Thursday, April 07, 2016

Cole Bros. Circus is History. Say Goodbye to DeLand and Johnny Pugh (***)

UPDATE, 4/7/16: 4:40 pm, PST: Yes, what first appeared below, yesterday, and then was rebutted, turns out to have been true, thank you Barry Lipton.  Documents discovered, Covington shared and confirmed.   

First posted yesterday:

A crusher, this just in from Barry Lipton.  The show's Deland winter quarters up for sale.  The price tag: $350.000.

And my heart sank. Even I was holding out.  And you, too?  Tomorrow never dies --- until l it dies.

Go there if you wish:

Know what?  I am genuinely depressed.  This marks the passing of a great and durable and classy American big top we are likely never to see again.

Remember 1956? So, too, may they one day remember 2016:  Ringling retired the elephants.  Cole retired itself.

Pray that's all there is to come this season.

And hold onto your old tapes and movies.

(***) Okay, just another hopelessly strained theory:  Maybe Johnny is putting up the winter-quarters to raise money and planning to produce without such a home base.

Yes, I know. Send for the clowns in white to usher me out.



Slate said...

$350K may be what he privately expects (or EXPECTED, before real estate agents got involved) to get for it, but it absolutely IS listed in the Volusia County MLS (and thus on dozens of Florida real estate sites) for a cool $2.75 MILLION. Yes! Here's one example, from the listing agency's site:

The aerial map attached to the MLS listing shows the boundaries of only 1 of 2 parcels that, together, make up the WQs (apparently). The parcel shown in the listing (2505 Old New York Ave.) is about 4 acres, with 3 buildings. A larger adjacent parcel (535 Fair St.) is about 10 acres, with 7 buildings. Together they're about 14 acres, which is exactly what the realtor says in the text description. (Also, the text description touts railroad frontage, but that frontage appears to be in the larger Fair St. parcel.) So it looks like he's selling both parcels -- 14 acres -- as a unit. The combined tax value is about $475K. Several of the buildings are said to have been built in "1932." All of this land information is public record, freely accessed from the Volusia County website.

Harry Kingston said...

Yes, I am very sad also and a few of us had some tears as we just did not want to see a great tented circus gone with the wind.
Lets hope as it is for sale that it is carried on in the future.
Johnny told me last year that he was 78 and could not going on forever.
He offered the circus to me and my wife a few years back but I am no spring chicken with medical problems.
What I will miss the most is seeing him in person and jackpotting with him, as to me he is the modern day James Bailey.
His ideas to modernize the circus in every way were the best.
His selling the palm trees from winterquarters, to Disney to keep afloat.
But he deserves his rest and what ever he wants to do.
Bless him for keeping a tented circus going that was a great one and for being the best to us circus fans.
Well I will cherish my Clyde Beatty Cole Bros and Cole Bros Circus items even more.
Harry in Texas

Anonymous said...

Expect more from Cole Bros soon.. June'ish

Harry Kingston said...

Well we all are wrong as take a look at the new Cole Bros Circus web site as they are coming out in June as the last 3 ring tented circus.
The new web page is just beautiful and has a count down clock when they open.
So Johnny Pugh has pulled the rabbit out of the hat.
I hope they come back bigger and better than ever and Pugh is a master showman.
I sure hope they come my way and I bet Pugh puts the other middle in the tent for the 3 ring show.
All my best to Cole Bros and Johnny Pugh.
Have a great season as it is not the same without Cole Bros Circus.
Harry in Texas

Showbiz David said...

Great News, Harry! -- WAIT, BUT IS IT????
try dialing the number on their website; DISCONNECTED.
Here is a guess: They are going indoors or putting out a movie?
This is an old Cole cliffhanger, for sure.
That promising poster on their website is beautiful.

Unknown said...

Pls pls pls bring Cole Bros Circus or at least the name back to Peru Indiana where it belongs. If its true Mr Pugh is finished then allow my family( Jesse H Adkins heirs) the rights back to it. Or the Circus Hall of Fame. Dont allow our heritage to go down this way.