Friday, November 30, 2007

From Dave Price

ClStra2, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

I didn't know we were submitting trick pix to this otherwise straight-arrow blog. Look who Mary Jane ran into when we were at Stratford-on-Avon.


Buckelvis, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Hi Buckles,

I agree with "Eye Spy on Hugo/Sota's blog comment encouraging you to take JRN2's invitation to attend the Kelly-Miller opener.
His enthusiastic pitch,
"It would be like a circus summit; like the Pope visiting America; like the return of Elvis. The possibilities are endless."
led my active imagination to kick-in, and I wondered which one you might go as ... personally, I'd vote "Elvis".

(picture "buckelvis.jpg" attached)

Seriously, it'd be great if you could go.
You are an important part of circus history as well as a historian of it.
What a treat for a lot of circus fans and folks!


Mark Lavender

"You might be on to something there! The Col. and I could go as the Blues Brothers. Might even incorporate it into our act.
Enough folly tho, I must not tax myself since tomorrow is the big day. In fact as I write this, the Showfolks Circus is rolling into Sarasota (I wonder if Jenny got a ring mat).
I may not be able to stay for the complete performance tho, I sense there may be a mad scramble afterward to get good seats at the Club for the latest episode of Divorce Court."

Milwaukee Festival 1985-85 #1 (From Paul Ingrassia)

Scan000010524, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Buckles....Here are a few memories from the 1985-86 Great Circus Parades. Our circus the first year was Carson & Barnes that Jesse Jensen had booked. They were back the following year but we had added some elephants. My memory is that you loaded a couple on the train in Baraboo and dismounted in Madison and elsewhere for pictures. Right or wrong, here are a few of what I recall as great memories.

1. Paul Ingrassia and a nice looking lady you may know.

Milwaukee Festival 1985-86 #2

Scan000010525, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

2. Benny loading your ladies.

Milwaukee Festival 1985-86 #3

Scan000010526, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

3. Same.

Milwaukee Festival 1985-86 #4

Scan000010527, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

4. Your name is on the truck.

Milwaukee Festival 1985-86 #5

Scan000010528, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

5. Yours I guess right after the grocery truck stopped in.

Milwaukee Festival 1985-86 #6

Scan000010529, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

6. C&B gals putting it up or taking it down.

Milwaukee Festival 1985-86 #7

Scan000010530, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

7. You tell me who this is.


Milwaukee Festival 1985-86 #8

Scan000010531, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

8. A sight never to be seen again. No question that D.R loved elephants.

From Buckles

SAVE1306, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

This was the water stop in Madison after which we continued on down to Janesville where Chico awaited with the truck. After making the switch we arrived in Milwaukee that evening. However in the true tradition of the circus, the train crew was transported to the nearest Holiday Inn for the night and the train arrived at the Parade Grounds the following morning amid much fanfare.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Spangles Book Cover

Spangles Book Cover, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Hi Everyone --

Although some of you know this already, most of you may not know that my mom has long been working on a book about my family's history with the Circus, and her upbringing within it. Well, I'm proud and happy to announce that her book has now been published!

It's called Spangles, Elephants, Violets & Me -- The Circus Inside Out, and it's available through typical retail bookseller outlets such as Barnes & Noble, B. Dalton Books,, etc. It's filled with many interesting, historic photos too (although I'm not in any of them, so I'm not sure how I feel about that glaring omission...ha!).

Bye for now, and all my best to every one of you…


From Ralph Pierce (Baraboo)

Scan000010522, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

(see attachment) Here is a article sent to me by Robert Harmel, he is a circus enthusiast formerly from Baraboo, but is a
professor in a college in Texas for many years. A friend contact in Europe has sent him this article and I
thought I would forward on to you if you have not seen it.
Take care and have a good holiday, it is getting cold up here now. Be in Florida the end of January please
make it warm down there at that time.
Ralph & Joan Pierce

To see this story with its related links on the Guardian Unlimited site, go

Nelly the elephant unpacked her trunk and decided to stay at the circus
after all
· Study finds animals kept in adequate conditions · RSPCA
criticises scope of government-backed report
James Randerson, science correspondent
Wednesday November 21 2007
The Guardian

Sinbad and Zebedee will be pounding the sawdust under their big top for a
while longer thanks to a government-backed report which concluded there was
no evidence that circus animals were kept in worse conditions than animals
in other captive environments.

The result will delight the four British circuses out of 27 that still use
animals in their acts - including Circus Mondao, which keeps the two
performing zebras. But ministers at the Department for Environment, Food and
Rural Affairs are left with an awkward decision on whether to ban wild
animals in circuses after the report they commissioned into the science of
animal welfare gave little to go on.

Animal circuses are much less common in Britain than in Europe. Although it
is possible to watch acts including crocodiles, lions, snakes and even a
kangaroo, the report estimates just 47 animals work regularly in circus
rings in this country.

The circus community argues that animal shows are an important part of our
cultural heritage, that the animals only perform natural behaviours and are
kept to the best possible welfare standards.

Animal rights organisations argue that subjecting animals to training and
transport between venues for entertainment is unethical. They are furious
the working group which produced the report was given a restricted remit to
look only at transportation and housing needs of non-domesticated species
and not training.

On this question the report concludes there is not enough good scientific
evidence to make the case either way.

"For the status quo to be changed the balance of evidence would have to
present a convincing and coherent argument for change," the working group's
academic panel of six animal welfare experts wrote. "Such an argument, based
on a sound scientific basis, has not been made ... There appears to be
little evidence to demonstrate that the welfare of animals kept in
travelling circuses is any better or worse than that of animals kept in
other captive environments."

Animal rights campaigners were dismayed at the judgment. "We didn't need a
report telling us something that we already knew, which is the lack of peer
reviewed studies on the treatment of circus animals," said a spokeswoman for
the RSPCA. She said that although there were few studies on exotic species,
studies of the transportation of other species such as farm animals could be

Those on the industry side say the report negates what they regard as a
prolonged campaign of smears linking circuses with cruelty. "The animal
rights people have made that word circus so dirty," said Petra Jackson,
ringmistress at Circus Mondao. "People have got to open their eyes and see
what circus is about now and not what it was about 30 years ago. I really do
think it is snobbery. You can go to a county show and see people doing dog
agility, but when you see people doing dog agility in a circus it all of a
sudden becomes wrong."

Chris Barltropp of the union Equity was chairman of the industry
sub-committee which contributed to the report. "It does seem that the circus
community has been vindicated by this report. At last we have reached a
point where we can set aside the name calling which has been going on for
years from the animal rights organisations," he said.

The report leaves ministers in a tricky position. Many MPs and peers are in
favour of a ban. In March 2006 Ben Bradshaw, a Defra minister said in
parliament: "I sympathise with the view that performances by some wild
animals in travelling circuses are not compatible with meeting welfare
needs." He said the government wanted to introduce regulations under the
Animal Welfare Act rather than through primary legislation, but the author
of the current report believes that will not be possible.

Mike Radford, an expert on the legal aspects of animal welfare at Aberdeen
University, said: "[Ministers] gave commitments in parliament that a ban
would be based on scientific evidence and as yet there isn't any."

Responding to the report, the environment secretary, Hilary Benn, said: "The
government will now want to hear reactions ... and consider its position."

An Ipsos Mori opinion poll in October 2005 for Animal Defenders
International found that 80% of people agree that the use of wild animals in
circuses should be banned - 65% thought that all performing animals should
be banned.

Roll up, roll up Britain's big top animals

The Great British Circus

1 kangaroo

2 llamas

4 reindeer

5 lions

7 tigers

7 camels

1 zebra

Bobby Roberts Super Circus

1 elephant (touring but retired from performance)

1 camel

Circus Mondao

3 zebras

2 llamas

2 camels

Jolly's Circus

2 crocodiles

1 zebra

1 ankole (a form of African cattle)

1 llama

6 snakes

Copyright Guardian News and Media Limited

Guilfoyle, John reduced 8x10 (From Javier Garcia)

Guilfoyle, John reduced 8x10, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Here are some items from the John Guilfoyle Scrapbook Collection – courtesy of Leah Malasko. I’m not absolutely sure about the dates and descriptions on all of these, but they’re close enough for now.

The photo described (file named) as:

“1933 1016 Clyde Beatty with Hagenbeck-Wallace San Antonio John Helliot far right”

should probably read “From left to right: Manuel King’s father, W.A. ‘Snake’ King of Brownsville, John C. Guilfoyle, Clyde Beatty and John Helliot October 16, 1933. Beatty was with the Hagenbeck-Wallace show in San Antonio.”

I have Ol’ Whitey to thank for the date, time and identification of Helliot on that one.

Keep up the good work. I have been visiting your blog regularly and enjoying all that you post. I realize it might take you a while to post these if you decide to and that’s all right.

Best regards,

Javier R. Garcia
Associate Director of Special Collections and Research
Historic Brownsville Museum
641 E. Madison St.
Brownsville, Texas 78520

Phone: (956) 548-1313
Fax: (956) 548-1391

Guilfoyle, Harriet reduced 8x10

Guilfoyle, Harriet reduced 8x10, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

1921 0626 - Rubin & Cherry Shows - Guilfoyles get married (1)

1921 Howes Great London Circus - John Guilfoye and Louis Roth

1921 circa - Howes - Louis Roth and Nellie Northup married (2) - Copy

1933 1016 Clyde Beatty in San Antonio with Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus San Antonio (4)

1933 1016 Clyde Beatty with Hagenbeck-Wallace San Antonio John Helliot far right

Mabel Stark with Al G Barnes Circus 1934 possibly

Rudy Rudynoff #1 (From Joey Ratliff)

Rudynoff2, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Good evening Buckles,

Had a fun time this weekend. Royal Hanneford was in
town for the annual Jerusalem Shrine Circus. Visited
with Randy Peterson and his "girls" after the Friday
night performance. I first met him some years back in
Baraboo and he is still just as hospitable as ever. On
Sunday after all shows were done at the zoo, myself
and former Frisco elephant man "Apache" Carl Perry
went back to the lot to see Randy and met Swiss
elephant man Vincent Manero and the C.F.A.'s Louisiana
chairman Matt Bourque. They visited with me at the zoo
the following day. Very good folks and I look forward
to knowing them better.

Here are a couple of Rudy Rudynoff photos. The first
is a Charles H. Fink photo. The signature reads: To
"Curly", to a very nice fellow. Sincerly Rudy Rudynoff
19?4. There is a tear over the year. Is this
"Mary"(#8), the horse that did the blindfold portion
of his act?
For sometime now I have been searching for a copy of
the Rudynoff book, Hoofers on the Sawdust Stage. If
anyone knows where I can buy one please let me know.


Rudy Rudynoff #2

Rudynoff1, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Rudy Rudynoff (From Buckles)

SAVE0702, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Rudynoff Family

SAVE2354, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

2007 CFA Convention, Hershey, PA

Scan000010523, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Rudy and Beverly Rudynoff (Gebhart) flanked by the Sunshine Boys.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I guess this makes it official!

SAVE2080, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Dear Mr. Woodcock,

Contrary to rumors I am very much looking forward to next season. We will have 2 new production numbers and have booked a lot of new acts. I am confident that the 2008 edition of Kelly Miller will be even better than 2007.

We open in Hugo on the 15th. of March, and would be honored to have you and your family as our guests.

Best regards to you and your readers,

John Ringling North II

Doug Holwadel (From Hal Guyon)

holwadell-8, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Found this while looking at the circus model photos. Taken in Augusta Ga. in April of 87, left to right My Dad, Harold (Pop) Guyon Sr; 84 years old at that time, Russ Snider, CFA South Carolina Chairman, Doug Holwadel, and myself, and yeah I still got the gut, but not as much hair. Hard to beleive it`s been over 20 years.

Hal Guyon


holwadel-1, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Here are a few pictures of Doug Holwadel`s circus room & 1/4" scale model circus in his home here in Columbia. Thought since his name was brought up someone might like to see them.

Hal Guyon


holwadel-2, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.


holwadel-3, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.


holwadel-4, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.


holwadel-5, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.


holwadel-6, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.


holwadel-7, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.


Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros Circus at the Westchester, NY Fair in July of 1985.
Here's a shot inside the tent. Wish we had "Smell-O-Vision". The circus was included in the admission price of the fair!

Bill Swain and "Ceasar" (From Casey Cainan)

bill and ceasar, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Here are a couple more photos of the Swain males. The first is Bill Swain with Ceasar in 88', then Bill with Vance in 87'. The last picture is Vance and Casey in 86' by this time Bimbo had been removed from the act.

bill and vance

bill and vance, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

vance and casey

vance and casey, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

From Mike Swain #1

This is a picture of me with Caesar, Benny and Mickey in 1995.

From Mike Swain #2

The 2nd one is Army Maguire in 1988 with Caesar and Vance with my dad trying to hide but being unsuccessful.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


One of my favorite shots of an elephant ride and handler!
(Open for identification! Perhaps a Commerford son or grandson?)
Not a bad place to do your homework???

From Casey Cainan

benny micky stand, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Thought this picture fit the theme today, Julio Osorio with Mickey and Benny. Nanda and Ceasar in the background. 1995 on the King Royal lot, the males were all Busch Babies

Gary Thomas and "Tony" (From Wayne Jackson)

Tony.82.002, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Roman Schmitt and "Toomai"

Tumi001.82, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Troy Metzler

T.M.001, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Joe Frisco and "Hoxie"

Hoxy001.83, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Dave Blasko and "Sunji"

Sunji.001, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Mike Rice and "Rajah"

Raja001.12.85, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.


unknown.002-2, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.