 

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 Cliff Vargas.

 

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 biggest sideshow. 

 

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 Gardens.

 

"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 through 2008.

 

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.

 

Ward Hall
 


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