Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Big Tops in Bits & Pieces ... We Report, You Assemble

The new circus Easter arrow hunt is a challenge for our Jack Hunter, stationed somewhere I think in the Carolinas. E-mails he, a guy desperately seeking Cole Bros Circus in or around a precinct known as Murrells Inlet, “I knew there was a problem when I didn’t spot any route markers.” Turns out, not to turn this into an engineering enigma, that MI was put back or ahead or under or over ... First, now comes Wilmington, then MI. “I would assume they are on the way to NC but who knows !!!!!” My non-paid east coast stringer then chatted with some carnies in the know, who raise the Big Visa issue as the Big Question Mark. (Wanting to do my park, Jack, here is a map that I hope will help you find your way.)

To Live and Die in Deland? A few arrows later, Jack e-ushered me into Buckle’s big blog under a majestic big top, where I came upon New Cole photos, proof positive that at least the show staged an opening run at its home base. My, what a tiny tent! And my, a real ring. John Pugh has repented of his ringless ways. Let us not forget, ‘twas Sir John and not Sir Kenneth who first rendered the tent a ringless thing. So, Jack, continue being nimble and quick, one missing and/or broken arrow at a time ...

While inside Buckles Hippodrome (what lush images), I scrolled down to admire some Miles White originals for JRN’s 1947 opus. White surely designed like an exotic visionary from some distant planet. Then, there are two photos placed in embarrassing proximity by B.W., shrewdly offering the jarring juxtaposition as Exhibit One, like a courtroom lawyer accusing Ringling-Barnum of artistic malpractice. The first shows a vast three ring plus Shrine Evansville layout, the next, the charming-as-asphalt setting for the Ringless Bros. 2006 breakout — or breakdown — edition. Mr. Feld did grant the suckers half a ring, but what a perfectly ugly thing. Asks Buckles, if you were given a free ticket, to which show would you go? I might have taken in Ringless just to hiss for free.

Let’s get out of there. Bad vides are spoiling my Tranquility Mao Feng tea high here on a floating Wednesday evening at L’Amyx...

Onto Youth and hope and — brace yourself, jockey rabbits who ride doggies! Credit young trainer and contortionist Logan Jacot , swiftly recovering from a nasty auto accident suffered a few months back, who has joined the one with the other in some kind of magical motion. I am perfectly charmed, Logan. I’ve never seen performing rabbits, which may mark me as an underachieving fan of the half-ring era. YOU, in my fury opinion, must have incredible patience — or an inside track on bunny seduction. I love these types of turns around the sawdust .... E-mails the very young, 20-something Logan, “I am recovering quicker than I expected. I did my first back bend yesterday since my wreck” (which left him with a collapsed lung and multiple breaks in one leg). That back bend put Logan on a high, all except for the low that followed. “I could not get back up again myself.” I can see a horde of grateful rabbits coming to his rescue with eggs and arrows and jockey gusto to go. While he’s been putting himself back together, he’s done a friend a favor. “I trained four rabbits to ride dogs for her show.” Something about that sentence sounds so effortless, like whipping up a little picnic spread or building a model roller coaster over the weekend. YOU, kid, must have a gift.

In their own young words: I love hearing the younger set tell me what inspires them. When I learned that one of Logan's heroes is GGW, I asked him why. Now comes his reply: “I have a great deal of respect for Gunther Gebel Williams mostly due to his showmanship. I loved how he could have everybody in the arena looking at him but I do believe there were more talented animal trainers out there.” Showmanship in CAPS, glamour in NEON.

Another youthful revelation: While interviewing the ultra gentlemanly Alex Chimal at Circus Chimera just before the show (he was house manager, but stayed put next to me in the seats, wanting to answer all my questions), this he revealed about an icon who inspired him: “When I was a kid, I saw a video of Ringling, and I saw this guy who was doing wire act, I think his name was Con Colleano. I liked the style.” Jackpot! What a mutual admiration we shared, he off a video, me from a boyhood memory at the Clyde Beatty Circus when the actual Colleano thrilled me in person ...

Dell battery down to only 79%, credit my light weigh syntax. Hey, Jack the Hunter: May you reach the smaller New Cole, and give John Pugh my regards. I’ll try to send along some spare arrows. But I don’t do eggs.

And that’s a bunny wrap.


henry edgar said...

don't tell ringling about the bunnies. they'll wind up in madison square garden, where an animal that size won't even be seen from the front row! does sound like a cute act for a small show.

Wade G. Burck said...

When I learned that one of Logan's heroes is GGW, I asked him why. Now comes his reply: “I have a great deal of respect for Gunther Gebel Williams mostly due to his showmanship. I loved how he could have everybody in the arena looking at him but I do believe there were more talented animal trainers out there.

Hello Logan,
Glad to know you are recovering from you unfortunate accident. My best wishes. GGW was an inspiration for me also. The first circus I ever saw at the age of 18 featured, Mr. Williams. That day I decided what it was I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Quite a impact. Are you wild animal trainer? I ask because I am interested in who you think were the more talented animal trainers out there and why?
Best wishes,
Wade Burck

Logan Jacot said...

That's not fair I have some rabbits that weigh 30 pounds which makes some the dog's Ringling uses now look like mice. LOL

I am not a wild animal trainer yet but that is ultimately what I would like to do. The only act I can see myself doing in the future is tigers. I have talked to Mr. Cuneo a couple of times about getting work there even cleaning cages so I can have some experience around cats, but no luck yet.
Personally I think there are several trainers better than GGW in different aspects since there are multiple elements to animal training/presentation. Personally I think Buckles was a better elephant trainer then GGW. From the acts I have seen Buckles's act always looked "cleaner" not as messy. I do think that you are better than GGW with tigers. You were actually the first tiger trainer I ever saw other than Jules Jacot (on tape).

Take care,
Logan Jacot

Wade G. Burck said...

As you become more knowledgeable and experienced you may have a different "interpretation" of what those elements are. It may even remove me from the top of your list, which by the way thank you very much.
The passing on of knowledge, and watching it soar to new heights, is what will keep the animal business alive, making for better shows, making for more money. See Dave and others how this closed door society killed it's own self.
I have 2 positions open Logan. When can you start? You were talking to the wrong person. You were talking to the owner, and not the one that know's whats going on. LOL
My best,
Wade Burck

Wade G. Burck said...

I just read your profile stating the difference between animal welfare, and animal liberation. Very good, you understand the basic's already. Go look at Buckles Blog, most of the old school don't understand the difference, and a lot of well meaning fans don't either. You will note on the blog, myself and a couple of younger animal people banging our heads on the wall trying to get them to see the difference. Check out the responses that were censored on CircusNOspin. If I could get to your remarks about animal welfare, I would cut and paste it with your permission as an example of new blood that will keep this thing going. It will be hard Logan, they have dug a big hole.
Best wishe, Wade

Wade G. Burck said...

My email is

Logan Jacot said...

Hey Wade,
Did you get my e-mail? My e-mail account has been screwey lately and my e-mails aren't always recieved.

Take care,