I got the callhe was mistaken for a Ticking Time Bomb…
 

This story come from a series of post made to Sideshow World's Yahoo Group

By Lee Kolozsy and a short phone call with Jimmy Zajicek & John Strong.

 

When I got the call from John Strong, I could tell right away that he was bummed out…

He had just, for the first time, experienced multiple simultaneous breakdowns…

One mechanical, two emotional, and three nervous…

He had just been worked over by a dishonest campground owner, had a truck break down, lost an election/parole-hearing, and had his wife abandon him…

In the middle of nowhere…

Stranded on the road with his animals, sideshow equipment, and the smoking ruins of a blown engine…

He lives by his wits, and this may explain a few of the problems…

Only a month or so earlier, his former old lady took off with his freak attractions, and now the freak attractions took off with his
current old lady…

Ironic…

Apparently, after a great run in Austin, John and Tammy were invited to party at the Freak's Commune. John, not being a party animal,


declined…

Tammy declined to allow John to decline on her behalf…

Party…

See you later John…

Maybe you need to loosen up and party a little John…

Don't worry John, you only made a few grand in Austin…

She'll be back when it runs out…

Until then, work on the truck…

And try to get to a computer, we wanna hear from you…


JIM--- How's it going John...

JOHN--- "I'm still broke down here"... (background) "Yes officer this is my van"...

JIM-- Is this a bad time to talk John?... (background) "My wife has the registration in her van Officer"...

JOHN--- "Jim, can I call you back?"...


Tammy Strong p
ulls alongside with jocko riding shotgun as the cops are interviewing John and his crew…
Turns out the tag
s on John's van are out of date, made out to a former partner, and go to another truck altogether, while the trailer is registered to a mysterious character with the unlikely name of Jim Zajicek…

 

The dope dog is barking nonstop while the NCIC info is being accessed on the cruiser's laptop…

Pretty soon the entire sideshow is unloaded and spread out around the suspect's vehicle, and the witnesses are being
questioned separately… The cops don't have any idea what to make of all this.

John is telling conflicting stories all by himself…

Finally, after several hours, since the van is on private property, not a public road, and none of the vehicles are reported stolen, or the contents in any way illegal, John is advised that he and his assortment of oddities are free to go…


The senior fuzz pulls Tammy off to the side and says, "Do you feel safe around these people, are you certain you know
what you're getting into here?"…

Tammy protests that this is her husband and his friends…

"Well Ma'am, the background check indicates that these men all have a
lengthy criminal background"…


In the not so distant past, John had a hundred and fifty feet of Sideshow set up at a major California fair, which was one of the biggest spots along the route of his long time friend the Carnival Owner…

John and Butch went back a long way, since high school, they had double dated, played fairs, and done a little business over the years. Both were rich kids used to getting what they wanted, they had become successful Showmen on the West Coast. Butch owned one of the biggest carnivals and John was The Sideshow Man of the Coast Guard.


Butch liked John, in addition to their long history together, John was an asset to the carnival…

Not everyone with the carnival was a fan of John. One guy in particular had a seething and resentful hatred of John…

This appears to be not unusual…

This person was in an important and influential position in the management structure of the carnival. His position was concession manager. Over the years, apparently, John had stepped on his toes more than once…

This also appears to be not unusual…

One night after a long hard day of pitching his attractions with a one man continuous live bally that began at ten in the morning and didn't end until the cops started clearing the midway at midnight…

John was dressed in a spangled tuxedo jacket and top hat, walking towards his show from the office complex, when a deputy stopped him and said, "Turn around pal, the show is over, out the gate, this way." John protested that he was part of the show and lived on the grounds. The deputy demanded to see some credentials. John said "
I am an entertainer, I don't wear a ride jock's uniform, and I don't wear a picture ID, this costume has no pockets."…

Just at that moment, the concession manager walks by, and John says,

 

"Tell this officer who I am."…

"Never saw him before in my life." Was the answer…

By now John was a little put out, and he yelled to the concession manager, (who was still walking and getting more distant by the minute) " We'll see what kind of trouble there is when you find a hundred and fifty foot hole in the midway tomorrow morning"…

The deputy, who did not understand the reference, interpreted this as a bomb threat and immediately tackled John and hauled him off in cuffs…

John spent the night being interrogated by detectives who were intent on locating what they perceived as a major threat to public safety…

Apparently, John is frequently mistaken for a ticking time bomb…

 

Printed here with permission of Lee Kolozsy, John and Tammy Strong

 

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