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In 1859, Fr. This is a toughie; when the hell else did crowds attend the circus except on the weekend? They competed with each other, engaged in countless public screaming matches, reconciled repeatedly, and goaded each other toward ever greater feats of audacity, in the air and in their personal lives. Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of San Antonio and beyond. He used his talents as a performer, doing tricks to capture attention, then sharing with the children his message for the day. But Stark fared better than husband Art Rooney, a flamboyant, cross-dressing fellow trainer who was reportedly the (platonic?) When it came to light that the sisters’ marriage was a sham, though, public sentiment began to turn against them. John had difficulty finding work, but managed to find a job at a vineyard. By the 1860s, Fr. While visiting the prisons, Fr. Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community. Bosco and his mother were responsible for lodging 800 boys. L-U-V drama could massively destabilize a well-run circus; the last thing you need is for the Human Cannonball to launch himself into his tightrope-walking ex-girlfriend. Codona and Leitzel were wildly popular, temperamentally mercurial, understandably egotistical, and thrilled by risk. He realized if he learned their tricks, he could use them to attract others and hold their attention. Compounding the problems on his birthday, there was also a drought and a famine at the time of his birth. He labored for two more years before he met Joseph Cafasso, a priest who was willing to help him. The city was in the throes of industrialization so it had slums and widespread poverty. Cafasso himself would later be recognized as a saint for his work, particularly ministering to prisoners and the condemned. Codona is buried next to Leitzel in Inglewood Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, under a massive marble statue depicting Alfredo as an angel, bearing Lillian heavenward. When John was nine years old, he had the first of several vivid dreams that would influence his life. Fr. Their purpose was to carry on his charitable work, helping boys with their faith formation and to stay out of trouble. Them circus-folk battle cry, and “rube” came to mean the unsophisticated and potentially threatening patron, the hick who might fall for a ruse (or try to kick your ass). Bosco personally and agreed, declaring him blessed in 1929. He fatally shot his wife, and then himself. Raised primarily by his mother, John attended church and became very devout. But since they were approaching 40, they’d decided to earn as much money as possible, and maybe buy a farm somewhere. This will allow us to keep creating amazing art, support our communities, and host our best ever Summer School of circus classes. Straight-arrow operations such as Ringling Bros. even forbade male and female employees (on paper, anyway) from fraternizing. Violet married James Walker Moore, a dancer and the girls’ gay best friend, as a publicity stunt. His mother began to help him, and she became known as “Mamma Margherita.” By the 1860s, Fr. Most of the tales covered the era around the turn of the 20th century. Or, on another animal level, to geeks, sideshow attraction performers who bit the heads off live chickens. The official death count from the Hartford Circus Fire is generally listed as 168, but is believed to be much higher, and close to 700 people were treated for injuries in area hospitals. tent-erectors, construction workers, and manual laborers, collectively known as “roustabouts,” as well as cooks, animal caregivers, etc.) Pull me to the ground, grab me by the head; you know a male tiger grabs the female by the neck and holds her and growls till the critical moment is over. High and low-end folk were segregated in their pay, lodgings, and even at the dining table, where the high could dine off bone china and were served by waiters while the low supped cafeteria-style over by the animal cages. Bosco also negotiated new rights for boys who were employed as apprentices. He went into the streets and started to meet young men and boys where they worked and played. He was purportedly done in by Rajah (though tiger senses are keen, their gaydar, apparently, is not). Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, or whomever. We bet you know of the Ringling Brothers, too (but did you know there were seven of them, distinguishable only — if old-timey photos are any indication — by slight variations in their mustaches?) Thou shalt not cry “fire” in the tent in vain. His shows and games were repeated and during this time, John discerned the call to become a priest. » Theater, I think of it as an anthropological exhibition,” Marise McDermott, president of the Witte Museum, says. Perhaps more importantly, the circus community itself would come to function as a family of sorts; insular, self-governing, and self-protective. The modes of travel and feats of strength will fascinate youngsters. The Great Depression was under way. Petite male aerialists also sometimes dressed as girls, in order to foster amazement in their audiences; a girl with freakish upper-body strength performing without a net was a much bigger draw than a regular ol’ dude. When Daisy died of the Hong Kong flu in January of 1969, Violet rang a friend, but made her promise not to alert authorites. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law. Circus owners would send advance men three or four days ahead of the Big Top, where they engaged in putting up posters, barking at public venues, and sometimes, warring with each other.

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