I am researching for a book entitled Circus Folks in Sarasota & Venice: Where are they now? It is a sequel to my just-published Circus Days in Sarasota & Venice, which is specifically about the years 1927-1992 when the Ringling show wintered in those two cities. I am looking for all sorts of people who were associated with the Ringling show during those years or their heirs who might be able to share a family anecdote and photo or two. I want to hear from people behind the scenes as well as performers but they must have lived in Sarasota or Venice for at least one year and must have been associated with the Ringling show in some capacity. If you can share a story or know someone who can, please contact me. Thanks for helping me to preserve this important history for these two circus cities.
I grew up in Sarasota and Showfolks of Sarasota website will be a big help. Contact Skip Doyle webmaster, and he can direct you. My husband was on Ringling in the ’60s. He had a Bear act. There are many of us with pictures and stories here in Sarasota. Check with Jenny Wallenda. Hope this helps.
Good luck, Bunni Bartok
The lady I work for was for years, and still is involved with the circus here in Sarasota. I have met several of her friends that are also involved and were performers. They could probably share a lot with you. One couple trained Elephants and they are great people. Just the other night they were sitting around telling stories from 53 years ago. Contact me and I will tell you who to contact.
I am very curious about the book you have published. My understanding is that my aunt and uncle were with the Ringling Circus around the 1920’s and early 30’s. I would love to know if they are in the book and if so, how can I get a copy of the book. Their names: Milton O. Williams – AKA – Sheboygan Dutch -AKA – Dutch. Ida Williams – no known AKA. Uncle Dutch told stories of working with the wagon trains, taking the trains over the ocean and his work as an understudy with the Flying Dutchman. Ida was an areal butterfly who hung by her teeth from a cord and did stunts in the top of the tents. I would not want to relate any of his stories until I can verify somehow that he was with the Ringling Circus. Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.
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