Ok Boys & Girls,

One More about Tents or the Runaway Elephant


Dot Kelly shares a story with Pete Kolozsy


Last season Athena and I were passing thru Peru, Indiana on our way to a fair.


Athena insisted that we stop and visit with Dot & Eddie Kelly of circus elephant (Kelly Bros. Circus/Clyde Beatty Circus) fame.


After a few hours of conversation, Dot (who is 97) started to tell us the story of the time (circa 1960's) one of her female elephants ran away during a show at a fair.


It seems the poor thing panicked and just took off down the midway with Dot (Dorothy) hot on her heels.


"She ran thru the Bingo tent and right by the Jenny.


She ran down the joint line-up and the marks were bailing over the counters into the joints.


She stole some floss out of the candy wagon and the guy nearly had a stroke.


She got to the back end of the midway and heard the music from the girl show and she made a bee-line for that tent and tore right thru the sidewall and ran down the length of it right up to the stage!


That's where I caught up to her and when I looked at the audience and then up at the half naked strippers I couldn't help but laugh!


Because, it was at that moment that it dawned on me, that the elephant and I were the only girls in that girl show!"


At this point we all became incapacitated with laughter and poor Dorothy never did finish her story but I assume the elephant switched from rogue to rouge.

Image from

Tarry, Ellen and Oliver W. Harrington illus. book - The Runaway Elephant - New York, Viking, 1950



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