I STARTED FEELING BAD

 

From Kentucky, we jumped to Carthage, Ohio, where our location was at the end of the race track some two thousand feet off the midway.   Never the less,  business was good thanks to many plugs from Danny Fleernor during the grandstand show and publicity breaks arranged by Alan Ricknaver, a good guy and a great fair manager.

Early in the week I started feeling bad and visited a doctor, who treated me with medication. On Friday Morning I woke in excruciating pain.  I phoned the doctor who ordered me into the hospital where I  spent twenty eight days, with two surgical procedures.

For the first time, we had booked the show to make a circus jump.  Closing in Carthage (Cincinnati) on Sunday night and opening the next afternoon in Berea (Cleveland) with a show that takes four to five hours to tear down and twelve to   sixteen to set up. We had a new Cadillac  and a new house trailer this year, which I  normally drove while Chris piloted the Tractor-trailer.

A friend came in to drive the truck, so Chris could take the car and house trailer in my absence.  The show was dismantled in record time and Chris followed the fleet off the lot at three A.M.  Twenty miles up the road a commercial driver with   loaded semi fell asleep, colliding with the trailer which disintegrated with the frame demolishing the top and rear of the car.  Nearly all our personal belongings were lost but fortunately neither Chris   or Doc Hankins, our lecturer, who was a passenger, was seriously injured.    My pet dog,  "Rascal:, jumped out into traffic and was killed.

The rest of the crew was unaware of the tragedy and under the direction of Little Cliff King and Milt Robbins erected the show and had it open on time.  The show was already operating when news of the wreck arrived.  Though I  was disturbed by our loss,  I  was thankful Chris and Doc were OK and was very proud of our faithful crew.  Henry Valentine's children, Mike (our sword swallower) and Sue (our illusion girl), called him with the news.    Without reservation,  Henry took leave of his job in Waterloo,  Iowa to come help in Columbus.  By 1975,  we were able to get Henry and his wife, Shirley,  full time with Henry becoming Vice President of the Company in  1977.

By the time I was released from the hospital, the show was at the end of the State Fair in Columbus. I was feeling chipper and mistakenly thought I would go right to work in the office arranged in a rented motor home. I only made it once in Columbus and twice in Knoxville, being confined for recuperation in a hotel in each town.

 

 


All text and images on this page unless otherwise noted are copyrighted 1991-2009 Ward Hall, all rights reserved.  The stories and images are excepts for Ward Hall's book Struggles and Triumphs of a Modern Day Showman - used here with the express permission of Ward Hall.

 


All stories are the property of Sideshow World & their respective authors.  Any republication in part or in whole is strictly prohibited.  For more information please contact us here.

 

Back to One On One With Ward Hall           Back to Main

 

All photos are the property of their respective owners whether titled or marked anonymous.

"Sideshow WorldTM" is the sole property of John Robinson All rights reserved.

 sideshowworld.com   sideshowworld.org   sideshowworld.net  sideshowworld.biz   sideshowworld.info

is the sole property of John Robinson All rights reserved.

E-Mail Sideshow World     E-Mail The Webmaster