I had the chance to take the family (and Drew Richardson) to the new Prudential Center in Newark to see the Ringling 137th edition Red Unit's Bellobration Tour. We enjoyed the show, LOVED the arena and had a great time talking with Ruth Chaddock before meeting up with the Alley.
Old friends Lance Brown (fellow class of '97 alum and one of the last CC grads left going into next season), Leo Acton (headed here to the NY/NJ metro area after this season) and Larry Clark all seem to be doing just fine and dandy. New friends Dustin Portillo (soon to be Boss Clown) and Brandon Foster looked to be juiced headed into Winter Quarters.
Speaking of next season, take a look at this flyer for next year's show...
"Arrive an hour early for Clown College at the All Access Pre-Show"
What's that all about??? The All Access Pre-Show (formerly the 3 Ring Adventure) is great and all but it's no Clown College. It isn't even as much fun as seeing all those beautiful George Shellenberger props being wheeled out there on the track, rigged to explode and best viewed from the safety of your seat.
The whole affair just makes me nostalgic for the early to mid 70s when my Dad used to grumble about having to get us to the Garden early so that I could be there when the doors opened and watch the clowns' pre-show.
Back then there were 25-30 clowns per unit, Lou Jacobs, Mark Anthony, Duane Thorpe, Prince Paul, Bobby Kaye were still with the show. I'm now so old that Otto Griebling and Frankie Saluto were still there the first few times I went!
Graduates of the then-new Clown College included Frosty Little and future deans Steve Smith, Ron Severini and Dick Monday were out there on the floor along with the likes of Barry Lubin, Peter Pitofsky, Billy Vaughn, Ruth Chaddock, Peggy Williams, Ron Jarvis, Billy Baker, Sparky Washburn, Swede Johnson, Keith Crary, Mitch Freddes, Zappata, Danny Chapman, Levoie Hipps, Kevin Bickford, Robin Shaw, Earl Chaney, Mike Padilla, Johnny Peers, Maude Flippen, Jim Howle, Richard Mann, Eric Braun, Rick Cobbin, Janice Gillespie, Leon McBryde (doing advance), Ray "Anchor Face" Lesperance, Don Debelli, Bob Zraick, Chris Bricker, Tim Torkildson, Antonio Hoyos, Lazlo Donnert, Dougie Ashton and the many others who made the Greatest Show on Earth such a magical experience when I was young.
Way back then kiddies, the programs were pretty expensive, $2.00 or $3.00, and EVERY kid in the Garden had one of these to swing around when the lights went down...
Just the plastic smell of one of these takes me back...