Memorial to Honor the Great Jim Zajicek.


November 22, 2014 , Hugo, Oklahoma


Showman's Rest in the Mt. Olive Cemetery

Thank you to everyone who was able to be with me in Hugo, OK to celebrate Jim's life. I couldn't have done it without you!  






Click on Elephants



This was the Memorial Card




Jim Zajicek


Master Showman Jim Zajicek and I, a few years ago, were discussing the large amount of people we knew through the internet who were fans of the Circus and Sideshow...

Jim then said something very profound which made me rethink my life and which seemed to validate my choices...

" We actually lead the life that most people only dream of "...

Laszlo Kolozsy


I cannot put into words how much I will miss him...


Rick West


Jim Zajicek passed these mortal coils July 3, 2014.  Jim is a Great Person, Fabulous Showman and my Friend.  I know he will be standing at the Golden Gates, bringing them in, turning the tip and waiting to greet us all, so remember him, pray for his family & loved ones and follow the arrows  it's all down hill to the next spot. 


Jim I will see you down the road.


John Robinson

Sideshow World


The last decade Jim has been a huge part of my life spending many years together traveling. Jim taught me more about life than anyone else he was my mentor my role model and was like a second father to me. His passing is a great loss and it wasn't to long ago. our other partner in crime on the BCS passed away Mark. I feel blessed to have worked on the show for so many years and spend so much time with him. A lot of people new and loved him but many never will have the chance to know him as I did. I remember one season my unicycle got stolen and the next spot we played Jim went and got me another one because he loved sending me to get coffee on unit at the fair haha. He had sawdust in his veins he lived his life as many people. could only wish they had .I could tell weeks of stories about Jim and anyone who wants to hear some can give me a call. Honor Jim with your morning cup of. coffee the way he liked it 3/4 coffee 1/4 chocolate milk its delicious. Forever in my thoughts.


Josh Blazek aka Flame-O.


Yesterday I lost a good friend...


Mere words can not express how sad I was when I got the news ...Jim was perhaps my best friend in show business....

We first met in the early 80's in the backyard of Frazen' Bros . Circus...I was walking around with Wayne , the owner, and Jim came over and introduced himself....Wayne laughed like HE!!..." the kid doesn't know your sons do the same acts he does"....

Couple of years later Jim called in response to one of my ads in CIRCUS REPORT...and we still were unable to use him....

I missed seeing Jim on Sterling and Reid Bros. Circus by a few days...My wife and I were there being generally useful and Jim came in with the new elephants.....

Didn't see each other until a small fair here in Florida...about 10 years ago....THIS was the beginning of a friendship that was meant to be....We were different in some ways BUT in many ways we were the same person... Not just a love of the CIRCUS but a lover of TENT SHOWS.. To quote Jim "There's something about a tent that SCREAMS circus"

Last March, Jim stopped by our home and had lunch. We talked about many things and he told me he had been to a doctor and he was scared... Anyone who knows Jim knows "I'm scared" is NOT words you normally would hear from him... He was afraid his cancer was back...I told him about my battle with Bladder Cancer...and how I had BEAT it...and was 3 years 'cancer free'... My advice was simple...NEVER GIVE UP, but No matter how hard he fought.. no matter how positive he was...the cancer stole his life.  July 3.

To say I will miss him is an understatement of major proportion...

Cancer is a nasty, evil monster that steals the very life of many people...It stole the life of my friend Jim Zajicek and I can't say it loud enough...IF YOU have a pain that won't go away... have it checked out....The only way you can win is to start early.....





Jim Hand


I met Jim at the Magic Cafe and then worked for him for a short bit. When we first personally met, we hit it off immediately. We are close to the same age. I had never worked a big sideshow before except my 10x10 grindshow at fairs and flea markets. He would ask me several times a day, "You ok? Ya having fun?" We had some great conversations about his life in the circus, but he seemed to be more interested in my life. I have kids and grand kids and a pretty much normal life. He told me he sometimes wished he too had kids and just a normal life off the road. When it was over, he gave me a bunch of memorabilia from The Big Circus Sideshow and we kept in touch until the last few months. A real class act. 


Tim Rappel




I am so incredibly saddened to learn of the passing of my friend, showman Jim Zajicek, earlier this morning. He was such a sweet, giving, enthusiastic, energetic, and humble soul, who graciously hosted my own family and friends at his sideshow, earlier this year, at the Florida State Fair.


I am so glad that I got to see him one last time, over this past weekend, along with Kevin Gerrone, and finally meet his lovely Lori. He was truly one of the greats, who not only kept the sideshow alive, but also true to its roots.


It was a real honor knowing him. My only real regret is not having been able to spend more time with him when he was healthy and happy. You fought the good fight Jim, but sadly this opponent was simply too powerful for you to take down alone. May you finally find comfort, and be free from the pain that your Earthly shackles held.


Rest in peace my friend...


Mark Frierson


Hey Jim, the Carousel hasn't stopped spinning.


Jim earned a lot of respect because he would have someone in the ticket booth when the fair opened. The other show and ride owners notice things like this. Many people don't open till the bulk of people walk in the gate. But a seasoned show owner grabs all the cash that is walking by. The extra 2-5-20 $. Adds up over the course of a year or 20 years. You are on the lot anyway, GTFM.

You add up all the little things like this and many show owners were proud to be on the same lot with him.


Hernan Cortez



Jim was the best. A great guy that set the high water mark for what a class show should be. Losing him is beyond sad. He will be missed. May your lots be grassy and the tips large and easy to turn. RIP Jim.


Todd Robbins


It Truly Sucks! My True Friend and Fellow Showman Jimmy Z is gone to the big sideshow in the sky! He was my biggest fan! He and I were great friends and talked a lot on the phone! He was a True Sincere Man and Loyal Friend! Will Miss You Jimmy Z! Will see you again one day! Rest In Peace!


Mystic Marlow


I don't know what to I'll just be honest. When I got "here" I was still pretty green...still am really. And Jim was tough. He poked at me, made me feel pretty stupid a couple times.....but I learned. I stayed. After a while he warmed up. Gave me some good advice. Even called me 'kid' once in a while. LOL!

I knew coming into this life there were going to be folks who would make me prove myself.

I wasn't wrong......but Jim Zajicek was great about it, and he never, NEVER
made me feel unwelcome.

Many here have become my friends since then.
I've learned a LOT.

So thank you Jim. For the testing, and the advice....and for being a bit of a mentor to a woman you never met.

I'm heartbroken about that part.

As Adam said...."He will be missed. The midway lights will not be as bright without him."


Gypsy Lavery


Holding onto thoughts of happier, blue sky days.

Your route is laid, no blanks ahead.

See Ya Down the Road,


Wednesday Friday


Jim Zajicek your death has showed me and many others, how many life's you have touched. You should be proud of your legacy as a Master Showman and Gentleman.

You succeeded in the Mudshow circuses learning several acts, driving, being generally useful, canvas, concessions, an asset to any show you where on.

Then you had a highly successful career as an elephant man, from Barbara on Culpepper, to the Hawthorn group on many of America's top Circuses, making friends all the way! The only thing topping you elephant career, is you success as as the Curator, framing and operating the Big Circus Sideshow. You set the standard for Sideshows and made many friends in the sideshow and carnival industry. And most if all you read and remembered the chapter "Getting along" from the book Midway showman.


Hope I can cut-up jackpots with you on the big lot. 

RIP Jimmie Z!


Gilligan TMonkey


Miss you buddy 


Kevin T Gerrone


I am in disbelief to learn of the passing of one of the greatest showman out there, Jim Zajicek. Jim helped me immensely when I started my sideshow. I don't think I could have booked my first season without him. I am forever grateful for his support throughout the years. He was a class act that represented the best of what this business is. I know he is probably already playing those "blanks" he was so famous for on the big midway in the sky. You will forever be missed but never forgotten.


Logan Jacot


Jim- Glad I had the chance to work with you in Montana and Utah.


You'll be missed by many. In fact, you already are! Take it easy at the Big Sideshow in the Sky and I'll see you again up there!




Jim, you lived a life that most people dream of. You told me you have no regrets. You did it your way and it was a good way. Love and Respect to you Jim...Peace and Harmony to your soul. I will never forget you. Thank you for all you did.


Todd Ray


Goodbye Jim - what a devastating turn of events, what an irreparable loss for the midway. You did indeed live the life most of us only dream of, and thank you for letting me tag along.


I will miss you, my friend.


My heart goes out to Lori, all the family and friends.


Cris Siquerira



Jim is one of my hero's and biggest inspirations. We all loved and admired him more than words.


The above photo is one of my favorite of the Congregation of Sinners Incorporated this last November. We're all lined up and ready to rock the Texas Motor Speedway opening for NASCAR with Jim Zajicek Big Circus Sideshow, Hellzapoppin Circus Sideshow, Wall of Death / Ives Brothers Cycle, Rick West, Erik "The Lizardman" Sprague, Brittany Walsh, Short E. Dangerously, Chelsea PonySlayer Nopants, Fan Page Extreme Midget Wrestling Federation, Cannonlady Jennifer Schneider, Magic Brian, Eric Ross, Gregory McElroy, Matt Gone, Xochitl Sosa, Trixtah and so many more.


We made history this day as the world's largest circus sideshow attraction.


Jim was the first person to ever erect a sideshow banner-line without using tent stakes. RIP

Bryce Gravy


In a few short years, we made so many memories and still had plans for more. I never said thank you because I thought there would be more. From Gibtown to Old Town, the Baggage Battles TV show to the FL State Fair and a circus or two in between.. always thought there would be more.


When I told you I stole my show name from yours, unlike most, you were flattered not angered and we became fast friends.


I will miss you more than you knew...


Frank Lynch

Prof. P.T. Marvel's Super Circus Sideshow


When you are in a traveling business it's amazing the the way people you seldom see touch your life in such a profound way. Jim was such a person.


The first time I met him in person, I told him we were both members of an online group and his response "are you here to meet me or fight me"


You had to love Jim for being Jim.  After that, about once a year, for the past several years, when our paths were close, we would meet and hang out for three or four hours talking about anything and everything under the sun. One thing we both agreed on, was to experience life to fullest and I believe Jim did just that. Those once a year meetings are going to be missed greatly and will leave a huge gap in my route. I miss ya already brother.

Daniel Hawthorne



All of us here at the World of Wonders mourn the loss of a true showman who was always trying to make the business better for everyone. He was an inspiration to many of us, and we hope to follow in the trail that he has blazed. Our prayers be with you, Rest in Piece.


Thomas Breen


True Showmen are born and not made. That was Jim. A true showman through and through. Born to try to make our business a little better. We mourn his passing, and want to extend our condolences to Lori. Thoughts and Prayers be with you. God Bless.

Ward Hall


The world is a little smaller now upon the loss of a dear friend and fellow showman Jim Z. There are very few of us left, and now there are less. He was always a true showman and as always willing to lend a helping hand to others of the same kind.

God Bless. Our prayers are with you, and may you rest in piece in the big show in the sky.

---Chris Christ




I am very sad at the passing of Jim. All I can say is that "May All Your Lots Be Green," my friend.


Jeffery Reid aka The Big Kahuna


Just heard the news about our friend, showman Jim Zajicek, who was The Big Circus Sideshow, has passed away after his long battle with cancer.


He was a friend of FreaksShow Deluxe and so many others.


He will be greatly missed.


Rest in Peace, Jim.

Jim was a great guy and I'll miss him....


Don Driver


Jim was a man I admired and respected. They don't make them like that anymore. He was a teacher, entertainer, and a hell of a story teller. He had a wicked sense of humor that I appreciated very much. I wish there had been more days like the ones we shared. See you down the road.

Ted Campbell
Rotten Bros.


I can't express how saddened I am by Jim's passing. I was blessed to travel with him for a few months back in 2009.. He pushed me to reach my full potential and encouraged all of the endeavors I was interested. I can't begin to calculate the influence he had on my life and the dreams he inspired me to reach for and fulfill. He was a mentor and very dear friend whose larger than life presence will be missed more than I can imagine at this moment.


My thoughts go out to Lori, his family, and the many people whose life he touched.


You will be missed my friend.

Andy Crossley



Jim Z, GMO's, Pickles & Me!


Jim and I met sometime in the fuzzy years of grade school. Jim was a year older than me but lived in the "hood", that is the south east side of Wausau. When we were kids, we always knew where to meet by looking for a pile of bikes. Sometimes it was baseball in Kirtchner's field, sometimes it was football in the lot in front of the looney bin, sometimes (often) it was cards in the attic of my garage. Jim Zajicek was always around. My fondest memories were of the roving poker game. Every now and again Dan Zajicek would take a seat and it was game on! Anyways about this picture. Jim and I re united as friends through the magic of Facebook after many years traveling different paths. We immediately picked up where we had left off.


Laughing about the old days, the hood, memorial park, Richard Reet, all the Wausau characters, playing cards with Shrades, Leepak, and Denfeld. we talked though Facebook and on the phone about the Packers and politics. We agreed and argued... Jim had a thing against Monsanto and genetically modified foods. We had not missed a beat. One day I noticed a picture of Jim in a hospital gown with a tag showing he was in Appleton...I called him immediately and we arranged to go to lunch at a place near his brother's house. It was a Chicago style hot dog stand. When we got there, Jim was not sure what to order, probably because he was a little afraid, and probably because of the GMO and processed food aversion... So I ordered a Chicago style dog, hot with fries...Jim got that crooked smile on his face and without a flich says" yeah, that does sound pretty good". We sat to eat and I nearly passed that entire dog through my nose laughing so hard at his circus and traveling stories. We agreed the dogs were ok, because, hell you only live once. after I took, this picture, he said "better not post that, people might get the wrong idea" Jim certainly lived large.


Thanks for the memories buddy.




Martin Trucco


I am saddened to here about the loss of one of the Greatest Showmen in our industry. Jim Zajicek was the owner of one of the finest outdoor Sideshows in this part of history, a colorful character and a man that was truly 'With It and For It'.


My condolences to his family.


Scott McClelland



Thank you Jim Zajicek for all your support when we began the 999 eyes freak show. The world has lost a great showman and keeper of a great tradition.


Thanks for always making us feel welcome and for letting us shoot silly films with your show as the set.


Your life changed many. I saw many children and adults in your show just having a break from mundane reality. Good work, Sir. And Lori thanks for the fabulous photo documentation.


Nineninenine Eye Freakshow


I only knew Jim for a year. And never got a chance to meet him in person. We got off to a rough start, but Jim Rose plaid mediator, and I came to admire and respect Jim. I will remember him as the man that made a shark worth $10,000.

Riley Schillaci



From the entire cast and crew of the Carson & Barnes Circus we would like to send our condolences to his family... RIP Jim... A true showman in every aspect...


Carson & Barnes Circus


Even before I ever worked for a carnival, before I had met Jim, I would often go when Crabtree played Ben-White in Austin, the sideshow was always the highlight of my night, often times I would only go to the carnival if Jim's show was there. Working for him later I learned that Jim Zajicek was the greatest showman in the world. He always treated his people well and went above and beyond for me, including teaching me so many things. His animals were always loved and looked after and he always went out of his way to see that they were comfortable. And he always did the same for his employees. Working for him was the best job I've ever had. And watching him work the ticket box was a hell of an education. He was a wire walker, juggler, pitchman, talker, fire eater, magician and did Rola Bola, but the two things he seemed to love the most was his elephants and Lori. Jim was intelligent, clever and kind, he really was the greatest showman in the world!


Rest in peace Curator.


Namo Amituofo

Richard LeBoeuf


I stopped by to see the show and to say hello at Tampa this past year.  Jim was off the lot but arrived back just as I was leaving. 


He patted a metal chair at the front door and said "here sit and talk."  ...  And we did ... And it was too short ... As is life ...  A day I will always remember.


Jack M. Beebe


Jim gave me one of my proudest moments when he asked me to do a Zibit for his outstanding show. He was one of the great Showmen who really understood the game and giving the public what they paid for. I miss our talks on the phone and in PMs on FB but I can't imagine what you are going through this week. Chin up...a lot of us don't know the right words if there are any.


Doug Higley


Though We never personally met at least to my knowledge. (Ive met so many people on the road its hard to keep track) I Came to find out threw many online conversations that we Knew many of the same folks and I was impressed with his tell it like it is View of the business. The first thing Jim ever said to me was I HATE CLOWNS! and Myself being an X circus clown I had to find out who this guy was. We started a very funny back n fourth sarcastic banter about clowns and the art of clowning that turned into an online friendship. afterwards I created this funny picture and posted it to his wall. Jim was amazed and loved the photo and used it as his profile picture for a few days. He said it was taken before his ears got

Ill miss cutting those jackpots my friend.

I See you when I get there Just make sure those arrows are up.


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