Spank the Baby In the Face -
The Lord Provided a Much Better Place
"Now, if I can have the
lights lowered, and the spotlight, by special request I'll
try to sing that song 'Never Spank The Baby In the Face,
Because The Lord Provided a Much Better Place.'
Then I would sing a song or two, like I Left My Heart in San
Francisco, All Of Me, I Don't Know Why, When Did You Leave
Heaven or Paper Doll.
Working clubs was like building a tip in front of a bally on
a sideshow. I had to stall and hold the customers as long as
I could before the strippers worked, because after they got
through working, most of the customers would leave.
That winter in Charleston, while working clubs, we bought a
truck with a twenty foot, closed body and framed a panel
front girl show on it. We built a fold down stage on one
side, the bally on the other side, with the front panel
folding in against the side of the truck. We had a ticket
box and a seven by twenty foot sign on top, saying Reno in
We worked the Reno Show for the next eighteen years. May was
showing her age by then. The newcomers in the girl show
business started allowing audience participation and May
said that if she had to compete with two dollar whorehouses,
she would quit the girl show business and she did.
Now, because I had the reputation of being a show artist and
sign painter, Johnny Vivona, one of the brothers who own the
Amusements of America, one of the largest carnivals in the
country offered May and me a steady job painting their
trucks and rides. With the salary that he offered, we
For the next few years, we cut out the big A's with an eagle
coming out of the center of the A, and managed the northern
quarters up in New Jersey for one year.
I remember we had to go to a town in Pennsylvania to letter
one of the light plants. It was a thirty foot van bodied
trailer with two electric generators in it. When we arrived
in the town, it was around noon, so we stopped at a
restaurant for lunch. The tables were full but there were
several seats unoccupied at the counter, so we sat down on
the stools, picked up the menus and gave the girl our order.
May spoke, "Now I remember this place. We played this spot
years ago with the Reno show and had one hell of a week.
This is where the chief of the fire department bought us all
the roasting ears and we ate corn on the cob all week."
To be Continued