It's been a long puzzling silence: why has the Circus Historical Society not published a single issue of its centerpiece, Bandwagon magazine, since last Nov-Dec issue?
In a statement issued today on the CHS website by CHS president, Judy Griffith, forwarded to me by Don Covington, Fred Dahlinger, Jr., who was appointed editor following the early departure last year of Fred. D. Pfening III, "withdrew" from his editing post on July 23. Griffith sited a "number of issues" leading up to the decision, but did not specify further.
Members have been wondering what ever happened to the magazine, which was enquiringly edited for fifty years by the late Fred D. Pfening, Jr.
Pfening III is said to be on board to put out this year's six issues, all of which apparently remain works in progress; It is worth speculating that Pfening III's early exit last year may not have been welcomed -- he seemed the natural candidate to assume the reigns held by his dad. Perhaps he has had second thoughts, or possibly Dahlinger, known for his fastidious attention to detail and his encyclopedic knowledge of circus history, found the challenge of editing the work of others too overwhelming.
CHS seems to be angling for a more contemporary slant in future coverage. "We are seeking insightful contributions that provide a new understanding and appreciation of the circus," writes Griffith. "The challenge is the shortage of publishable, high quality material, which has been the hallmark of Bandwagon in years past."
The next two issues (Jan-Feb and March-April) are projected to hit the mail lanes come September and October, respectively.