Never Spank the Baby In the Face -

Because The Lord Provided a Much Better Place


"Now, if I can have the lights lowered, and the spotlight, by special request I'll try to sing that song 'Never Spank The Baby In the Face, Because The Lord Provided a Much Better Place.'

Then I would sing a song or two, like I Left My Heart in San Francisco, All Of Me, I Don't Know Why, When Did You Leave Heaven or Paper Doll.

Working clubs was like building a tip in front of a bally on a sideshow. I had to stall and hold the customers as long as I could before the strippers worked, because after they got through working, most of the customers would leave.

That winter in Charleston, while working clubs, we bought a truck with a twenty foot, closed body and framed a panel front girl show on it. We built a fold down stage on one side, the bally on the other side, with the front panel folding in against the side of the truck. We had a ticket box and a seven by twenty foot sign on top, saying Reno in big letters.

We worked the Reno Show for the next eighteen years. May was showing her age by then. The newcomers in the girl show business started allowing audience participation and May said that if she had to compete with two dollar whorehouses, she would quit the girl show business and she did.

Now, because I had the reputation of being a show artist and sign painter, Johnny Vivona, one of the brothers who own the Amusements of America, one of the largest carnivals in the country offered May and me a steady job painting their trucks and rides. With the salary that he offered, we couldn't refuse.

For the next few years, we cut out the big A's with an eagle coming out of the center of the A, and managed the northern quarters up in New Jersey for one year.

I remember we had to go to a town in Pennsylvania to letter one of the light plants. It was a thirty foot van bodied trailer with two electric generators in it. When we arrived in the town, it was around noon, so we stopped at a restaurant for lunch. The tables were full but there were several seats unoccupied at the counter, so we sat down on the stools, picked up the menus and gave the girl our order.

May spoke, "Now I remember this place. We played this spot years ago with the Reno show and had one hell of a week. This is where the chief of the fire department bought us all the roasting ears and we ate corn on the cob all week."  


I remembered then.............


To be Continued


Posted here courtesy of Midway Publications - Copyright 1999 William T. Usher All rights reserved


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