Bill Fitch: The Human Pin Cushion
When Bill first came to work for us he
was a marvelous Human Pin Cushion. He was the only guy I ever knew
who as a pin cushion could work 25 or 30 shows a day and still be
able to perform again. I had many other people over the years
working for me as pin cushions. I remember this one guy with an
Irish name, I can't think of it right
but he came to me after about two days and said "my arms are
getting too sore, do you mind if I skip a few shows."
Bill was the only one that I ever knew that could do it so
consistently. No, I shouldn't say that Jack Donahue could do it
But Bill also had a reputation of being a lush. He had been with
us all season. We were going to close that season in Savanna
Georgia, we only had three day to go until the end of the season.
Bill was coming to work one evening, I would have to say it was
about five or six o'clock. He had a six pack of beer and what was
obviously a bottle in a bag. I said to him you only have three
days to go until the season is over so you don't want to get into
this. Bill said "no, I bought it for the last day of the season.
I want you to get me a motel room and that night I'm going to get
drunk." I told him "OK!"
That same evening somebody knocked on my door they said you better
come out here because the pin
is drunk and he is on the stage, we have two state patrolman on
the cat walk. I went out and looked in through the door and there
he was on the stage, I said "Ya! he's on the stage and he's
drunk." Only there weren't two state patrolman on the cat walk,
there was only one. Bill had the other one on the stage and he
was saying to him "if you don't stick this in you (he was pushing
a pin at him) then your chicken s#*@!" I could see this policeman
was very irritated.
I made my way through the tip and got up to the front of the stage
and I just looked up at him and said "Bill you just finish your
act and come out to the office to get your money." The policeman
understood what it was I was telling Bill to do, so he seemed to
be OK then. When Bill finished his act he came out to the office
and got his pay.
I went back into the show and was up on the stage doing the magic
when here comes Bill with his suit cases packed. He was going
through the tent from the back and was headed out the front. When
he got halfway through the tent he looked back, saw me, then gave
me the bird!
The next year Bill came back to join the show. He was with us for
the next six or seven years and never took another drink as long
as he was with our show!
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One On One With Ward Hall
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