I Was A Teenage Blockhead
by Walt Hudson
I would like to start out by
thanking all of the great people that have given their
permission to use this story and their artwork in our
"Good Old Days" section on Sideshow Central. I would also
like to take a moment to let you know how it all came
Walt Hudson emailed me and
offered to let us use his story "I was a Teenage
Blockhead". In returning his email I thought I should
contact James Taylor since this article appeared in his
publication Shocked and Amazed Vols. 2, 3 & 4
James also gave his permission.
As I was reviewing the article, I really felt that the
original artwork would be as important to the article as
it was in the original publications. So I contacted
the artists and have received permission from Mark
Frierson, Robert Kathman and Nicolas Wm. Aumiller to use
"I Was a Teenage Blockhead"
Reprinted with permission
Robert Kathman and Nicolas Wm. Aumiller.
When last we left our
hapless hero, Walt Hudson, he had become the only 16 year
old with his very own two-headed pickled punk. Well, okay,
a bouncer, but he did get his little gift after one of his
friends, Muscles the Indestructible Strong Man, was
brained by the owner of the freak baby show for trying to
force himself on the owner's wife. Walt had already
survived the death of Mr. King, the show's big snake, he
learned all about gathering a tip, found out that a
workaday tattooed woman can be the blow-off to the show if
you pitch the act right (and if you've got nothing better
to give the marks in the annex), and discovered sex on the
midway in the form of the Wild Jungle Girl. Not bad for a
kid working the show every day after high school. Rejoin
Walt now as he readies to hit the road again and become
the human blockhead he was born to be.
It was about an hour before the carnival opened and I
was sitting on a lawn chair out behind the tent. Tessie
came out of her trailer and handed me a cold bottle of
cola. She also had one and sat down beside me.
"Here, Walt. Let's toast your new act. The human
blockhead. Now you have two banners out front showing what
you can do."
"Yeah, but I still wish
Muscles was with us to do the act." We drank the soda. I
decided to question Tessie about her tattoos.
I knew I was taking a chance because many carny people
refuse to talk about their private lives. "Tessie, how
did you become a tattooed girl ?"
"Seems like I've been asked
that question a thousand times. It all started with my
daddy and long before I was born. Daddy was a merchant
seaman and away from home for months at a time. On one of
the trips there was a guy on the ship with them who had a
tattoo kit and knew something about tattooing. So a lot of
the sailors had tattoos put on, including my dad."
"Daddy eventually had his whole back and his arms
tattooed. Took him a couple of years to have it done, of
course. Well, Daddy became so fascinated with tattoos he
would have one put on his body in just about every port
he'd sail into."
"Daddy finally settled down in Norfolk, VA, and became
friendly with the feller who ran the local tattoo parlor
and he taught Dad the trade. That's how Dad met my mom.
She came into the shop one day for a tattoo and it was
love at first sight. They was married within a month and I
was born nine months later."
"So your mom had tattoos, also?"
"Yeah, but just a couple. Anyways, when I was six months
old my dad put on my first tattoo. Did a little heart on
"You mean he tattooed you when you were six months old?" I
could not believe anyone would do such a thing to a baby.
I tried not to show my shock.
"Yep. And every year for my birthday I got another tattoo.
I really didn't mind it at first. I liked it. When I was
little I used to show them off to all my little friends. I
liked the attention they was
giving me. But then
when I got to
junior high school,
things changed. I had to take showers
after gym class and
the other girls
cruel and made fun of me land called me a freak."
"Even though I didn't have any
my arms or legs and
you (couldn't see the tattoos when I
was dressed, the boys at school I never
asked me out on dates. They
didn't want to be seen with a freak.
finally quit school at 16. One I spring a
traveling carnival was
I playing Norfolk and I joined the
side show and have been in the business
ever since. Mazie's been
travelin' with me for the past five
years and 1 guess I'm as happy as
I most folks."
"Well, Tessie, you are the star of
"Yep. And they even pay extra to
see me and buy my photo," she
smiled. The calliope music on the
merry-go-round started up.
"Well, you know what
that means. It's just about show time.
go get dressed up."
We tore down the show and had everything
packed just before it
began to rain.
There had been a
slight change in plans. Roger the
dwarf quit our show
to join the
"Streets Of Paris" girlie revue. Roger owned the car and
Tony Dee had no transportation, so Doc
decided Tony would
ride part of
the way with him and Emma and
then he would relieve
Bobo and me who were driving the truck
carrying the show.
Doc wanted us
to travel in a.
caravan over the 400 mile route he had laid out
That way, if anyone's vehicle
should break down, we could help out. We would be stopping
every few hours for a rest break and to change drivers.
Doc led the way. We followed with the truck and Tessie and
Mazie brought up the rear. The roads were good and there
wasn't much traffic late at night. Since this was before
the days of the many superhighways and beltways, our speed
was limited and we traveled miles and miles along
unlighted roads. There were no highway rest stops and we
had to seek out all-night diners as we passed through the
many small towns.
It was raining hard the first couple of hours and the
monotonous sound and movement of the windshield wipers was
almost hypnotic. I talked with Bobo to make sure he stayed
alert as he
drove the first two hour shift.
"You know, Bobo, I really enjoy
blockhead act you taught me and I get a kick out of the
look on the marks' faces when I hammer the spikes up my
nose. I think I
would like to learn to do other acts, too. Is it
hard to do the
"Naw, there's nothing to it. The
be any size you want it to be. The one I use just covers
my back. It is about 15 inches by 25 inches. The secret is
that all the nails are evenly spaced on the
board. They're only
about an inch apart over the entire board, so you
lave to drill holes in the board
you hammer the nails in. Otherwise, you'd split the
"Do you have to file off the points
if the nails to dull them?"
"You can, but you don't have to.
The nails on the board I use are
jointed. You lie down on the nails
possible. Your entire
rests on the nails."
"Does it hurt?"
"Just a little. But you get used to
it. It feels like
lying on a pile of mall stones. You feel it but there is
no pain. I like to do it and when get up they see
the little dents the
nails make on my back. It is great to hear the marks' comments.
I'll let you try the nailboard
at our next stand."
"Great. I really
want to learn it.
Do you know how to
"Nope. But I'm sure someone can teach
you. You should have asked
Roger the dwarf when
he was with us."
'Bobo, how did you get into the
sideshow business?" I never
thought he would tell me. He was
about his past, but once he started, he talked for
about fifteen minutes without
"A year ago, last winter,
after I ran away from the detention center, I was bumming
around Miami doing odd
jobs, hustling and turning tricks."
I was a naive sixteen year old and had no idea what he
meant. The only tricks I knew about were the magic ones.
Of course, I never admitted my ignorance. "This one guy I
shacked up with named Kinky Karl was a carny. He had a
grind show and told me all about the business. He made
enough money during the summer to keep him in style all
winter long. He told me I should learn a sideshow act and
he would get me a job during the summer. I hate stayin' in
one place very long and by traveling with a carnival, I'm
in a new place every week. Also, it's hard for people to
track you down and find you."
"How did you decide on the
human pincushion act?"
"I didn't; Kinky Karl did. He said I'd have to do
something very few others could do. So we worked out the
act. We pierced my ears, nose and the nipples on my chest
with red hot needles. We put catgut through the holes so
they'd stay open until they healed. Then we put rings
through them. Now the holes are permanent and the pins go
through the holes."
I shuddered thinking about the puncturing process. "Was
there a lot of pain?"
"Naw, not much. Of course I still run a pin through the
flesh in my forearm each show but the pin doesn't go
straight in, just under the skin and it runs parallel to
the surface and out again. It's in there just deep enough
to draw a little blood! I like doing it. It turns me on.
Sometimes I take a needle and thread and sew a button on
belly! That really shocks the hell
out of 'em!"
I decided to drop the matter. I
am sure Bobo would have made a
great subject for a clinical study of
masochism, but I was not interested in any
more of his gory
"Anyway, last summer Kinky
Karl took out his grind show which
was a display of torture equipment
on the Happy Wonderland Shows
and I went with him to help out. There was
a side show on the
carnival and they were glad to hire me. You
know, there aren't too
many people who do the stuff I
I agreed with that and could
understand why. "Bobo, are you
happy now? Traveling and working
in this show?"
"Don't know whether I'd say I'm
happy. Maybe just satisfied."
It had stopped raining. "Hey,
look! Doc's pulling in at that diner
up ahead. Let's get a cup of
coffee. Then, Walt, it's your turn to drive."
It was 3:30 a.m. when we pulled up at the all-night diner.
Tony Dee, Doc and his wife had already gone in and Bobo
and I waited until Tessie and Mazie parked their car and
then we entered together. The three gals sat in one booth
and the four of us guys sat in another.
Two truckers at the counter were talking to the lone
waitress and there was a short-order cook in the small
kitchen. The waitress looked like she was glad to have
some customers and gave us a friendly smile as she handed
us the breakfast menu.
The two truckers were talking and laughing loudly and the
burly one with the thick black hair rolled up his sleeve
and displayed a large tattoo of a parrot, which took up
most of his upper arm.
"Ain't she a beauty? I just had it put on last week."
His bald-headed buddy admired it. Next, he decided to
share his pride and joy with the rest of us, and he came
over to the girls' table and flexed his arm.
"How do you like it, ladies?"
"Not bad," said Emma, as she winked at Tessie.
"I've seen better," said Tessie.
"Oh, yeah? Where?"
"Here!" and with that Tessie stood up and took off her
blouse and revealed her entire tattooed torso.
"Wow!" said the parrot's owner. "Where'd you get those?"
His eyes widened as he could hardly believe what he saw.
"I ain't never seen so many tattoos on one person before."
The rest of us laughed at the expression on his face. The
waitress came over and the cook came out of the kitchen to
view the human art gallery.
Emma spoke up. "Tessie is the tattooed girl in our side
"Here," said Mazie, as she reached into her purse and took
out one of Tessie's souvenir photos that she sold in the
show. "Now you can see the rest of Tessie's tattoos. You
can keep the photo." She handed it to the trucker.
"Gee, thanks. These tattoos are beautiful."
"Can I have a photo, too?" asked the cook.
"Sure, here's one for each of you." Mazie distributed the
photos and Tessie autographed them.
After they all thanked her, the cook spoke up, "Coffee and
donuts are on the house for all. Anything else you pay
We all had breakfast.
It was around noon on Sunday when we pulled into the
fairgrounds. All of the shows were unloading and setting
up. We found our spot on the midway and began unloading
the truck. We were fortunate to have the help of three
local men to assist in putting up the tent.
They were good workers and with the seven of us we made
good time getting up the top and bannerline. By the time
we got the platform up and the lights rigged inside we
were all exhausted and glad that we had a day to rest
before the fair officially opened.
That evening I sat on the bally platform and watched the
other shows, rides and games spring up on all sides.
Doc Williams walked over. "When you get time, take down
the Indestructible Boy banner. We are going to replace it
with Grace's banner when she joins us tomorrow."
"Is Grace the featured freak you have been talking about?"
"She sure is! Our bona fide freak!"
I had heard Doc use the term before but I wasn't quite
sure what it meant. So I asked him.
"Well, kid, there are three kinds of freaks in the
business. The first are the real freaks, the people who
are born different. They may have a deformity or a skin
ailment or a glandular misfunction. They may
be born without limbs and call themselves armless or
legless wonders. They may have a skin condition so severe
they call themselves alligator skin boys or elephant skin
girls. They might have multiple limbs or be dwarfs like
Roger or fat like Wee Willie who quit our show back in
They might be Siamese twins or giants."
"The second kind of freak is self-made. Tessie is one of
them. Most of the half/man half/woman are self-made
freaks. Well have one of those joining our show in a
couple of weeks. He will become our annex attraction."
"The third kind of freaks are out-and-out fakes and are
the worst. They don't usually fool the public these days.
I saw one boy who had a fake tail pasted on his ass and he
called himself Pony Boy.
Another guy had a couple of small animal horns glued to
his head and booked himself as The Devil's Child.
You can't get away with that faked stuff and expect to do
"What about the magic act I do?"
"You are called a working act, just like Bobo's pincushion
and the fire eaters and the snake charmers and any other
novelty act. We need your type of act to fill out the
show, but a real freak is what brings in the marks."
Grace McDaniels and her 17 year old son Bob arrived on
Monday afternoon. She was a real freak all right, and
called herself the Mule-Faced Woman. Her entire face was a
mass of purple colored, bulbous tissue causing it to have
the likeness of a mule's head. She was the ugliest person
I have ever seen. But, she was a gentle, pleasant and
friendly lady and we all liked her immediately.
Her son traveled with her and Bobo and I were glad to have
another kid our age around. Bob drove the car and took
care of his mother, who appeared to be in her late 50s.
(In those days, anyone who was over 40 years old was
ancient to me.) Grace had poor eyesight and Bob led her
from their trailer to the tent and helped her up on the
platform. He was with her most of the time and was a very
The next morning another member joined our sideshow. Rose
Hester, a little old lady with a grandmotherly look, drove
up in her car, which pulled a very small house trailer.
When she stepped out of the car, Doc went out to meet her
and gave her a big hug. It was obvious to all that they
were old friends.
"Rose, you look younger than springtime."
"Doc, you're still full of blarney. Where is Emma?"
Emma came out of her trailer and greeted Rose. Next, Doc
introduced her to us.
"Rose is the best cold reader in the business."
I smiled and shook her hand. I had no idea what he was
talking about. Later Bobo told me a cold reader was like a
fortune teller. I wondered what a fortune teller would do
in a ten-in-one. It did not take me long to find out. Rose
set up her small table and two folding chairs at one end
of the tent. That was all she needed.
Doc hung a small curtain up in front of these so Rose had
a bit of privacy as she gave her cold readings.
(Cold Reading is the ability to meet a person, a complete
stranger, and with absolutely no gimmicks or trickery give
that person a character reading. The reader/performer
appears to know-all about the person's past, present and
future and, to use a trite phrase, "knows all, sees all
and tells all." He can reveal inner hidden secrets the
person has told no one else.)
When it came time for Rose's bit, she would give a brief
spiel and sell tickets for the reading. "As you pass down
the midway you will probably see a gypsy fortune teller,
palm reader or someone selling horoscopes. I want you good
folks to understand I am not a fortune teller, mind reader
"I am a psychic consultant and I give character analysis.
Everyone here has questions about his daily life that he
would like answered, problems he would like solved.
Together, we will do it. I am going to tell you how to
achieve the happiness, fame and fortune each of you desire
and need to succeed in life. Each of you will receive a
private reading and the donation is only .25 cents. You
may take your ticket now and each will have a number on
it. When I call your number I will give you your reading."
Her readings only lasted about 5 minutes each but she sold
so many tickets that the people often saw the rest of the
show twice while they waited to get to see her. If there
was a large crowd in the tent, Rose raised her fee and
even though she got fewer people she made more money.
to know Rose very well and
one day about three weeks after
she had joined our show we were relaxing out back of the
tent and I asked her about how she did it. She was very
open about her techniques and shared them with
Walt, I'll tell you. You have
like people. You have to want to
understand them and you have to
keep studying them. It takes time and years to become a
good reader. Keep
your eyes open. Notice small things about people.
When they come in, shake their hands. Are their hands
rough or smooth? It could be an indication
of the kind of
employment they have. Look at the kind of clothes
and jewelry they
wear. Do they wear a wedding ring? Fraternal or
civic buttons? Are they healthy looking? When they
approach are they nervous or calm?"
When you talk with them, never
ask a direct question. Be a good listener. Remember and
use the information they give you and feed it back to them
later in the reading. Reinforce your correct statements.
Build on a positive point once you have hit upon one. Most
people come to you because they have a problem and it is
usually about business, health, money or sex. Once you
discover which it is you can begin to give your advice."
"Help the person; reassure him; build his ego. Tell him
what he wants to hear. Don't give medical advice or legal
She went on and on revealing her techniques and I soaked
it up like a sponge. I never saw a person leave Rose's
blow-off unhappy. They felt she had given them a new
outlook on life. Many made appointments during off hours
for longer readings and she always baffled them with her
so-called psychic powers. She sincerely tried to analyze
people's problems, guide them and improve their self
image. She was a poor man's psychologist and social
counselor, only her fee was a fraction of what the
so-called experts charged.
I decided I would continue to learn as much as I could
from Rose so that one day I would be able to give cold
Although Rose Hester and Grace McDaniels (the Mule-Faced
Woman) were both senior citizens, they loved working
outdoor showbiz and they became good companions and always
spent their spare time together.
We were setting up on Monday near Charlotte, NC, and
another senior citizen showed up at our top. She was
looking for Grace and I showed her where Grace's trailer
Doc came over. "Walt, was that Grandma Carver?"
"I don't know. I didn't ask her name. Why? Are we adding
another act to our show?"
He picked up the back tent flap and looked out. The lady
talking to Grace. They seemed to
be old friends.
"That's Grandma, all right. She's the free act at the fair
mean she works for nothing?" I asked
"No. She is paid by the Fair
Board. A free act is one that the public
sees for free. They use them to encourage the crowd to
stay on the fairgrounds later at night. They will announce
that Grandma will perform at 10 o'clock, then they
will change it to 10:30pm. They
will keep upping the time and will
eventually put her on about midnight. While the people
wait to see
the act, they will walk around and
spend more money on food, games and rides.
"What does she do?" I asked. I
couldn't imagine what a seventy
year old lady could do to convince
hundreds of people to hang around until midnight
"You see that 80 foot ladder over
He pointed across the
fairgrounds. The ladder was erected straight up in
the air and held in place by
"Well, Grandma Carver climbs to the top of it and does a
high dive into that five foot tank of water at the base of
I couldn't believe what I was hearing!
"And, if conditions are right, they will pour gasoline on
the water and set it on fire!"
That dear, sweet, elderly lady having cookies and tea with
Rose and Grace was a high diver!
Doc introduced our featured attraction, Grace, the
Mule-Faced Woman, who was led to the platform by her son
Bob. Grace made her entrance with a veil over her face.
"And now, ladies and gentlemen you are about to see one of
the strangest creatures you have ever seen and will ever
see. When Grace McDaniels removes her veil you will see
why she is called the Mule-Faced Woman. If you shock
easily or are inclined to feel faint when faced with
something that repulses and horrifies you, then I
suggest that you turn your head
and not look upon the face of this
lady as she removes her veil. If you
must watch and do feel faint or
nauseated, raise your hand and
one of our nurses will come to your aid
with smelling salts to ease
Our nurses were Emma and
Rose who carried bottles of smelling
salts and, on more than one
occasion, they used them.
"And now as Grace removes her
veil, we ask that there be no
A hush fell over the crowd. Some
of the marks did turn their heads
and others gawked in disbelief as
they viewed what must have been
the ugliest face they had ever
"You will notice the color of the
skin on the lady's huge head is
deep purple. Her skin looks like
raw meat, and notice how large
and protruding her chin and jaws
are. Her lips are thick and observe
how she has trouble closing her
mouth over those jagged teeth. Her
eyes are set back into
her head, and because of the
sagging flesh of her forehead and eye lids she has trouble
"Her profile looks like a mule's head and that is why we
call her the Mule-Faced Woman. If you have any questions,
I shall be happy to answer them for you because Grace's
mouth is so deformed, it is difficult for her to talk and
even harder for her to be understood."
There were always a few standard questions: "How old is
she?" "Was she born this way?" "Is she married?" "How does
Doc would answer all questions and then go into the photo
pitch. "And now for those who would like to help Grace
financially, you can purchase a photo of her. Printed on
the back of this souvenir photo you will find a brief
biography of this dear, sweet, courageous lady. The money
she receives from these photos will help her to live
during the winter months when she cannot work in a
traveling show. Each photo is only 10 cents and you may
want to get one for your friends who have missed this
Bob, Emma and Rose passed among the crowd and just about
everyone bought a photo card.
Doc turned to me and signaled for me to take over and make
an opening (announcement) for our annex attraction, Tessie
- The Girl with the Strange Body. I enjoyed doing this,
along with the magic and the human blockhead acts I did in
the show. The spiel I used was the same as the one Doc had
used. It drew the crowds so there was no point in trying
to improve upon it.
As the crowds headed for my end of the tent, Bob took the
photo money and his mother to their trailer parked in back
of the side show tent.
Tessie and I finished the "blow off and joined Mazie and
Bob who were sitting out back of the show tent trying to
get a breath of fresh air before it was time for us to
Rose was inside doing her cold reading spiel and she would
be followed by Bobo with his bed of spikes and his human
pin cushion act. Doc would start the blade box when Bobo
finished. Emma came up to us and made an announcement.
"We just got word from Larry Lorraine that she will be
joining us at the end of the week as our new annex
"That means I will be back on the main stage," said Tessie.
"You will for the spots where we can exhibit Larry
Lorraine. Where they won't let her work, you will be back
in the annex," replied Emma.
"Mom and I worked several dates with Larry Lorraine last
season. What a character, a real odd ball," added Bob.
"What does she do?" I asked.
"She, or it, is a half man/half woman weirdo," answered
"You mean there really is such a thing as a half and half?
I thought hermaphrodites were faked." I didn't know how,
but I knew I would find out from Bob.
"Some are faked, but not Larry Lorraine. When she shows
up, she looks just like a girl. And when she strips, her
body is a girl's from the waist up. She has a beautiful
set of boobs! But from the waist down she has both sets of
sex organs, male and female. The male kinda grows out of
the female," explained Bob.
"Wow! I'd like to see that!" I said. I couldn't contain my
curiosity about such a person.
"Oh, you will see it all right, Walt. She not only shows
it, she uses it whenever possible. A real nympho. Sh'll be
after your body and everyone else's. Likes guys and gals.
Swings both ways!"
I blushed and stammered, "I think I will just observe like
the rest of the marks."
Tessie chimed in, "Well, she'd better not try to mess with
The conversation ended when Doc started his blade box
speech and Mazie entered the tent to do her pretzel gal
routine. Emma went in to collect the expose "ding" money
from the marks. I could hardly wait to meet Larry
After the last show that night, Bob and I wandered over to
the cookhouse to get a bite to eat. Bobo was supposed to
come with us, but he picked up a rich farmer who
propositioned him and he took off with the guy to make a
couple of bucks. Bobo never turned down a chance to
hustle. It was one side of his personality I could never
figure out, but it was his business and I never questioned
him about it.
Larry Lorraine arrived at the end of the week and started
work in the annex at once.
Tessie moved back into the main tent and still kept her
glamorous appearance with the wig and heavy makeup, but
instead of her flashy wardrobe she wore a modest two piece
bathing suit to display her tattooed body. Tessie was no
longer the star of the show but just a regular act,
although it really didn't make much difference to her
because she made the same salary.
Larry Lorraine was a hermaphrodite with a bad case of
nymphomania. This half man/half woman became our biggest
attraction although her performance was not mentioned in
our bally and there was no banner depicting this strange
Bob had been correct. Never had I seen anyone who
constantly talked about sex like Larry Lorraine. She was
far more emphatic than Muscles had ever been, and he was
There was only one week where Doc was unable to exhibit
her because of the local "blue noses." All the other dates
in the small Southern fairs were "wide open" because the
show's patch had paid off all the local authorities and
LL, as we called her, was able to perform unrestricted.
Only adults were admitted to the blow off attraction and
Doc made the openings.
"Now folks, behind this wall on the other side of this
tent you are going to witness the most bizarre attraction
you have ever seen. First, let me introduce you all to a
very fascinating and beautiful personality."
LL came out from behind the canvas and stood in front of
the crowd. She was dressed in a beautiful red sequined
dress and smiled at everybody.
"What you see before you is a beautiful gal who is our
star attraction, but she is so unusual we dare not
advertise her act on the outside of the tent."
LL left and went behind the canvas to prepare for her act.
"Now because we do not advertise this attraction on the
it is not included in your general admission ticket. There
is an extra charge for what you are about to see and we
make no apology for this policy.
"When you enter this tent, you are going to view the
entire body of Miss Larry Lorraine and you will discover
that she is not a beautiful gal but is, in fact, a
hermaphrodite. A half man/half woman. That's what I said -
a half and half. You will see her body in its entirety.
This attraction is as bare as my right hand."
Doc held up his hand and stared at it, turned it around
slowly as he showed the front and back of it, like he was
showing off a rare piece of art. All eyes followed his
hand. "You must be 16 years old, or older to enter. And
since we do not wish to embarrass any of you sensitive
folks, we have erected a partition down the center of the
tent so that the men and women will be separated as they
enter. The ladies will go to the right and the men to the
left. When you enter I want you to go right up to the edge
of the stage. Get as close as you can so that you can see
every detail of this strange body. The fee for this
attraction is 25 cents, and now you may enter. Those of
you who are under 16 years of age please go to the other
end of our main tent where you will be entertained by our
magician on stage number one."
LL began to lecture. "Folks, please step down front, as
close as you can so that those in the rear can move up.
Thank you. I am known as a half man/half woman or a
hermaphrodite because my body contains the sex organs of
both male and female. I have been featured in medical
journals throughout the world and have had my photograph
in Life, Pic and Look magazines. I have been
written up in Ripley's Believe It Or Not! column
and was featured in the film, SHE-FREAK." LL droned on
and on with the sing-song memorized speech.
"I was born 25 years ago in Scranton, PA. of normal
parents although I never really knew them. My father and
mother were not married and he ran off before I was born.
My dear mother struggled to raise me, but she died of
consumption when I was four years old.
"I was placed in a Catholic orphanage and raised by the
holy sisters. Because I have a penis, I appeared as a boy
and was raised as one for ten years. When I reached
puberty, my breasts developed and the sisters examined me
closely and were amazed to discover that I also had a
vagina. I have a set of testicles which are very small and
LL would pause here for shock effect. People were not used
to hearing talk like this in public, and LL got a real
turn-on watching the expressions on the faces of the
marks. (Today such talk is mild compared to what is
discussed by Dr. Ruth, Geraldo and on other T.V. shows.)
"And now I will show you my body."
She seductively removed the top part of her costume and
bared her breasts. The men all leaned closer to the stage.
The women were too embarrassed to look around and
continued to stare at LL.
Next she removed the rest of the costume and exhibited the
lower part of her body. Both male and female sex organs
were slowly and brazenly displayed. Her eyes were on the
shocked faces in the crowd.
"For those of you who want more details on my life, I have
prepared a booklet with two photos of me completely nude
and also a brief biography. My aides will pass among you
and the cost is only 10 cents."
Bobo took the side with the men and Mazie sold the booklet
to the girls.
"Now if any of you would like to have a personal photo
taken with me, please stay and I will tell you how."
The women left the tent first as LL wanted to get rid of
them. LL moved to the edge of the stage close enough for
the men to reach out and touch her (and a few of them
did). She encouraged questions and bantered with them,
which frequently bordered on the obscene. This led to
word-of-mouth advertising and business grew as the week
progressed. Some guys came back four or five times to see
I remember one fair that we played in the south near an
Army base and on payday there must have been a thousand
soldiers on the fair grounds.
LL announced that she would pose for personal photographs
for those who wanted to bring their cameras. (This was
before the advent of the Polaroid camera.) The soldiers
brought their own cameras and a "professional"
photographer took photos of them with LL posing in any
manner they desired. The fee was five photo poses for
$3.00. This was a great deal of money in those days and
there must have been at least 100
soldiers who came back during the daytime when the fair
was not open to the general public to have their photos
Only one person was permitted in the tent at a time. The
photographers were Bobo and me. It only took us about
three minutes to snap the photos and since we used the
soldier's camera and film, it was clear profit for LL. I
never saw so many dollar bills change hands so quickly. I
often wondered where they got their rolls of film
developed because those were not ordinary poses. I
pictured hundreds of photos being circulated around the
Army base. Of course, Bobo and I also had a series of
photos taken with our featured attraction, Larry Lorraine!
I awoke on Thursday morning, climbed out of my sleeping
bag, grabbed my soap and towel and headed over to Tessie's
trailer for my daily wash-up routine. I also decided to
take along my razor to remove a week's supply of "peach
fuzz" that was growing on my face and chin. As I entered
the trailer, I could see that Tessie and Mazie were upset.
"What's the matter?" I asked Tessie.
"We've been robbed!"
To be continued!
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
Back to On the Road with Walt Hudson
Back to Main