Dwarfs are Not Uncommon


Dwarfs are not uncommon. The "Little People of America", has a large membership of dwarfs and midgets who are involved in every kind of occupation. The number in various forms of show business is a minute percentage. The little people who choose our form of show business are usually good performers. I know several who owned their own shows. Dwarfs "Buttons and Bows" Grantham owned a big trained primate show presenting chimpanzees, some of which were larger than themselves. Dwarf brothers Gil and Leonard Tracy were both married to dwarf women, and each owned an animal show. When Gil passed away, his wife Noma came with us for a season. When her car and house trailer were demolished on a slick road in Pennsylvania, Noma decided to retire rather than invest in replacement equipment.
Cliff and Mamie King are dwarfs who had quit the business for a time after the show operator they had been with gave up his show.
Finding that their earnings were better in show business so they traveled with circuses before coming with us. Mamie is from South Carolina and is a real southern charmer. Cliff is from Minnesota, took a genuine interest and pride in the sideshow business. He is extremely knowledgeable about every aspect of our industry. Sober and reliable, they are people one is proud to associate with.
As costs of traveling were rising rapidly, Cliff made an ultimatum that when gasoline reached fifty cents a gallon he would quit the road. That price scale was reached while our show was playing the Indiana state Fair. True to his word, they finished the fair and went home to Minnesota where they have remained as gasoline prices continue to rise.
The next fair was Knoxville, Tennessee, where Chuck Rose, a handsome little man was hired to finish the season.
Ruby Sadler was brought to the U.S. from Jamaica by Harold Overturf. When we were short an act at a big fair, her current manager, Jack Constantine, was kind enough to let her help us out. She is planning to return to Jamaica and build her dream house.
Another diminutive woman was Little Margie, from a Long Island Italian family, managed by Frances Schmidt. In days of vaudeville, she was starred with Singer's midgets. At the Palace Theatre in New York, they shared the bill with comedienne, Sophie Tucker, who's act they followed.
While getting in position for their act, Sophie performed in front of the curtain.
When a stage hand prematurely opened the curtain, a startled Sophie declared. My God Iím up to my ass in midgets!"
Indeed she was.
Billy Taylor, a dwarf tattoo artist never worked for or with me but I had the pleasure of working with his wife Bobbie "The Bull Dog Girl". A little Jewish lady from New York, her family was in the garment business and she was a real fashion plate. Her descriptive title was the result of a misshaped face and rather bent arms. Billy had to quit when his eyesight failed. Bobbie outlived him in retirement at their home in Gibsonton, Florida which had been custom built with all cupboards, tables and chairs scaled down to fit their size. At a dinner party at the Showmen's Club, a man approached her, "Bobbie The Bull Dog Girl! I haven't seen you in years." She replied, "You still haven't seen her. I retired that act twenty years ago". Billy was an accomplished magician and ventriloquist. I cherish the ventriloquist dummy he gave me.


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