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Topic: Found this in the paper....
Message: Posted by: The Curator of the Unusual (Jan 4, 2012 01:42PM)
Got Home today from being in Wisconsin...and saw this in the Dec. 25th Edition of The St. Petersburg Times...

Message: Posted by: Jim Hand (Jan 4, 2012 03:18PM)
Thanks, Jim. A real nice story about a real nice guy. I enjoy talking to Ward whenever we bump into each other. He is truly a real old school showman and is always nice to the young guys like me.
Message: Posted by: The Curator of the Unusual (Jan 4, 2012 06:31PM)
On 2012-01-04 16:18, Jim Hand wrote:
Thanks, Jim. A real nice story about a real nice guy. I enjoy talking to Ward whenever we bump into each other. He is truly a real old school showman and is always nice to the young guys like me.

He is also very cordial to the Punks like me...
Message: Posted by: Todd Robbins (Jan 4, 2012 09:49PM)
One of the reasons I took the gig with Circus Sarasota was to see Ward Hall.
Message: Posted by: Police Magician (Jan 5, 2012 07:17AM)
I wish the media would do more stories like this. Love the pic with the banners. Jim, did you paint those banners?

Message: Posted by: Jim Hand (Jan 5, 2012 07:47AM)
No, they are not mine. They look like they might be Johnny Meah's work. At least the pictorials. Someone else might have done the lettering...Nice work whoever did it...

In the past I've done a lot of work for Ward and Chris . In recent years I've had to cut back on my workload..I probably turn down enough work to keep someone busy full time
Message: Posted by: Todd Robbins (Jan 5, 2012 10:18AM)
Yes, those "banners" are Meah's. It looks like the panels he did on the trucks from old World of Wonder set up. It was the first of Ward's farewell tours. For a few seasons they had the banner line painted on the trucks and parked them end to end to create the show front. It was somewhat like what Ringling used when they were under canvas and carried a sideshow.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Jan 5, 2012 11:12AM)
Great article! And, a wake-up call to society (talking about side-show fat men):

"I wouldn't give you 50 cents a week for a fat man today because you can go to any buffet restaurant and in two hours see more fat people who would have qualified to appear at a sideshow than you actually would see at a real sideshow." Ain't it the truth!

Message: Posted by: The Curator of the Unusual (Jan 5, 2012 11:43AM)
Indeed they are on one of the PuP trailers...Ward said he would never frame a Solid front Sideshow again as They confused folks w/ a Funhouse or Dark Ride...I have been studying RBBB's old wagon front for years...and if the Economy ever turns around I would like to build 2 of them on a slightly smaller scale (12' long to fold out to 30' each)w/ the CBCB pronounced shadow box effect.. and to be able to haul them on 1 trailer w/ other stuff...I believe the RBBB style would not be as confusing...Either way the Economic forcast keeps it a pipe dream...
Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Jan 5, 2012 12:05PM)
Hoxie parked two trailers along one side of the midway. The banners were hung on the trailers. The bally stage and ticket boxes were between the trailers, in the front door. The years I was there, Mongo the gorilla was the main feature. His trailer was parked inside the tent, easily pointed to, from the bally.
Message: Posted by: The Curator of the Unusual (Jan 5, 2012 12:27PM)
All 3 of the ACME Circus Corp. (CBCB, King, Sells & Gray) Shows parked 2 trailers w/ the Banners painted on them, I also liked that they set up a Marquee and strung a net banner between the trailers..The time I was on Hoxie one of the trailers hauled the Bulls w/a bunkhouse for the Bullmen on the 5th wheel...and other trailer was for the Hoof stock as well as the S.S. equipment..
Message: Posted by: joe faro (Jan 8, 2012 02:52PM)
Jim Z, can you post a picture of the wagons you like?
Message: Posted by: The Curator of the Unusual (Jan 8, 2012 04:11PM)
Here you are Joe...

Message: Posted by: jay kirwan (Jan 9, 2012 06:33AM)
When I started out in circus, the accomodation for

single guys was in the showfront wagons similar

to those in Jims photo, which was great until a

a windy night when all of the fold out panel support

arms would rattle all night ensuring nobody got any

sleep for all the wrong reasons!!

Was probably the only downside of 2 day stands as on

the one nighters the panels were always dropped once

the show got underway.
Message: Posted by: Jim Hand (Jan 9, 2012 11:09AM)
Hey Jay, You were lucky .I stayed in a sleeper (accomodations is way to nice a word ) in the front of a generator semi for several weeks...
While the noise was beyond bad , it wasn't the worst part. Anyone who has been in, or even touched ,a generator while it's
running will tell you how much they vibrate.
Message: Posted by: Kevin Gerrone (Jan 10, 2012 07:24PM)
Jim Hand,
I love your lettering as I think you are the best at it! I unfortunetly havent had that chance to see many of your banner work. How can I see some of the banners you did for Ward and Chris, would love to see any banners you have done on canvas!!!
Message: Posted by: Jim Hand (Jan 11, 2012 02:46PM)
I have only done one banner for Ward and Christ and it was on canvas.... It was the doorway banner for the sideshow they had on TOBY TYLER CIRCUS ( Dick Garden ,owner). There is a very nice picture of Ward and Petey doing a bally infront of it in the TTC program,if you can find one. Afriend found one at the Circus World gift shop last year.It'a double page spread in the centerfold. I also did all the lettering on Toby Tyler .

I have done tons of work for Ward but mostly interior signs ,ticket boxes, etc. Bill Browning and Johnny Meah have done most of his banners,almost ALWAYS on canvas. I did the CIRCUS USA for Ward when he and Christ managed it for Allen C.Hill.

I was always so busy lettering ,sometimes into late night to get a job done so it could leave that I didn't take a lot of pictures. I was sometimes "booked" 6-8 weeks with paint work. I was always glad when it was time to take the circus out. I could relax a bit. I painted the ENTIRE Great American Circus in 72 hrs. ( night and day, non-stop ) one year.We had a lot rain that year and I got so far behind I was telling people to try and find someone else if they could but Allen wanted me to do it. I used to do a lot of over-nighters on the boardwalk.
Message: Posted by: The Curator of the Unusual (Jan 11, 2012 07:17PM)
The Banner Jim Hand painted on Canvas for Ward & C.M. for Toby Tyler Circus... ((1985 ish)


The one he painted for the BCS on heavy vynl...(2008)

Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Jan 11, 2012 07:28PM)
You could ask for better, but why? Jim...superb!
Message: Posted by: The Curator of the Unusual (Jan 11, 2012 07:30PM)
And Circus U.S.A. ....




Message: Posted by: Jim Hand (Jan 11, 2012 08:02PM)
Thanks Jim, I had no photos of Circus USA...or the Toby Tyler banners. BTW I got the TT banner back twice...Got it once when I bought a job lot of stuff ...sold it to a fan in Miami and about 3 years later got it back again when I bought a bunch of costumes and illusions from Cypress Gardens, It wasn't included in the deal but they were using it as a dust cover . I asked for it and they gave it to me. I sold it ( again) to a collector in St.Louis and I THINK he sold it later to a restaurant. Ended up making more reselling it than what I got paid originally.
Message: Posted by: Kevin Gerrone (Jan 11, 2012 09:55PM)
Thanks for sharing the photos Jim, and AMAZING work Mr Hand!!!!! I am so impressed with your lettering skills and from what ive been told from Jim your speed! They don't make them like you anymore!!!
Message: Posted by: Jim Hand (Jan 12, 2012 11:01AM)
Ward called me the fastest sign painter he ever saw....One year I was in Waed's yard working on cases for his wax museum...Johnny Meah was there doing some touch up on banners... While we had known each other for several years, he had never seen me at work... he went home for lunch and came back with a video camera and taped me for about an hour...I have NEVER considered my work "art"...I'm a lettering guy who can fake a banner...I've always considered my artwork/pictorials to be somewhat crude but I always could get the job done quick,if need be....Johnny and Bill Browning are fantastic artist and do beautiful work... I usually spend about 4 to 5 hours on an average banner. I used to be able to a complete semi ( both sides,front and back ) in a day. I have slowed down as I've gotten older...a semi takes about a day and a half now.. Last winter I did a 60 ft RAIDERS front in a day...I couldn't move the next day,I was so sore.
Message: Posted by: Police Magician (Jan 14, 2012 05:27AM)
Jim, the pics of the banners you sent me were fabulous. The artwork is magnificent. You have a great talent. Like I said earlier, it is the artwork on the banners that attract the people to come inside the tent. Oh how I long for the old days when the midway was adorned with all those beautiful banners.

Message: Posted by: Kondini (Feb 6, 2012 08:20AM)
Couldn`t agree more !!! Well done !!! You deserve to be !!!