When Zap had his mouth open like that the noise he made resembled a sea lion in heat. He would puncuate most of his "comedy movement" with that bark, and was sure to steal focus whenever he hit the track. He was by far the best clown I ever worked with, and when he was teamed with Johnny Peers or Billy Jim Baker 'for-get-about-it' you were just 'chopped liver'. I will forever miss his talent, and his kindness to this First of May.
Um, the picture is by Ballantine...it is in Clown Alley.
The original pen and ink drawing is by Bill Ballantine.This is a copy of Mr. Ballantine's work, drawn and colored, by someone else.
Yes, the differences are subtle but it's not Bill Ballantine's original. His drawings are unmistakeable and utterly unique. I'm very proud to have a Ballantine original in my personal collection. A few years ago there was a showing of his work at the University of Florida and later at the Ringling Museum in Sarasota that gave me a whole new appreciation of the artwork that I had previously only seen in books in black and white. He was kind enough to answer at length letters that I wrote to him about clowning when I was just a kid...letters that I still have somewhere. I always thought he was a pretty classy guy.
Zapata (Manuel Barragan) was the BEST clown ever! Whenever he was doing one of his acts, there were countless people who would literally wet themselves from laughing so hard. I could hardly breath when I watched him perform.I miss him too. He was my oldest brother and I love him.Take care brother! I know your laughter is filling heaven right now.Love, your little brother...Tony
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