Tuesday, March 20, 2012

For Thomas Bohner--The World's First White Tiger Act 1978



Circus Fan Henry Penndorf sent this wonderful clip which has just appeared on Youtube. It is incredible when something like this appears on line. I believe it was taken in 1978 at Trenton New Jersey at the fairgrounds and at Quonset Point, R. I. on the Hamid Morton Circus. The elephant at the start of the clip coming at a run when she is called was Joyce who is swimming with Bombay, Delhi, Tess, and Billie(nice footage of Billie at 2:54). Long before it became a "feel good" publicity stunt to illustrate how much we "loved" our animals in the circus, as a standard husbandry practice the animal were allowed to play, swim etc. just because it was good for them. At 1:53 is a shot of my two grooms Scott Moneypenny(who Larry Records and I referenced in the past) and Buffalo Bob Warner and so special, my young son Adam "pitching a fit" and not wanting to pose. Who knew he would grow up to be a tiger trainer and spend his life posing. At 2:29 you will see a gorgeous broad walk into the picture. No, I am sorry to say that was not "one of mine." That beauty belonged to Donnie Anderson. :) That is former Radio City Rockette JoAnn Anderson. The later footage of myself with my dear friends Donnie and JoAnn Anderson of the Texas White Horse Troupe is so special it almost brings tears to my old eyes. What wonderful, wonderful day's that you don't really appreciate until they are gone.

At 3:29 standing on their hind legs from left to right are Bombay, Tess, Delhi, Joyce and Billie. At 3:42 is footage of Adam walking with Delhi with my red elephant hook, back in the day when we were not ashamed to have and use an elephant hook(because we knew how to use it) and didn't carry it with the hook hidden in our hand and even taped it up to match our costumes instead of taping it with black tape in an effort to make it less visible. I do recall telling Adam that day, "it's not a cane, Son. Carry it right." :) The blond hair, in an effort to be my hero Gunther Gebel Williams is classic immature, youthful nitwitness!!!!!!! At 4:32, three hind leg walks. When was the last time you saw that feat in an elephant act? Followed by not one, but two one foot stand's by Joyce out of the picture on the left and Billie. At 5:15 Ringmaster Mike Clucker. At 5:30 JoAnn making a move on me, and Donnie soundly handling her. :) I believe I mooned the photographer but that has been, thankfully deleted.

Relax Thomas, I am getting to you. At 6:02 is the tigers starting with a 7 tiger roll over inspired by greatest of all time, Charly Baumann. At 6:15 that is Ari who was sent back to his seat for attacking Frosty and is still trying until he calmed down and come's for the laydown. At 6:37 with his mouth open is Tony. At 7:15 is Kashmir doing the hind leg walk, followed by the waltz and shoulder stand with Rajah.

At 8:34 is the jump over with Tony jumping over Sultan and myself. This was the trick Marcel Peters was doing two years later when Tony, after jumping came around behind Marcel and had "an accident" with him. I had taken the trick out of the act(much to John Cuneo's anger) as it got no audience response, as well as made the act too long and it was followed by Ari jumping through a hoop, so why repeat basically the same trick. For some reason, Marcel was convinced by John Cuneo to put it back in, and the rest, as they say is history. A shot of Bob Atterbury from behind with the hat on and the backward shoulder stand with Ika finishing with the jump over with Ari standing behind Ika as he was not big enough to sit on yet. At the very end quickly is a shot of Tony Smaha Sr's. Lipizzaner's.

10 comments:

Jim Z said...

I never knew GGW worked Outdoors, and for Mr.Cuneo? ..Learn something New everyday!..Thanks for posting this, Now I know why you dyed your Hair Blonde in your youth...Perhaps if I had spot dated like GGW for Mr.C in '78 you would have gone for the tall skinny look w/ Glasses...
Buenas Dias Amigo....be safe..

Wade G. Burck said...

Moron,
"I never knew GGW worked Outdoors, and for Mr. Cuneo?" Don't be running down the big time, Zych. A lot of folk's only dream about appearing at the Quonset Point Naval Air Station. I've been there, I walked the walk, pal!!!! Listen nitwit, you and Casey "I shaved my head like Tabayara" McCoy Cainan need to both be more respectful. He took time out of his "busy" schedule in South Africa to call me in Mexico this morning to ask, "I thought GGW had a better sun tan than that. I don't remember him being that white." Fricking idiot. I had to remind him that GGW spent winter's in Florida, and I spent winter's in Illinois, which works against bronzing.
For years he has begged me to find an old film and post it on the youtube(hardly any room for another one, what with so many "123 watch and learn" videos crowding the joint up.) One finally shows up and all he can worry about is what color I am. Geez.... You know as well as I do that you never worked "for" John Cuneo, you worked in spite of him.
But you are right about one thing, putz. I realized way to late in life that I missed the boat, and lot's of cash and big, big prizes by not being smart enough to emulate your Jed Clampett/Hooterville look and style instead of that hooligan from across the big pond.

Via con dios, pinche bastardo

Jim Z said...

North Dakota's Own...

Sincerest apollogies...
I obviously mistaked you for GGW...
My Bad...

Sorry...

won't happen again...

Hope your travels remain Safe...

Your Friend
Jim Z

on a side note..
A woman complained about my Sheep so the Fair/Rodeo sent down a Vet to look at her, After I showed him the Sheep and all of the USDA paper work he said " Perhaps if we removed her xtra appendage, she would have a better quality of Life" I then explained " that the appendage was her 5th leg! and the Calf's that get chased out of a chute by a Cowboy ridin a horse only to be roped and have their neck stretched and the cowboy then to drop a knee into their ribcage while he hog ties em's Quality of Life would be a whole lot better if he didnt have to participate also" The Vet then replied "Everything looks good here...have a Nice Day!"...

Wade G. Burck said...

Zych,
No apology necessary. It's a common mistake that folks have made for years, and I have just learned to live with it. At least I have never been mistaken for Bobby Gibbs or Yaro Hoffman.
What was that nitwit USDA inspector suggesting, remove the money leg!!!!! Doesn't he realize that's why she has a "quality of life." With out that she's lamb chops or barbacoa taco's and consume which I enjoy once a day. The best she could hope for is to have a bunch of idiot kids jumping on her back, trying to un- rubber band the dollar bill off her tail. Instead she get's to spend her life in the spotlight performing for millions(I took some liberties here). That's a "quality of life" half the world dreams about.

Wade

Circuslover said...

Wade,

Amazing video ! I have already watched it over 10 times !!! Really amazing !

What are the names of the waltz tigers ?

Regards,
Thomas

Wade G. Burck said...

Thomas,
I knew you were going to ask something like that. I suppose you also want to know how much meat each one of them ate that day? Right? The waltz tigers from left looking at them were Khan, Ika, Frosty, Kashmir, and Baby.
When are you going to Jolly Old England and becoming a temporary Pommy?

Wade

Bob K said...

What were the liberties?
Spotlight or performing?
Bob Kitto

Wade G. Burck said...

Bob,
If I am understanding correctly, are you asking about the horse's in the tent behind Donnie, JoAnn, and I? If so those were the Anderson's liberty act's of American White Horse's from the famous White Horse Ranch, in Naper Nebraska. They had two act's of 6 each, and also two high school horse's. What is "spotlight?" I have never heard that term before.

Wade

Bob K said...

Nah, I was commenting on your reply to Zych about the millions of people seeing the calf performing. No horses involved.
It was joke son.
Bob Kitto

Circuslover said...

Thanks Wade !
I'm going in August !

Thomas