Tuesday, December 15, 2009

IN MEMORIAM: Dale Longmire

After a brave battle and a long illness, the world lost Dale Longmire last Friday morning.

He passed quietly, surrounded by family and friends.

To say that Dale was the consummate glamorous whiteface picture clown and that he was absolutely essential in making the Vargas show equal in three ring splendor to just about any show in American circus history would be a vast, vast understatement.

Elmo Gibb supplied the photo above and remembers Dale...

Dale was a fixture on the Red Unit, Circus Vargas and Bentley Bros. Circus for many years. He designed and produced the spec for Vargas while he was there, making it the ritziest tent show on the road since TGSOE folded its tent back in '56. I never once saw Dale not be 100% professional--immaculate, flashy wardrobe, perfect make-up, huge stage presence. After Richard Mann left RBBB, Dale was the center pole of spec, and really knew how to work it. I worked with him a few times at the Sarasota Circus Festival and the Gibsonton Showmens Club Circus.

Dale started his long battle with cancer when he was about 16 years old back in his hometown of Parkersburg, WV. He was determined not to let it rule his life. See if you can get hold of Bruce Gutilla to get some good stories of Dale.

Anyone with photos or memories to share, please send them to cashincomedy@yahoo.com

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