Wednesday, August 06, 2008

CLOWN ALLEY: Shrine Circus, undated

I apologize to whomever sent this one in, it has been lost in the shuffle for a month or two and I no longer have the info on where it came from.

This photo looks to be from the Texas Shrine dates and must have been taken at some point after 1976 (because Chester Sherman is not present) but before the early 80s when younger guys like Freddie Levine and Chris Bricker had to leave clowning on the Shrine dates because the Shrine clowns began performing in the show for free.

Why would circus producers hire professional clowns if there was a group of amateurs provided by the sponsor who would do the job for nothing?

Moreso than anything else, this is what really killed circus clowning as a profession in the United States.

Clowns (from left to right) Dime Wilson, Freddie Levine, ?, Rex "Count De Boxcar" Young, John McKay, Connie Wilson, Joe Sherman, Christopher Bricker


Unknown said...

This picture is from the 1978 Arabia Temple Shrine Circus....

Mike Naughton said...

The mystery clown is Mrs. Boxcar, Sandy.

(Hi Margaret)

Anonymous said...

On left in yellow coat is Dir. Bob Atterbury and far right is ringmaster Ernie McClain.

Wade G. Burck said...

I sent this to you, as an illustration, like you just stated of a great lineup of talent, which was destroyed by "cheap labor" of the Shrine faction, much like the influx of "cheap labor" from over seas did to my and Adam's profession. Before we blame it on "outside forces" as we have done everything else, we can also "internally" accept responsibly for this travesty. The producer did what ever he was told, anything and everything to get the date. Shrine wanted their boys, they got their boys. Bigger piece of the pie for the producer and the sponsor, so no brainer there. Unless you talk ethics. Those were his "fellow troupers" that the gent in the yellow coat helped ax. After over a half a century of bitting a piece off here, and bitting a piece off there, the structure is leaning badly. Similar to a tape worm, it ate from the inside out. Hopefully we can accept that, and stabilize the structure, instead of blaming every thing from the God's to the "foolish" law's that have been imposed so unfairly on our industry.
Wade Burck

Wade G. Burck said...

I might add that is Luis Munoz, the first man I worked with in the Circus on Clyde Bros. prop crew sitting by Ernie Mclain. The gentleman in the red coat, as the band director, and I can't recall his name at the moment.
Wade Burck