How about that OABA
president; Bob Johnson, and his remarks about sideshows in the
Tim Deremers Gorilla Girl
I believe his quote
was; They have "Gone by the Wayside". I guess that
indicates how out of touch the Outdoor Amusement Business
Association really is, and why they have lost so many members.
When I joined the organization in 1976, the annual publication
(OABA REVUE) listed 132 members who were associated with the
sideshow or backend business. There were 188 carnival companies
listed in the membership roster as well. Today on their website
they list 46 carnivals and no sideshows as members.
CARNIVAL magazine had a great article on Jim Zajicek's Big
Circus Sideshow and how well it was being received both by the
public and carnival operators.
The sideshows are
popular attractions on midways once again, was the message it
expressed. I had high hopes that this information would help
usher in a better acceptance of backend shows among those who
book this unique form of entertainment. We know the
public wants to see what we have, but with the mind set of
people like Bob Johnson, who wheels a lot of influence in the
industry, we have quite a way to go.
Our only pathway to
success as I see it, is to continue to present first class, well
flashed, clean and bright backend attractions which bring no
heat and are an asset to anymidway. When carnival operators find
that their patrons enjoy sideshows, that fair boards are happy
to have shows, and they can make money by booking us, we will
once again become a staple on the midway.
That day is coming!
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