Monday, September 24, 2012

The Bandwagon Rolls Again ... A Fanfare for Pfening's Rebounding Return

Just when I had about given up on ever seeing another issue of the Circus Historical Society's Bandwagon, today in the mail, there it came -- the January-February 2012 issue, the masthead restoring, as rightfully it should, the name Pfening to the post of publisher-editor.

 It's arrives with a dazzling, slightly altered look; in fact, a significantly altered look, what with a more varied spread of photos, many larger on the page, but not such that they crowd out and minimize text -- a phenomenon that can obliterate the prose  of lager picture books, such as Circus: Garden of Eden to Pittsburgh.

Fanfares for the Pfening of Pfenings for taking on the task of bringing out every issue errantly overdue, and may he find inspiration in his pledge to forge beyond that season..  After his father died, he did not want to take over permanently, did so as "interim." Perhaps this time out, he will reconsider. Whatever went on when Fred Dahlinger, Jr. was theoretically in charge as the new editor, did not amount to a single issue. Not a good omen.

 My favorite picture in my book, Inside the Changing Circus: A Critic's Guide:  You see Gracie Genders on the far left, and directly in front of her, Bob Fisher.  Her giddy abandon epitomizes to me  the pure free joy of youth.  They are performing at the annual YMCA circus in Bloomington. Milner Library/ISU photo..

Now, the grand old Bandwagon is back on the road, and already I am immersed in Tuffy Genders' day-by-day diary account of his days with the Big Show during the 1937 season. He even sometimes records, realistically it appears, bad as well as boffo biz. CHS members should be overjoyed.

The circus magazine of circus magazines is off the flats, down the runs, rumbling full force ahead onto another, we hope, thousand lots. 

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