It's been a busy three months,
but a very busy seven days around winter quarters. We had to
redo and repaint all our signs and banners because of the
harsh weather back east they received in the 2010 season on
Reithoffer. This year, with our signs, we put a sixty coat
resin. It's like Shellac, but clear. We painted the backs
with a good enamel.
We had to recreate and fix a couple of 40 year old ticket
boxes I got from Circus Vargas. These were built and owned
by Ward Hall. We added diamond plate to the ticket box
bottom for the first time. I personally repainted my entire
ticket box because my father, my wife, my logo and Happy the
Clown are featured on it. We had to rebuild the bottom of
the entire ticket box and add aluminum to protect it.
Since we were up 6 months at our local swapmeet with two of
our large shows, I had to take all our sidewall into the
canvas company for repairs. Krystine spent the day at the
machine fixing our flags. We will get a half season out of
her repairs because that's about when we expect to both have
the money and see a Showman's Supply Truck.
We had to wash all the tents. That was a real job because
one of them was 4000 square feet. We also had a 15 foot rip
in the same tent... It's amazing what they could do with a
heat gun and their giant machines to sew through webbing and
the heavy vinyl.
We fixed cabinets and circus wagons and repainted them.
We've had to use rivets and aluminum on a door to one of our
horse trailers since it was jacknifed on our winter run.
We had to take 30+ animals to our large animal vet for their
anual booster shots, Coggins for the horses, bucolysis and
TB for the cows and TB for the monkey. No shots for Ms.
Krystine the Leopardess except TJV-- tequila, jagermeister
Our neighbor, Mr. Jones, and that's his really last really
real name, fixed my running lights, tail and clearance
lights on my trailer. Really fixed them. We don't need to
run a hotwire to make it work. Hopefully we will not get
stopped as easily by DOT or Highway Patrol. I am more
thrilled about this than the repainting of my banners signs
and ticket boxes and all the bearings repacked and regreased
on our trailers.
We will be leaving early Monday morning once we get the TB
results from our vet. It's been in the low 90s the last few
weeks here in South Texas, but tomorrow there's a cold front
coming in and the weather should be in the middle 70s with
our first chance of rain in six months (ice in February for
one day excluded). We will be stopping in Corpos Christi to
visit my good friend and partner in crime, JZ and the Big
Circus Sideshow. We're picking up an older gas stake pounder
since JZ has built an upgraded hydraulic stake pounder. At
50 plus, this is a welcome relief of pounding stakes for me
and my righthand man.
Our first stop will be West Texas, a 650 mile jump, for a 3
day cinco de mayo festival. We're praying we're going to
have good weather because this is what's supposed to finance
our drive to Coney Island. With gas prices up to and more
than $4.20 a gallon (no Marlow, not that 420), we're going
to need a lot of expense money. We always have the credit
card, which we thankfully paid off last season. However, my
wife is really reluctant to use it. If she had her way, we
would be in winter quarters all suummer. She's very scared
of the gas prices and business this year with the people
falling into the fairs because of the high gas prices this
From West Texas, we drive to Brooklyn and open with the
Reithoffer Shows and open at the Kings County Fair. This
same week we're supposed to open three shows in Coney
Island. One next to the new Zamperla Scream Zone entrance.
Another show on Surf Ave near the entrance to the new
Zamperla park and another on 12th St. and the Bowery. This
is going to be really interesting how we're going to set up
a 4000 square foot show on Reithoffer with a 150' rag front
and have enough equipment and flash for another three shows.
I'll possibly pick the best of the locs and go for just two
locations in Coney Island. If you don't have family on the
ticket boxes, it's a lot of work for very little.
I just got the okay for our new amusement park to open the
first week of October near our home in South Texas. We'll
have a complete family circus, two 100' bannerline midway
rag front shows, eight kiddie rides, petting zoo, cotton
candy trailer, pony ride and three games of chance. Also a
Hollingsworth dark ride as the one adult ride that I just
purchased for our halloween themed event. We also will have
two other sideshows at our normal major swap meet going at
the same time. We have a freeway location with a good
location, good visibility by a billion dollar outlet mall in
the middle of all the action. We also have use of a house on
the property for the office and advance work, the most
important part, and six garages for stock for food and
novelty concessions. All of this is gated with 10' high barb
wire and 20' roll fences. Also parking for 2000 cars. Our
Amusement Park will be open for a seven month run. In one
location. From October to May. This is going to be an
exciting season that will seem never to end.
May all your days be circus freak show days,