Tiny Never Went South
act that I first knew working together at Madison Square Garden
was Tiny Hicks a 550 pound fat man. Following his first
engagement at the Garden, Tiny went on the road with me. I built
a single-o show for him. (A show which has but one attraction.)
I sent him with a manager named Billy Judd to play county fairs
in Ohio, where business was very good. I hadnít been around to
collect the receipts for a few weeks.
Billy had an old car, in which he carried the sledge
hammer used to drive the tent stakes and a huge crowbar with
which to pull them.
He also carried the money on hand in the auto's trunk. One
night, as was their custom, after closing, they went to a local
cafe for a late dinner. Billy, unintentionally ran a red light
and was pulled over by a policeman, who thought they looked
suspicious. He had Billy open the trunk of the car. He saw the
tent tools, he assumed they were burglar tools and the bag full
of my money, was stolen loot. Once at the police station, it
took a few hours for Tiny to locate someone with the fair's
management to verify the explanations. It would seem at one time
Tiny had toured the south and didn't get paid on the excuse
Southerners don't like fat people. This is erroneous. I had
observed just the opposite. Never the less, Tiny didn't want to
go south. I believe subconsciously he believed he wouldn't get
paid. We jumped from Ohio to Abilene, Texas in early September.
The weather was very hot, which is always tough on fat people.
Our next town was Amarillo. Billy's car had no air conditioning
so Tiny was to take the Greyhound. When I arrived in Amarillo, a
telegram awaited me. Tiny had gone home convinced the south was
no good for a fat show, although our business was good.
Before Tiny retired to his home in Warren, Illinois, he worked
for Chris and I several more times, but I never asked him to
tour the south.
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