Oakland to DC: Strike up the Bella Band!

Oakland to DC:  Strike up the Bella Band!
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Sunday, March 03, 2013

Sunday Morning with Don Marcks: Ringling Trapeze Wars Aim to Maim; Vicious Rivals Fired, Told to Hit the Road

Don and I talked often on the telephone.   We lived maybe 12 miles apart.  He seemed to enjoy ringing me up with the "latest."  "Hey, have you heard," he'd begin.  "I just got a call from ..."   I knew something juicy was coming my way, and I could almost hear a gleeful sigh on the other end of the line.

When I lived in L.A., there were more letters.  But still, up here before and after my stay in L.A., he would now and then dash off a letter, usually two pages long and impecablly typed, with this and that, and, of course, sometimes "the latest."

From September 11, 1988:

"Not sure if you were aware of it or not, but there has been a lot of trouble between the two flying acts on the Blue Unit this year and this has resulted in some fighting backstage, even filing charges against one another, some talk that cables were filed through, etc. Anyway, it all ended here in Oakland when the Caballeros were fired.  I don't know wher they went, but no doubt they will pop up on some show soon or at least for next season anyway."

And, then, about his model building:

"This week I received amerry go round horse, well it is a plastic modled horse from a 1927Phila. Tobaggan Co. ride.  It is quite nice and is what they call a stander, so is larger than most of the other horses.  I wanted this one, but it is larger than I expected it to be.  Think that I will keep it in the back room which someday will get turned into some sort of circus room. [never happened]  I was thinking of it for the living room, but because of its size I think it is better in the other room."

The "back room" might have been his medium-sized bedroom in what felt like a basement, which I often visited, because in it, at the far end, stood a desk upon which, his current model wagons under construction were to be seen.  Not much else in there but a bed without the color of a spread.  A rather blank room otherwise.  

The Vazquez, with Miguel spinning his magical quads, stayed on Ringling, and, after that, continued building a phenomenal quad legacy that is, to this day of diminishing aerial heroics,  unmatched by any other troupe. 


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