Sunday, August 31, 2014

1950 RBBB #1 (From Buckles)

This was the first year of Arky Scott's five year stint with RBBB, having been in charge of the Cole Bros. elephants for the past eight seasons, replacing Hugo Schmitt who then moved over to Mills Bros. Circus.

1950 RBBB #2

1050 RBBB #3

1950 RBBB #4

1950 RBBB #5

1950 RBBB #6

1950 RBBB #7

1950 RBBB #8

Later in the day Baptiste Schreiber would fetch his elephants "Manula" and "Lelabardi" to the lot.

John North had hired this act the previous summer while touring Europe.

I get the feeling the Captain rode the bike while the groom walked with the elephants.

1950 RBBB #9

1950 RBBB #10

1950 RBBB #11

1950 RBBB #12

Baptiste Schreiber.

1950 RBBB #13

At the end of the season, "Manula" died while playing the RBBB Christmas date in Havana and on return to U.S. "Lelabardi" was sold to Mills Bros. Circus where Hugo Schmitt was now employed.

I never met Schreiber, he was around with a chimp act for years but our paths never crossed.

RBBB !950 #14

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Leopards #1 (From Paul Binder)

IMG_0494On the afternoon of our second day at the bush camp, we had our first encounter with a major African predator.
At the bush camp we did a lot of walking and some Range Rover riding. There were always four of us. There was our guide, Kanga, our tracker, Stuart—call him our security officer—and the two of us.
First: some news on how we were briefed when we walked out. We were told to stay in single file. We were told that most of the animals we’d encounter are territorial and we must respect their territory. Soft talking is alright. When in the vehicle, don’t stand up and don’t climb out. Animals see the vehicle as a single unit so people in it are seen as part of that “creature.” Standing up alerts them to possible prey. The animals are used to seeing the Range Rover and don’t see it as a threat.

Trackers, who actually carry a gun in case there’s some danger (so long as we don’t intrude it’s rare, but not impossible), have the uncanny ability to see and hear things that other people can’t.

Leopards #2

On our second day out while walking, we came across a family group of Burchell’s zebras. They graze in groups of five or six.

Leopards #3

A little later, he heard the first sign of alarm. It was the warning cry of a puku (a big-eared deer/antelope). Thinking that we might have a predator within range, Kanga radioed for a Range Rover and we drove in the direction of the puku sounds.

Leopards #4

As we approached the area where the puku had been, we slowed down, and there was a hyena lying, sphinx-like, on the other side of a ravine.

Leopards #5

We were informed that that was a good sign. The hyena was nearby because he thought there was a kill coming. Up in a tree, a baboon was making a lot of fuss. Kanga said, “For sure, there’s something out there,” and we drove in the direction the baboon was looking.

Leopards #6

As we came around the curve, we had our first leopard sighting.

Leopards #7

Leopards #8

Leopards #9

Right beside us were a male and female leopard, which were described as a “breeding pair.” We stopped and quietly looked at them. And as they continued to move, we followed them. Kanga explained that it was a young male and an older female.

Leopards #10

The female leopard jumped up onto a dead tree trunk. The young male jumped up after her and attempted to breed with her … but he didn’t quite get it right.

Leopards #11

Folks, you can’t make this stuff up.

Leopards #12

Kanga commented, “Well, it looks like he’s an inexperienced young male.” And to say the least, the female leopard was a bit perturbed with him.
But the guy with the camera (me), was very happy.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Kitty Clark #1

Regarding Kitty Clark from yesterday's Blog, I was surprised to find how much publicity she garnered.
Here's a good example, "ELEPHANT & KITTY CLARK" 1941 One Sheet Flat. 
A Norman Bel Geddes design lifted from a photo.

Jackie LeClaire, wasn't Miss Clark married to Hamburger Jack Burslem?

Kitty Clark #2

Kitty Clark #3

Kitty Clark #4

Kitty Clark #5

Kitty Clark #6

More Ringling Ladies #1

More Ringling Ladies #2

More Ringling Ladies #3

More Ringling Ladies #4

More Ringling Ladies #5

More Ringling Ladies #6

Thursday, August 28, 2014

From Tim Tegge #1

Attached are two images from RBBB @ Soldier's Field, in 1944.

The first, rehearsals for the show, taken by a photographer for the Chicago Tribune. This ran on Aug. 22, 1944, in the paper.

From Tim Tegge #2

Next, a shot of Kitty Clark on a float from the "Panto's Paradise" spec. Not sure if this was a rehearsal shot, as well, or if the lack of people in the stands reflects dreadful business (?). Thought your readers might enjoy these.

From Tim Tegge #3

ALSO, I am forwarding two of a countless number of unidentified images I have in the files, wondering / hoping that you, or possibly someone who checks in on a regular basis, might provide some name or info on either. Any ID is appreciated.

From Tim Tegge #4

Unidentified #1 (From Buckles)

Nice looking old cow.

Back in the '50's when we played Shopping Centers we often had to walk the elephants across the parking lot to water at a fire hydrant.
"Anna May" would carry the tub in her mouth but she figured out in a hurry that it was easier if she gripped it from the opposite side of the rim with her lower lip inside.

Unidentified #2

Unidentified #3

Unidentified #4

Unidentified #5

Unidentified #6

"Nemo" on Dailey Bros.?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Safari Lions #1 (From Paul Binder)

So, we were still at the bush camp, but we hadn’t seen any lions yet. Our guide, Kanga, was scheduled to drive us to the next camp the following morning. He suggested that we wake up very early (a suggestion that was never my favorite) and, instead of driving directly to camp, we would see if we could track some lions.
Now, get the picture: there are four of us in the Range Rover—Kanga (our guide), Stuart (our tracker), Shelley, and me. We would drive a bit, then stop and look around. Every twenty minutes or so Stuart would say about four syllables in his tribal tongue. Kanga would translate, “Stuart says to look out there, he sees an encouraging sign.”
He gestured toward some circling vultures. We drove in that direction and they looked around (as always for footprints and droppings) and Stuart got excited when he thought there might be lions nearby. Again, the pukus sounded the alarm (Stuart, with ears that could hear the sound of a gnat’s wings at 50 yards) told us that we were close, and sure enough, after crossing a water-filled ravine, he spotted a lioness on the shady side of a bush.

Safari Lions #2