SHORTS FROM WARD HALL'S

 MY VERY UNUSUAL FRIENDS

 


 

 

There have been numerous books published with photos of human oddities. Some have been identified, some texts give medical or mythological explanations of the freaks differences, but I have not read any book which told of the individuals as people.
 
I have worked and lived with these people as a fellow employee on shows and as an employer on my own shows for over forty years. I have been joined in these endeavors for the past twenty-six years by Chris M. Christ, who shares these bonds of friendship with my friends, the freaks. But, whether we were co-workers, or employer-employee, they were and are always my friends.

 


                        


 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Taken from Ward Hall's Autobiography Struggles and Triumphs of a Modern Day Showman
 

One is tempted to compare this contemporary American Showmen with one of the great showmen of the nineteenth century, P.T. Barnum.  Barnum, like many other good showmen was born under the sign of Cancer, July 5,1810. A hundred and twenty years later,  Hall didn't quite make it,  he wound up in the cusp (in the edge of the Cancer sign, June 21, 1930).  Where Barnum used self aggrandizement at every opportunity,  Hall is like Barnum's best known partner, James A. Bailey, in avoiding the limelight, if it would detract from his show's publicity. (Bailey was undoubtedly the greatest outdoor showman the world has ever produced, which few outside of historians have ever recognized)


Ward Hall does have Barnum's knack of taking almost nothing and making a show out of it.  A show incidentally, that satisfies the ticket buyers. Ward's first love, like Barnum's is the Museum type attractions,  and the "Different" People associated with them. Like Barnum, he makes a lot of money with his harmless humbugs and museums, and then blows it on what he considers higher class attractions. (It seems though some of these ill-fated attempts at "going high class" might have been successful in the hands of a good promotional agent)..........................................................


No mind what the next twenty or thirty years have in store for Ward Hall,  be assured that they will be spent on show, fair and exposition grounds.  Also, be just as sure,  he will always be planning for something bigger, better and more beautiful than what he has. This man, who like most outdoor showmen could be successful in anything he attempted,  will never desert the show grounds, if he has his way.  My personal feeling is that in looking ahead for Ward, Chris and their associates, 

"You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet".

 

Joe McKennon

Cover:

Ward Hall with Ronnie and Donnie Gaylon
Drawing by Letterfly Copyright
1990


 

All stories and photos are re-printed with the permission of Ward Hall

All text and images on this page are copyrighted 1991-2009 Ward Hall, all rights reserved. 

The stories and images are excepts for Ward Hall's book My Very Unusual Friends.

 

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