Early '70's Sells & Gray came to my hometown. Needless to say, my Brother and I were at the showground's early (6:am) to earn a ticket. As a light rain came down we watched the 24 Hourman drive the steel pins (not stakes) into the ground to lay out the lot.
By 7:00 am trucks started rollin in, the rain had subsided, and we were wandering around seeking temporary employment. Soon a Gentleman approac...hed us asking us if we wanted to make some money. Since this wasn't Our first Rodeo, as we had done the same with previous shows (Hoxie, King Bros) that had visited Our Town, and since all we had earned before was a Free ticket, the offer of hard cash was a first. It was a No-brainer we said "Yes!"...The Gentleman then lead us over to where the Sideshow was being setup and inside one of the semi trailers that doubled as part of the Bannerline...He handed us each a shovel and told us to clean out the truck. I never really knew how much hay, grass and feed passed through a Elephant, that day I had a pretty good Idea that "a lot" passed through Three..!!
When we had finished the Gentleman returned and asked how we liked cleaning out "Bull" trucks, we replied "it was ok"... He said "Good!, We will be in Antigo tomorrow, see you there?" and flipped us each a quarter!!...
Now fast forward to 1982, early spring and yours truly was now in Sun City Arizona working on The Big John Strong Circus at the Sundome. Big John was promoting the Indoor date there. I was standing on the stage inside waiting to help setup Joe Via's cat arena. Meanwhile Texas Annie had pulled in with the Donnie Johnson Elephants and the Gentleman whom I had mentioned earlier in this story was walking past me on the stage. I hollerd "Hey! I know you!...to which he replied.. "How?'..to which I retold the story above...He then reached into his pocket, and said "Great!, I'll have the Bulls out in a 1/2 hour, I'll meet ya out back" as he flipped me a quarter...I kept his quarter, I didn't clean out the truck that day...
But I did learn his Name...Headdown Harry...They had a shrine/museum commemorating Headdown at the old Donnie Johnson winterquarters...He was quite a character...spent the quarter, still have the memory....
Gray Photograph of Lot
Sells & Gray Photograph of Lot
Sells & Gray Inside the Big Top
Sells & Gray 1965
Sells & Gray 1965
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