I am trying
to locate anyone who may have known my father. He was in
the circus and sideshow industry for nearly 40 years
before he died in 1997.
I know he
worked many jobs with carnies and circus which included
but probably not limited to magician, talker canvas man,
animal handler, At shows, etc. His real name was John
Howard Stephen Bone. He went by Howard Bone. He may have
used a stage show name of Kard-O at one time.
curious if you know him or may be able to direct me in
the correct way to locate which circus's or carnivals he
was with. He was originally from Evansville, IN and I
assume went into the business shortly after his
discharge from the Navy in 1944.
I know he
met my mother Betty Acton who was also working as a
Bally girl, and they had a "circus wedding", before they
were legally wed in 1960. Betty it turned out grew tired
of the business and went home to her parents who were
residing in FL at the time. Betty and Howard were
officially divorced in 1970. However in stating that I
should mention.. I was born in Daytona Beach, Florida in
July 1961 and my younger brother in Dothan, AL in Nov.
1963. I assume our parents were with some circus or
carnival at that time, but by 1965 my brother and I were
placed as wards of the court into the home of Howard's
sister who resided in Indiana.
returned home to her parents and gave birth to our
younger sister Susan in Eustis, FL Mar 1966. At the time
we came to stay with our Aunt. She had to drive to St
Louis to pick Donald and I up and that was around Sept
1965 I believe.
I have very
little information about his career. I do know that when
he would come to visit us he always put on magic shows.
He also was a master of Itto Ryu Jutsu, a form of
If you knew
him or if you know anyone who may have I would love to
get in contact with you. I would also like to find out
what circus's or carnivals he traveled with.
Coincidentally... He wrote a book titled "Side Show: My
Life with Geeks, Freaks, and Vagabonds in the Carny
Trade". He also wrote another book titled "Hurry, Hurry,
Hurry" under the pen name Col. Don E. Kerr which was a
book about side show magic.
He had a
friend in the trade named Mike Anderson if that helps
any. He was best known for his magic act "The Man Who
Can't Be Hung" which was inducted into the American
Museum of Magic. He was also a good friend of Teller of
Penn & Teller in his later years in life. I really want
to find more information about his circus life as I did
not grow up with him.