THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO MY TWIN BROTHER, BILL DYKES (1943-1995). WE WERE NOT ONLY BROTHERS BUT PARTNERS IN BUSINESS AND BEST FRIENDS!AND TO ALL THE "BUTCHERS" THAT HAVE PASSED ON TO THE BIG LOT IN THE SKY!
Well this morning is a mile stone, 103 Posts so far! I hope you are enjoying My Blog. Please don't be afraid to leave a comment or two. I love hearing from my viewers. And if you have any suggestions please let me know! I like mixing in current news, both past and present. Thanks again for stopping in! Dick
Ring Bros was a small show owned by quite a character, Franco Richards, a reall old time showman. We happened to be with Franco on the Hoxie Show back in 1963. He could really tell some tall tales! The year before the Hoxie Show he took a small circus out west and Hoxie had to rescue Him as he was straned out in Arizona, I beleive. He did own a terriffic Elephant act, which Hoxie wound up with. That's a story in it self. The Elephant Trainer, Kenny Ikert came with the elephants. Kenny also happened to be a CPA.
I hope you enjoy these little tastes of the past.
One more tale I beleiv this was the year that Franco broke in the New Jersey Shore towns. I remember He played Ocean City, Md, when I was a Kid. The Show was billed Ring Bros. but when it left It was Richard's Bros Circus! This was in 1955.
This one was taken at the Harrington Fair Evening Parade. Bob's Antique Fire Wagon being pulled by one of his Pony Hitches. I might Add that these ponies are a personal breed that Bob perfected at his Farm himself! Accompanied by Little Richard Thomas food concessionaire and my Boss. This was probably in 2003 or '04.
These two semi's were used to transport the Elephants on the show. Hunt's Elephants were always featured on the Sealtest Big Top tv show. As it was presented live from Philadelphia, on Saturday mornings, back in the 1950's.
The Hunt's Elephant Trainer back then was Capt. Roy Bush , quite the character, who was Henry Bush'es Uncle. Henry know as the Circus Pretzelman hailed from Newburgh, NY and is a very active Circus Fans of America member now living in Sarasota .
When this picture was taken John must have been still a teen. Since then he's gone on to appear in numerous Shrine Dates, On the Cylde Beatty-Cole Bros Circus and now he had an educational show that He books at Fairs and other venues. He and His family were really Great Friends!
This is the program book for the Circus that Our club in Gibsonton, FL presents every January at our club. It was started back in the eighties and the Chairman of the First Events was Billy Rodgers a retired performer and owner of the Priate's Treasure Chest, a costume supply house and gift shop in Gibsonton. Bill and I use to donate our Novelty Stand proceeds to the show. It was a pleasure and something to look forwartd to every winter! Everyone Performers, Shows,Animal People and Concession People all donated their time and equipment to produce this show. And We donated the proceeds to needy causes in the area. It still happens every January. The first years of the show Mr Bob Earl, owner of Roberts Bros. Circus Donated the use of his Big Top and seating.
This was a small family type show that my brother and I first saw at a fair in Charlotte, NC.
It was owned by Tommy Leible and his family did the whole show, quite well, I might add.
Bill and I eventually book him into quite a few fairs with Little Richard's World of Mirth Shows back in the 80's. Tommy is still around playing dates on his own up in the mid-west and also a few fairs. Now He's got a couple of elephants and a small menagerie. He originally came to the U.S. from Hungary, I beleive, with the Little Man Michu on the Ringling Show.
This is Bill and our Friend Wayne Chambers. They're at Bill's new, at the time, Duck Pond Game on Taylor's Amusements. We were playing a shopping center in Chestertown, MD. It was the first spot that season which was probably 1990 or '91. My Brother loved this stand. We had it built to his specs that winter in Gibsonton. He gave away 1,000's of prizes out of that stand. This type of game is what is know as a Hanky Pank. He made a lot of kids happy. They won a prize everytime. And Bill took pride in not giving them the usual slum prizes but items that we used to sell in our novelty stands. You'll see more of Wayne in posts to come. He was an Eastern Shore of Virginia native, Parskley VA to be specific and we worked together quite a bit.
In the course of the business we were in you occasionally meets famous people. Now this Gentleman is Jerry Clower who at the time this was snapped was a pretty popular country style comedian and member of the Grand Ol Opry. He was appearing at the Valdosta Legion Fair in Georgia where we had our novelty stand set up. He took one look at me and said "Sit Right Down here Big One!"
Bob I know your checking out my blog. Happy to know that you are. Why don't you send me some pictures of your operation so that I can post them? I would really appreciate it. I jus wish I had a picture of the day in Goldsboro, NC when you actually help Bill and Me on a busy day! No one would probably beleive it! LOL. Dick
This is Cliff Taylor, Taylor's Amusements and Dick, in the early 90's checking the old building out. It really was disheartening seeing the condition that the building was in. Notice the graffitti on the side wall. This store was on the west side of town in a black neighborhood which was really nice at the time we built the store. But by the early ninetys of course the store had been run by quite a few owners. And wasn't maintained!
Sorry for the poor picture quality. It's a polaroid shot. This was the first business that Bill and I owned. We started it in 1963 and in 1964 We aquired a license to sell packaged beer. Not bad back then two 21 year old guys with an Alcoholic License. It was started in an old abondoned mom and pop store and in a year and a half we build a brand new store, pictured here.