WOW! What a jug Session! If this issue seems to be all jug session review it's because we feel that this get-together was something "out of this world" and that all of you who were unable to make it will want to know in detail just what went on in Pittsburgh on the afternoon of June 16 and the morning of June 17th.
We flew in from Tulsa via St. Louis & Indianapolis, arriving at about 5 o'clock to find that jugs Jack Greene, Harry Lind, George Barvinchak, George Lerch, Eddy Johnson, Bill Dunham, Bernard Joyce, Clem Foust & several others had already had a pre-session session in the Ballroom. Sorry we missed it for here Jack and Harry gave forth with demonstrations and helpful hints to anyone needing a little help.
The Night Before Party was a corn-filled show of magic which left much to be desired -- no juggling -- though Art Jennings darted across the stage a few times with a flash of comedy. The show being over before mid-night, most everyone ended up around the corner at Thompson's restaurant where the Jugs had three or four tables pulled together and continued shooting the juggling breeze until around four in the morning. Those youngsters Lind and Greene caused us to lose much sleep that night and succeeding ones as well. Only the thought of getting to the jug session the next morning broke up the group.
Things got under way again later that morning (17th) when the Jug Session officially opened. Official registered for the Session were the following: James Reynolds, George Lerch, Eddy Johnson, Floyd Dunham, John Loksa, Clem Foust, Jack Greene, Vin Carey, Bernard Joyce, George Barvinchak, Bobby Jule, Harry Lind, Agustus Rapp, Joe Fleckenstein, Dr. A.L. Baldwin, Sergio Chiesas, Vinicio Chiesas, Art Jennings, Roger Montandon. The picture following shows most of the gathered jugs in action at one time.
On Stage (left to right): Joe Fleckenstein, Jack Greene, George Barvinchak, Vin Carey, Harry Lind, Teddy Ray, Earl Gotberg. On Floor (left to right): George Lerch, Roger Montandon, Floyd Dunham, Bernard Joyce, Bobby Jule, Sergio and Vinicio Chiesas, Eddy Johnson, Clem Foust, James Reynolds, John Loksa.
THE CHIESA BROTHERS
Harry Lind had everyone gathered around before the session officially started, demonstrating and showing the various types of clubs that have been made in the past. Many of these were cut away to show the construction. It was really interesting to everyone to see the progress that has been made in club manufacture since the days of 21 ounce clubs.
Art Jennings officiated and in order to introduce everyone, each registered juggler was called on to do a few minutes of juggling with their favorite props. It didn't make any difference if you could only juggle three balls or a dozen -- it was a neat yet informal means of getting acquainted.
Bobby Jule, after doing his bit, introduced a couple of youngsters and apologetically said that they had been trying to learn to juggle but hadn't progressed very rapidly. With such a build-down, up came Sergio and Vinicio Chiesas. We didn't think much about it when Jule threw five rings to one of the boys but when he kept tossing 6, 7, 8, and then 9 we thought, here's a gag -- the guy's going to throw them up and run like hell. WOW, was everyone pop-eyed when the 9 rings went up in the air and were all caught again, not once but several times. We'll say WOW again. The photographer, a soul with a sense of humor, yells "Hold it", when all the rings are in the air and everyone roared. We barely got our eyes unpopped when Chiesas #2 (we never did get the first names straight) calmly tosses eight rings, spins one on leg and balances a ball on pedestal on forehead. WOW, WOW! They handled six like it was a dead cinch, and then did some fancy fast passing with hoops and clubs, the latter being remarkable in itself since they were not accustomed to our American clubs. Then Jule revealed the thickening plot. The Chiesas Brothers were from the Ringling show playing Pittsburgh at the time and have only been in the country a short time. The boys are only 19 and 21 years old so no telling what they may startle you with when you catch their act. We know you'd never believe it if you didn't see it so we have pictures to present the facts.
Harry Lind, Joe FIeckenstein, Agustus Rapp, Jack Greene
With time growing short (we had to be out of the room by one ) the room was darkened and Bobby Jule showed some mighty interesting juggling movies that we would have enjoyed seeing over if there had been time. These films were followed by the 16 mm. prints that the Barnards, and Francisco Alvarez had loaned us for the convention. Francisco's photography was excellent and shows what can be accomplished by good movie taking technique. Al Barnard's pictures brought out what can be done with slow motion picture taking as shown in the sequence of eight club passing. Some pictures!
That noon as many jugs as could be rounded up met at the Embassy restaurant and there, with a quorum present, was started the first association of Jugglers in the world. The following were present on the momentous occasion: Jack Greene, Art Jennings, Geroge Barvinchak, Eddie Johnson, Floyd Dunham, Harry Lind, Bernard Joyce, Roger Montandon. The name of the new organization was chosen after the third vote to be -- International Jugglers Association. Officers elected were Art Jennings, president; Eddy Johnson, V. president; George Barvinchak, sec.; Roger Montandon, treas. The Juggler's Bulletin was chosen as official organ. The above report is just a brief summary of the happenings of this first business meeting -- further news and announcements concerning the new association will be written up by Barvinchak and printed in the Bulletin. Until the organization grows further it was decided to have an initiation fee of $ 1.00 with no further yearly dues until acted upon by the next business session. The dollar fee entitles each member to a membership card in the I.I.A. Send your initiation fee to any one of the officers and get in on the start of a great organization. Art Jennings, an artist of no mean ability was commissioned to do the art work for the membership card.
Short Shootins: At the After-Banquet show, Art ably held down the juggling spot billed as the Bum Juggler. Art has added several new refinements since we caught his act at St. Louis. Telegrams and letters from the Barnards, Duke Johnson and Bill Talent, Doug Couden and Tom Breen. Cancellation of postal vacations in Wichita prevented the Barnards from attending; Duke and Bill busy teaching cast of "Off to Buffalo" to juggle; Tom Breen and Cal Kenyon getting married, Doug Couden whammed by car (lady driver), causing damage to his car and trailer. Larry Weeks missed attending by a day as U.S.O. Hospital unit contract started June 16th. Wish all of you, and many more, could have made it -- start making plans to get to the next one right now. Jack Greene's scrapbooks were mighty interesting but missed by many. Harry Lind and Bill Dunham almost going to burlesque show with the excuse that there might be a juggler on the bill. It's Doc Lind now -- that prescription put us back in circulation again, Harry. Seen at the dealer's: A metal gimmic that fits on the finger for exploding a single cap -- drop object, point fingers and let go with a blast from the bango device. Merv Taylor's fire bowl that lights with a trigger pull -- juggle five or six (or nine), stop or let fall to floor, reach in coat and pull out lit fire bowl and remark that you're getting HOT.
We had a mighty wonderful time and we think everyone who attended will agree that they saw and heard more juggling going on than has ever been assembled in one hall. A million thanks to the I.B.M., Doc. Baldwin, Joe Fleckenstein, and Art Jennings for making it all possible this year.
On the way back home we parachuted off at Evansville, Indiana to take the rest cure with Doug and Lola who are camped out with the remains of their car and trailer in a beautifully shaded trailer camp. Ah what a life nothing to do but loll around in the shade of the trees and dream of juggling 9 rings. Never knew that a good trailer could be so convenient. After talking over juggling, magic, and booking, with a little practice and picture taking thrown in we reluctantly parted.
Bobby Jule Art Jennings Jack Greene George Barvinchak Eddy Johnson