Monday, October 09, 2006
1968 Diploma: RBB&B College of Clowns
These incredible scans come to us from the one and only Jack Ryan...
Not sure if or how well two of these pix might reproduce but thought you might enjoy them, particularly the magnified view of the diploma signatures.
The background: I was in charge of national publicity for the inaugural Clown College session in 1968. It was a natural story for the media and without all that much persuasion we had both CBS and NBC network news, the AP. The New York Times and numerous other top flight media outlets descend on Venice to cover it. (Finding appropriate accommodations in Venice for network "news stars" was, at the time, a daunting challenge.)
In recognition of the publicity successes, I was made an "honorary graduate" of the first Clown College (then called College of Clowns) session. As you will note, my "diploma" is signed by: Irvin Feld, Danny Chapman, Otto Griebling, Mel Miller, Pat Valdo and Lou Jacobs. Quite a collection of circus autographs!
The photo is of yours truly and Irvin Feld on the night of December 9, 1968, just after the first Clown College graduation ceremony and performance had concluded.
As to who came up with the idea of Clown College, through the years, I've heard many different versions. I do recall it being said at the time of the first session that Israel Feld, the "quiet brother" and a terrific, delightful gentleman, came up with the idea and championed it to his brother, Irvin. Who knows?
Enjoy! And "May All Your Days...." Nevermind. I'm repeating myself.