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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 22, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta the Lethbridge Herald TWrf Section August 1973 PftgwW 49 THE CARNIVAL N.Y. Early this on a a haberdashery clerk named Richard Coleman scraped together and bought a merry-go-round. It was a second-hand piece of jink the organ was the motor was gone and only the paint chipped wooden horses remained intact. Look- big it over on his first day of Coleman shook his head in second thought and the hell am I going to do with What he did with it has. In the intervening 56 be- come part of American folk- lore. He built himself a carni- val. Da da dum da da da dum da da da dum dum the monkey wrapped his tail around the flag step right up and try your a quarter a quarter to Da da dum dum. Florida's largest aDi- one hundred years one thousand pounds 13 faaaabulous feet Da da dum dum. there bro- a ride on the Paratroop- bring your watch her thrill in delight as you grab her high over the A Baloney and Mischief and Rides that spin farm- ers 13 revolutions per minute. Ten-cent candy apples at 30 cents plus dust. Girls who TV-ear little more than ear- rings and hawkers who swat flies at the cotton candy counter. Once the shows were the nation's most popular form of family recreation. After folks got a load of the sword swal- lower with the Buffalo Bill it was an ongoing top- ic of village conversation at least until the snake charmer came through with Annie Oakley. And even when even the supermarket is a game of when people get their thrills on the when TV and Go-Go's and college humor magazines pre- lessened the lure of women in even today the carnivals thrive. Da da dum da da da dum da da da dum re- member once I was running the Ferris Wheel and I got this big old gal who must have weighed 350 pounds. when she got to the top she started to panic. She stood up and upset the balance of the wheel. I threw the damn lever into gear something went wrong and the wheel went into reverse. The fat dame came down like a CARNIVAL SKYLINE today as yes- terday is dominated by the high-flying rides. And there are still ladies in pasties to attract the marks. But there have been changes. Medical for one has made freaks harder to find. COLLEGE SHOPPING MALL PRESENTS. 'Hilda and Penny Ronnenberg' and their fantastic Act' Hilda and Ronny will be performing their Magk Act in the Mall during our BACK-TO-SCHOOL SALE DAYS PERFORMANCE TIMES Aug. 23rd 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 24th 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 25th 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. and...............4 p.m. to 5 p.m. COLLEGE SHOPPING MALL a million-dollar bums hare become unwelcome and scarce 2025 MAYOR MAGRATH DRIVE shot. I doubt she still ain't for- got today's carni- vals may be doing better than ever. What with shop- ping centres and street festi- Irwin editor of Amusement esti- mates there are 600 to shows operating in North Am- erica this year and that as many as 75 million Americans and five million Canadians will see some kind of midway attraction before the winter freeze. Disappointed Some unfortun- will be Many shows today are rag- bags merely a few and a lot of hype and the action is chancy. Show dates are postponed or cancelled because of mechanical diffi- culties. Rides break down and stall for nights on end. some cases this is a blessing. Only 15 states have laws regu- lating carnival ride safety. Too often in the United as on Long Island re- someone is killed on machinery that should have been In many small carnivals to- day the prices are high to 75 cents a the opera- tors the food filthy and the midway games so hanky panky as to emit a near- smell. Yet in the main the custom- ers marks in the busi- get what they pay escape and fatty foods. Here in Afton the other eve- a 280-pound mechanic named Henry Walt spent at the Coleman then said afterwards that it was every He won a back- in a dart just missing a stuffed pillow inscribed Like He rode the Round spent 30 minutes in a bumper tried the Tilt-A-Whirl and on the 80-foot Skydive. He ate a Belly an ice cream rolled in a pizza and a Mexican sand- wich. It he a hell of a wouldn't miss it. I come every year to the Afton Fair. The Coleman carnival is a big thing in my the Coleman Bros. Show England's Fin- has been a big thing in many lives for more than half a century. Begun by Richard and a now-deceased the chow grew from one used carousel In 1916 to 25 rides end 40 concessions today. Coleman has released owner- ship of the carnival to his two I still keep an eye on Some eye. He's the first to last to sleep and counts the take every night. The take for Coleman usu- ally probably at he still insists the show go for and fair- No crooked cameys for no public vulgarities. learned a long tune ago to keep the trucks the rides in good repair and my heart in the right Verbal agreement Coleman books 22 dates a season through Septem- all by verbal agreement. never cheated anybody and I never missed an opening date. I've taught ray sons to do the same. This is our busi- ness and we run it as good and decent as we It of always thus with carnivals. is a somewhat re- cent objective of the industry. Once the idea was simply to hit and run. Shows hired transvestites as la- The only chance in the games of chance was the chance the cops would raid. As for author A. H. in his book quotes one veteran show own- er as say bad about anybody else's wife. She may be yours next And truth to the con- temporary carnivals have carryovers of the good old bad days. Call it institutional mentum. can't be wiped out says a Cole- man lot of guys who were cheating 20 years ago are still around One ragbag-show owner In the Midwest is still reputed to make extra cash by selling the key to his wife's motet room. He sells it 10 to 15 times a to 10 to 15 dif- -11 sj ---U---- lieve they have purchased exclusive rights until they enow up en masse at the door to to their further cha- the wife checked out Duds Even Coteman's even with the old man has its duds. let of us are says a ride oper- ator named Frenchy. I was sentenced seven-and-a- half to fifteen for armed rob- bery. You can't get a job no- where when you get but the old man takes us on. Most of us appreciate it. We'd do anything for him. now and then you get a punk. See that kid operating the He's a punk. He was up for child molest- ing. one night we gave him a blanket party. You know what a blanket party We threw a blanket over his head and that way he couldn't prove which of us was hitting Yet the dark spots of respectable carnivals today are all but bleached out by the lights generated in tne huge midway power some of which are capable of illuminating entire towns. The generators are indicative of the changed times. Good shows today are too busy with big business to stoop very low. The Jimmy Strates show moves up and down the Eastern seaboard in private boxcars. The Royal American carni- val boasts it can attract 200- people to a single ex- travaganza. owns one an adaptation of the Ferris which cost is a million dollar he says. Bums have become unwelcome and scarce. There have been other changes in carnivals besides By TOM TIEDE scruples. for are no longer to prevalent. who used to feature Siamese twins riding a cut- torn built now doef entirely without such attrac- tions. Part of the reason may be the scarcity of available freaks. In gowtia says Irwln have cut down the number of such people. harder and harder to But even when they art the exceptional people have lost their lure. Arthur in his eayi crowds still flock to see tractions like William a man with three eyes and two noses. But for the most don't go over well People are more 20 adds Coleman's don't want to walk in and gawk at somebody with snake-skin. They've too much Eye on the business Richard Coleman keeps trucks in in the right place end an eye on the business. PANTS Baggie styling with cuffs. Vanely of plaids and checks suited to a young life style. Sizes 5 to 15. Regular xuu O 4 1 C 2 I 5 JACKETS... Nylon windbreaker to battle styling. SJA.L 1 Price SWEATERS Classics and novelty styles for thoie popular layered looks. Wools and angora blends. Pastels and fashion shades. S.M.I. Regular NOW and DRESSES Your own special look In young slyltt mini length. Assortment of styles end Sues 5 to 15 Regular to NOW 1 SKIRTS Confident wool A-linev SiiM I to NOW bettv shoo ;