Tuesday, February 26, 2008

OWEN MCQUADE: Janette Rainwater Seies

Photos courtesy of Michael Rainwater

More from the Janette Rainwater series, these were marked as "Duffy" and look to be Owen McQuade.


FireLt4104 said...

This IS Owen Michael McQuade Jr, AKA Duffy the Irish clown. I know this because he's my uncle! You have no idea what a rush this was to find.

Pat Cashin said...

PLEASE tell us more about your uncle!!!

He's one of those figures that we know very little about and any information would be GREATLY appreciated!

FireLt4104 said...

I know very little about him honestly, but here is what I do know. He was the oldest of four kids (his younger siblings were my Aunt Carol, my dad Thomas, and my Aunt Karen)and he grew up on Staten Island, NY. What I was told as a kid was that he ran away from home around 1944 to join the circus, maybe after the fire in Hartford. He was with Ringling Bros until the early 70's before he retired. He married my Aunt Mary who he met when they both worked for Ringling, she was involved animals riding horses and such but exactly what I don't know. In the 1980's a PBS station in California did a documentary on him and his history with the circus and my parents had a copy of it but it's been lost over the years. He passed away in the late 1990's of cancer in southern California in his 70's. He still performed as "Duffy" for special occasions well up until he was in his late 60's. the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, VT has an old Ringling poster with him on it, I almost fell over when I saw it.

Michael D. Nye said...

Hi - I just came across this site after doing a little google search. Owen "Duffy" McQuade is (was) my stepfather. I have a lot of his stuff including the documentary "Duffy - A Clown's Story" I made about his 26 year life with Ringling Bros. (the one referred to by "firelt4104.

I really appreciate that you have this site and that his art has not been forgotten. (I really didn't expect to come across info on him since he passed away before we had much of an internet.)

If you want more information about him (or pictures) let me know.


PS - Wow, that is a young picture you have of him!

Bob A said...

I knew Duffy in the late 1970's early 1980' s when we both worked at Vidtronics Inc a post production house in Hollywood. He had a bumper sticker on his car that read " I brake for Elephants".

Michael D. Nye said...

Hey Bob - I visited him at work at Vidtronics once. And I had forgotten about the bumper sticker, but now that you mention it, I remember it well.