so incredibly saddened to learn of the passing of
my friend, showman Jim Zajicek, earlier this
morning. He was such a sweet, giving,
enthusiastic, energetic, and humble soul, who
graciously hosted my own family and friends at his
this year, at the Florida State Fair.
I am so glad that
I got to see him one last time, over this past
weekend, along with Kevin Gerrone, and finally
meet his lovely Lori. He was truly one of the
greats, who not only kept the sideshow alive, but
also true to its roots.
It was a real
honor knowing him. My only real regret is not
having been able to spend more time with him when
he was healthy and happy. You fought the good
fight Jim, but sadly this opponent was simply too
powerful for you to take down alone. May you
finally find comfort, and be free from the pain
that your Earthly shackles held.
Rest in peace my
Jim, the Carousel hasn't stopped spinning.
Jim earned a lot of respect because he would have
someone in the ticket booth when the fair opened.
The other show
and ride owners notice things like this. Many
people don't open till the bulk of people walk in
the gate. But a seasoned show owner grabs all the
cash that is walking by. The extra 2-5-20 $. Adds
up over the course of a year or 20 years. You are
on the lot anyway, GTFM.
You add up all the little things like this and
many show owners were proud to be on the same lot
Jim was the best.
A great guy that set the high water mark for what a class show
should be. Losing him is beyond sad. He will be missed. May
your lots be grassy and the tips large and easy to turn. RIP
It Truly Sucks! My
True Friend and Fellow Showman Jimmy Z is gone to the big
sideshow in the sky! He was my biggest fan! He and I were
great friends and talked a lot on the phone! He was a True
Sincere Man and Loyal Friend! Will Miss You Jimmy Z! Will see
you again one day! Rest In Peace!
I don't know what
to say...so I'll just be honest. When I got "here" I was still
pretty green...still am really. And Jim was tough. He poked at
me, made me feel pretty stupid a couple times.....but I
learned. I stayed. After a while he warmed up. Gave me some
good advice. Even called me 'kid' once in a while. LOL!
I knew coming into this life there were going to be folks who
would make me prove myself.
I wasn't wrong......but Jim Zajicek was great about it, and he
made me feel unwelcome.
Many here have become my friends since then.
I've learned a LOT.
So thank you Jim. For the testing, and the advice....and for
being a bit of a mentor to a woman you never met.
I'm heartbroken about that part.
As Adam said...."He will be missed. The midway lights will not
be as bright without him."
Holding onto thoughts of happier, blue
Your route is laid, no blanks ahead.
See Ya Down the Road,
your death has showed me and many
others, how many life's you have
touched. You should be proud of your
legacy as a Master Showman and
You succeeded in the Mudshow circuses
learning several acts, driving, being
generally useful, canvas, concessions,
an asset to any show you where on.
Then you had a highly successful career
as an elephant man, from Barbara on
the Hawthorn group on many of America's
top Circuses, making friends all the
way! The only thing topping you elephant
career, is you success as as the
Curator, framing and operating the Big
Circus Sideshow. You set the standard
for Sideshows and made many friends in
the sideshow and carnival industry. And
most if all you read and remembered the
chapter "Getting along" from the book
can cut-up jackpots with you on the big
RIP Jimmie Z!
Miss you buddy
I am in
disbelief to learn of the passing of one
of the greatest showman out there,
Jim helped me immensely when I started
my sideshow. I don't think I could have
booked my first season without him. I am
forever grateful for his support
throughout the years. He was a class act
that represented the best of what this
business is. I know he is probably
already playing those "blanks" he was so
famous for on the big midway in the sky.
You will forever be missed but never
Jim- Glad I had the chance to work with
you in Montana and Utah.
You'll be missed by many. In fact, you
already are! Take it easy at the Big
Sideshow in the Sky and I'll see you
again up there!
lived a life that most people dream of. You told me
you have no regrets. You did it your way and it was
a good way. Love and Respect to you Jim...Peace and
Harmony to your soul. I will never forget you. Thank
you for all you did.
Goodbye Jim - what a devastating turn of events,
what an irreparable loss for the midway. You did
indeed live the life most of us only dream of, and
thank you for letting me tag along.
will miss you, my friend.
heart goes out to Lori, all the family and friends.
Jim is one of my hero's and biggest
inspirations. We all loved and admired
him more than words.
The above photo is one of my favorite of
the Congregation of Sinners Incorporated
this last November. We're all lined up
and ready to rock the Texas Motor
Speedway opening for NASCAR with Jim
Zajicek Big Circus Sideshow,
Hellzapoppin Circus Sideshow, Wall of
Death / Ives Brothers Cycle, Rick West,
Erik "The Lizardman" Sprague, Brittany
Walsh, Short E. Dangerously, Chelsea
PonySlayer Nopants, Fan Page Extreme
Midget Wrestling Federation, Cannonlady
Jennifer Schneider, Magic Brian, Eric
Ross, Gregory McElroy, Matt Gone,
Xochitl Sosa, Trixtah and so many more.
We made history this day as the world's
largest circus sideshow attraction.
Jim was the first person to ever erect a
sideshow banner-line without using tent
In a few
short years, we made so many memories and still
had plans for more. I never said thank you because
I thought there would be more. From Gibtown to Old
Town, the Baggage Battles TV show to the FL State
Fair and a circus or two in between.. always
thought there would be more.
told you I stole my show name from yours, unlike
most, you were flattered not angered and we became
miss you more than you knew...
Prof. P.T. Marvel's Super
When you are in a traveling business
it's amazing the the way people you
seldom see touch your life in such a
profound way. Jim was such a person.
The first time I met him in person, I
told him we were both members of an
online group and his response "are you
here to meet me or fight me"...lol....
You had to love Jim for being Jim.
After that, about once a year, for the
past several years, when our paths were
close, we would meet and hang out for
three or four hours talking about
anything and everything under the sun.
One thing we both agreed on, was to
experience life to fullest and I believe
Jim did just that. Those once a year
meetings are going to be missed greatly
and will leave a huge gap in my route. I
miss ya already brother.
All of us here at the World of Wonders
mourn the loss of a true showman who was
always trying to make the business
better for everyone. He was an
inspiration to many of us, and we hope
to follow in the trail that he has
blazed. Our prayers be with you, Rest in
True Showmen are born and not made. That
was Jim. A true showman through and
through. Born to try to make our
business a little better. We mourn his
passing, and want to extend our
condolences to Lori. Thoughts and
Prayers be with you. God Bless.
The world is a little smaller now upon
the loss of a dear friend and fellow
showman Jim Z. There are very few of us
left, and now there are less. He was
always a true showman and as always
willing to lend a helping hand to others
of the same kind.
God Bless. Our prayers are with you, and
may you rest in piece in the big show in
I am very sad at the passing of Jim. All
I can say is that "May All Your Lots Be
Green," my friend.
Jeffery Reid aka The Big Kahuna
Just heard the news about our friend,
showman Jim Zajicek, who was The Big
Circus Sideshow, has passed away after
his long battle with cancer.
He was a friend of FreaksShow Deluxe and
so many others.
He will be greatly missed.
Rest in Peace, Jim.
Jim was a great guy and I'll miss
Jim was a man I admired and respected.
They don't make them like that anymore.
He was a teacher, entertainer, and a
hell of a story teller. He had a wicked
sense of humor that I appreciated very
much. I wish there had been more days
like the ones we shared. See you down
I can't express how saddened I am by
Jim's passing. I was blessed to travel
with him for a few months back in 2009..
He pushed me to reach my full potential
and encouraged all of the endeavors I
was interested. I can't begin to
calculate the influence he had on my
life and the dreams he inspired me to
reach for and fulfill. He was a mentor
and very dear friend whose larger than
life presence will be missed more than I
can imagine at this moment.
My thoughts go out to Lori, his family,
and the many people whose life he
You will be missed my friend.
Jim Z, GMO's, Pickles & Me!
Jim and I met sometime in
the fuzzy years of grade school. Jim was
a year older than me but lived in the
"hood", that is the south east side of
Wausau. When we were kids, we always
knew where to meet by looking for a pile
of bikes. Sometimes it was
baseball in Kirtchner's field, sometimes
it was football in the lot in front of
the looney bin, sometimes (often) it was
cards in the attic of my garage. Jim
Zajicek was always around. My fondest
memories were of the roving poker game.
Every now and again Dan Zajicek
take a seat and it was game on! Anyways
about this picture. Jim and I re united
as friends through the magic of Facebook
after many years traveling different
paths. We immediately picked up where we
had left off.
about the old days, the hood, memorial
park, Richard Reet, all the Wausau
characters, playing cards with Shrades,
Leepak, and Denfeld. we talked though
Facebook and on the phone about the
Packers and politics. We agreed and
argued... Jim had a thing against
Monsanto and genetically modified foods.
We had not missed a beat. One day I
noticed a picture of Jim in a hospital
gown with a tag showing he was in
Appleton...I called him immediately and
we arranged to go to lunch at a place
near his brother's house. It was a
Chicago style hot dog stand. When we got
there, Jim was not sure what to order,
probably because he was a little afraid,
and probably because of the GMO and
processed food aversion... So I ordered
a Chicago style dog, hot with
fries...Jim got that crooked smile on
his face and without a flich says" yeah,
that does sound pretty good". We sat to
eat and I nearly passed that entire dog
through my nose laughing so hard at his
circus and traveling stories. We agreed
the dogs were ok, because, hell you only
live once. after I took, this picture,
he said "better not post that, people
might get the wrong idea" Jim certainly
for the memories buddy.
I am saddened to here about the loss
of one of the Greatest Showmen in our
industry. Jim Zajicek was the owner of
one of the finest outdoor Sideshows in
this part of history, a colorful
character and a man that was truly
'With It and For It'.
My condolences to his family.
for all your support when we began the
999 eyes freak show. The world has
lost a great showman and keeper of a
Thanks for always making us feel
welcome and for letting us shoot silly
films with your show as the set.
Your life changed many. I saw many
children and adults in your show just
having a break from mundane reality.
Good work, Sir. And Lori thanks for
the fabulous photo documentation.
Nineninenine Eye Freakshow
I only knew Jim for a year. And never
got a chance to meet him in person. We
got off to a rough start, but Jim Rose
plaid mediator, and I came to admire
and respect Jim. I will remember him
as the man that made a shark worth
From the entire cast and crew of the
Carson & Barnes Circus we would like
to send our condolences to his
family... RIP Jim... A true showman in
Carson & Barnes Circus
Even before I ever worked for a
carnival, before I had met Jim, I would
often go when Crabtree played Ben-White
in Austin, the sideshow was always the
highlight of my night, often times I
would only go to the carnival if Jim's
show was there. Working for him later I
learned that Jim Zajicek was the
greatest showman in the world. He always
treated his people well and went above
and beyond for me, including teaching me
so many things. His animals were always
loved and looked after and he always
went out of his way to see that they
were comfortable. And he always did the
same for his employees. Working for him
was the best job I've ever had. And
watching him work the ticket box was a
hell of an education. He was a wire
walker, juggler, pitchman, talker, fire
eater, magician and did Rola Bola, but
the two things he seemed to love the
most was his elephants and Lori. Jim was
intelligent, clever and kind, he really
was the greatest showman in the world!
Rest in peace Curator.
stopped by to see the show and to say
hello at Tampa this past year. Jim was
off the lot but arrived back just as I
He patted a metal
chair at the front door and said "here sit and
talk." ... And we did ... And it was too short ...
As is life ... A day I will always remember.
Jack M. Beebe
Jim gave me one of my proudest moments
when he asked me to do a Zibit for his
outstanding show. He was one of the
great Showmen who really understood the
game and giving the public what they
paid for. I miss our talks on the phone
and in PMs on FB but I can't imagine
what you are going through this week.
Chin up...a lot of us don't know the
right words if there are any.
Though We never personally met at least
to my knowledge. (I’ve met so many
people on the road it’s hard to keep
track) I Came to find out threw many
online conversations that we Knew many
of the same folks and I was impressed
with his “tell it like it is” View of
the business. The first thing Jim ever
said to me was “I HATE CLOWNS!” and
Myself being an X circus clown I had to
find out who this guy was. We started a
very funny back n fourth sarcastic
banter about clowns and the art of
clowning that turned into an online
friendship. afterwards I created this
funny picture and posted it to his wall.
Jim was amazed and loved the photo and
used it as his profile picture for a few
days. He said it was taken before his
ears got bigger...lol
I’ll miss cutting those jackpots my
I See you when I get there Just make
sure those arrows are up.
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