Gem City Shows Bainbridge GA. Oct 1954  Hall & Leonard Show

 Left to Right Ward Hall - Jan Del Rio - Diane - Frank Donnell - Pete - Harry Leonard

 


In the spring of 1965 Pete (Poobah) and I were in San Antonio, TX doing a publicity promo for the Movie "Puss In Boots" a children's picture made in 1964 with Pete in the title role, produced by K Gordon Murray (Trans International Films).

While there we visited the Circus Museum at the Public Library then Leonard Farley was the curator, The museum had a display on my late partner Harry Leonard "Leonardo" and myself. Leonard told me the Birnum Bros Circus was in winter quarters out on Mission Road, near the former Plunket winter quarters where I spent some time in the late 1940s. We paid a visit to the circus winter quarters where Dick Johnson was in charge. We met his wife Mavis and the kids, had dinner and a great visit with them. In 1967 June. Dick was with "Clark and Walters Circus" owned by Herb Walters. Herb sold the entire show which was booked and billed, on the road and included three? elephants, for a reported ten thousand dollars, to the Silver lake family. Dick and family did several acts on the show which were also done by members of the Silver lake family, So, Johnson's were looking for work. We were showing Marion, Indiana, and had an ad for people in "The Billboard". Dick called and being not far away joined us in two days. Dick did magic, juggling and with Mavis, whip cracking, and talked the inside. Daughter Sharri did contortion and Mavis did blade box. They were with us for many years till they bought the freak animal show that he later sold to Dennis York who currently troupes.

After that first year we built another sideshow which Dick managed for I think, 12 years till getting his animal show. In 1968 Chris and I bought the home of Al Moody family in Gibsonton and in 1969 Johnson's bought property from Glen and Marge Porter in Gibsonton.

Mavis still lives at that place and Dick and June (Parsons) Johnson live close by in Brandon. we see them frequently.

Ward Hall

 


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