Wednesday, February 09, 2011

MICHAEL "COCO" POLAKOVS: Sailor Circus and Pat Valdo

Newspaper clipping from the personal collection of Levoi Hipps

Michael and Hazel Polakovs had told me the story of how, after leaving the Mills Bros. Circus, Coco had come back to America in the late fifties and was working at the Circus Hall of Fame in Sarasota.

His son Graham was a student at the Sailor Circus and Coco had taught Graham and some of his friends an entree that his father, Nicolai, had performed at the Bertram Mills Circus. After much rehearsal over at the Circus Hall of Fame they presented their gag in the show. The act was a sensation.

No less than the legendary Pat Valdo attended the performance, seated in the very first row, and when he heard the audience's reaction he stood and turned to watch the audience's laughter. They were in hysterics. He hired Michael "Coco" Polakovs on the spot.

This newspaper photo proves Mike's story to be true. Upon offering Mike the job Pat Valdo asked the photographer from the local newspaper to get a photo of him shaking hands with his newest clown.

Graham is there in the photo (next to Mr. Valdo) as well as Mr. Levoi Hipps, graduate of the very first class of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College and first Boss Clown of the Blue Unit.

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