2014 Convention



Saturday, July 26, 2008

Dumbest Dog in the World

Beach Bums?

Little Rhard's Bloomin' Onion

The stand right in front is one of Little Richard's Onion and Funnel Cake Stands at the State Fair. He must have 10 or 12 Joints working the Fair this year.
Comming up for him are fairs in Meadeville, PA, Allentown Pa, York,Pa Maryland State Fair,
followed by the southern route. Winston-Salem, South Carolina State Fair, Agusta,GA
We will probably have at least two bunkhouses pulling in here tomorrow.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Two Proud Boys!

In 1967 We sold our grocery store.
Then framed a small show partnered with Dave Wharton.
Some of our performers included:
Italo Fornesari and Family
Bobo Zoppe Clown & Boston Bull Dog Acts.
Jane Randall's Dogs and Dressage Horse.
George Allen was our Super.
Gene Burr, from Von Bros., was our gofer and lot man.
Brother Bill was Manager
Bill Brinsfield, general all-around man
and Me, General Agent.
We didn't open until early August and played Dates on the Eastern Shore of Maryland,
Delaware then up on the Western Shore of Maryland and down in the Shenendoah Valley of Va.
Our biggest problem, we started too late in the season.
And most of all a total lack of knowledge of the business.
We used an old Mills Bros Side Show tent,a 50 with 30' middle for our Big Top.
And We just didn't hit it off with Dave, our partner.
So it only lasted that one short season.
We went home with our tails between our legs!
But a lot wiser and broke!
But that winter we booked our cotton candy at a Ames Dept. Store in Salisbury and that winter bought a Drive-In resturaunt in Salisbury.
You know the old saying "You can't keep good men down!"
Ha Ha Ha!
You'll hear more on this later.


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

Franco Richard's Ring Bros Circus (Fred Hoffman)

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.

Franco Richard's Ring Bros Circus (Fred Hoffman)

Franco Richard's Ring Bros Circus (Fred Hoffman)#3

Again I'd like to Thanf Fred Hoffman for loaning me these pictures from the past.

These Folks were at quite a few Fairs We played back in the 80's.
Roger, the dad, was a retired NYC Cop.
They really took fine care of those Monkeys! And were great people to be around.
Unfortunatly Roger passed away at an early age. You know what they say "The Good die young!"

Mike Snider

As you see in the Program below Mike was on the show that year along with fellow clown college graduate Sandy. Somewhere deep in my files I beleive I have a picture of Sandy.
Mike and Sandy also had a face painting stand that year if I'm not mistaken.
The two guys are terriffic as a team. Mike is a great producing clown!
I'm not sure where he is this season.

Billy Martin's Cole All Star Circus

Here's one of the only printed programs from the Cole Show when Bill and I had the concessions.

I belive the the committee had this done as it is full of local Ads.
If you click on the picture it will enlarge it so that you may be able to read it.
FYI: If you hold down the CTL key and use the scroll whell on the mouse it will also enlarge the picture.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hunt Bros Circus

The Hunts used this Title in the 1960's. Not sure of the exact time, maybe Margaret could help us out on this one.

Bob Commerford and Little Richard

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.

Hunt Bros Circus (Fred Hoffman)

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 .

Hunt Bros Circus (Fred Hoffman)

I can remeber when I was about 5 or 6 yrs old the Hunts even had a Half-Track, form WW II
that they used on the show. The show always moved early in the Morning in Convoy. It was quite a sight to see arriving in town.

Hunt Bros Circus 1955 (Fred Hoffman)

Here's two of the units. The Hunt's always had well flashed trucks.
They had quite a character who was their sign painter, Popcorn was his monniker.
He used to do murals also on some of the trucks.

Hunt Bros Circus 1955 (Fred Hoffman)

Hunt Bros Circus was probably the spark that lit Bill and Dick interest in the Circus.

They played the Eastern Shore of Md, DE and VA every year either in the Spring or

Fall. They were like a fixture to Us, almost as certain as Christmas! The Hunt show

always could be depended on for a Fine Family Type Show. These pictures, supplied by Fred

were taken at the Florence, NJ winter quarters, photographed by him in 1955. I will talk more about Hunt Bros as the blog continues in later days.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Delaware State Fair-News

Please click on the title to go to story.

John Sr. & Helga

This was taken on the new World of Mirth Shows in the Late 70's.
I beleive that's Bill getting together with John Welde Sr. and Helga Damn.
Helga and his brother had on heck of an act.

Johnny Welde and Friend

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!

History of the Delaware State Fair

Here's a video on the History of the Delaware State Fair.
Just click on post title

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Allentown, PA Fair Queen

Well here I am, back in the 80's, with the Queen of the Allentown Fair.
I'm a little embarressed at some of these photos because of my teeth!
I have since had then replaced!

Cole All-Star Circus

This is the Coloring Book we used the first year having the concessions over there. It was printed by Bill Biggerstaff's Century 21 Graphics in Las Vegas, NV

Showmen's Circus

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.

Showmen's Circus #2

Showmen's Circus #3

Leible Family Circus

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.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bill's New Duck Pond

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.

Dick & Friend

My friend here is Pete Terhune. He was one of the munchkins in the movie Wizard of Oz.
He lived in Gibsonton right next door to us.
This picture was probably taken in the late 80's. I'll have more about Pete in later posts.

Dick Meets a Celebrity

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!"
this had to have been back in the 80's.

First Night State Fair Video

Click on the title to see Video from the Wilmington News Journal, Sights and Sounds of the First night at the Delaware State Fair.

Bob Commerford

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

1st Business cont'd)

Here's a close up of the cornerstone. As far as I know it's still there.

1st Business cont'd

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!

Dykes Bros First Business

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.

Delaware State Fair

From the Delaware State News Sunday Edition