Juggler's Bulletin

P.O. Box 711, Tulsa 1, Oklahoma

Number 44, May 1948



Dr. Wm. H. Crosby, General Chairman, has just wired us that up to June 5 only 18 registrations have been received. We know there will be more than that present but it is important that your Chairman know exactly how many more to expect so final arrangements for the banquet and other accomodations can be made. Air mail that Hotel reservation (if you haven't already made it) and your IJA Registration ($5.00 per person) to Dr. Wm H. Crosby, 119 East 5th St., Jamestown, N.Y.

Why should you come to Jamestown? Why part with $5.00? Just sit back and listen to this !

In a 15 inch wide, 6 foot long letter, George DeMott, Publicity Chairman has advised us of the meeting of Crosby, Barvin, DeMott, Jennings, and Harry Lind on May 29th to work out final details. The meeting started at Crosby's house and ended up at Lind's home at 4 o'clock in the morning. But, Boy ! What details they worked out for the Greatest Convention of your juggling Life. We can't begin to put down in black and white half the enthusiasm we feel for this great event -- And don't kid yourself -- this will be a GREAT convention. Mr. Blair of Fox Movietone News Reels will be thereto film the activities and one of the big National Weekly picture Mags will also cover the event.

In case you came in late, we're talking about the International jugglers' Association Convention, June 27-30, Jamestown, New York. Convention headquarters and most convention activities except the Big Headliner Show, and the Last Night Farewell Party will be held there. Registration will be on the mezzanine with Mrs. DeMott and Violet Carlson in charge.
AND HERE IS THE PROGRAM (subject to changes)
SUNDAY JUNE 27 "Coming In Day" with Registration and visiting
8:45 P.M. Informal juggler's Meeting -- Opening by a prominent Jamestown Clergyman
10:00 A.M. Business Meeting of I.J.A. officers and Convention Committee members only
1:00 P.M. Demonstrations- Comedy props, Roger Montandon; Jug Props, Vin Carey
2:00 P.M. Educational Feature- History of juggling, Jack Greene & Tom Been; Discussion
3:00 P.M. Club Swinging Lecture and Demonstration- Harry Lind
7:30 P.M. Moving Pictures- All attending Jugs are urged to bring their films to be shown
9:30 A.M. General Business Session (for all I.J.A. members) - Art Jennings, presiding; Memorial Service, George DeMott; Election of Officers
1:00 to 3:00 P.M. Photography Session- Jamestown Camera Fans invited to film Jugs at practice
3:00 to 5:00 P.M. Swap Session- Swap your extra photos, mag articles, bills, lithos etc. Put on your Hoss tradin' clothes and join the fun.
10:00 to 11:30 A.M. Round Table Discussion- Bring out your pet peeves and your ideas for the advancement of Juggling.
1:00 to 3:00 P.M. Tour of Harry Lind's Factory
3:00 to 5:00 P.M. Entertainment for various local hospitals and homes by individual acts; all acts meeting back at Hotel Jamestown at 5:30.
8:00 P.M. Headliner Show
After the show there will be an all night lawn party at the Lind home, 66 N. Hanford Ave. All Jugglers still able to juggle a club by 5:00 in the morning will be registered for the NEXT convention and bid- FAREWELL

Since this Bulletin, the May issue, will reach you in the middle of June and since the Convention dates are coincident with usual publication dates for the Bulletin, there will be no June issue. The next Bulletin will be published the last of July and will carry the next consecutive number, that is, 46. Bulletin 45 will carry a complete report of the history making "First I.J.A. Convention. SEE YA IN JAMESTOWN !


Some quite flashy tricks are not at all hard to do, and if you will favor your off-hand you will be able to develop the ambidexterity which is essential to their success. If your lame or stubborn hand is awkward, it should be given more work to do to enable it to catch up with your good hand. When I was learning the three clubs in one hand (my right hand and what most jugglers call their good hand) I had a tendency at first to work over toward my left hand. It annoyed me very much. Instead of coming down again into a three club juggle or stopping, I would stick out my left hand and continue to juggle the three in the left hand until they got back in place for the right hand to take over again. Presto, before I knew it I was going the three in the left -- my off hand -- as well as I could with my right. I'll admit that it wasn't very good at first, but I stuck to it, and when I did my routine in the act I always did the three clubs in either hand, switching from right to left.

Being able to toss three in either hand gave me the nod to go ahead for six. Realizing what I was up against, I didn't take it very seriously, but just fooled around with it on and off for several years. One day in Pittsburgh about 1909 a reporter came back stage to interview us. At that time we were billed as the Altus Brothers. During this interview he asked if anyone ever juggled six clubs. My partner, Dan Mahoney, spoke up and said that I could do six, saying it as though he was speaking of a three club shower. The reporter asked me if I would do it. Any showman is by nature not adverse to publicity of any kind, so I consented to try it. We went to the stage and after the lights were turned on for us I attempted the six club juggle. After several attempts I completed it to about a ten-count and caught all six clubs. It was the first time I'd ever completed the trick, and it proved to be the last also, I never tried it again. It was too much work for what little I got out of it. There was a nice write-up about it later but it was so garbled that it didn't make sense in places.

You may wonder how I started the six-club juggle. Here's the way I got them in the air: Hold four clubs in the right hand and two in the left, toss the two in left hand in the air (triple-turns), reach over and take one from the right hand, mix it in with the first two to do three in the left hand, and from there the three in the right hand start off on their merry journey through space. Six clubs in the air takes up quite a bit of room and if the clubs are not in their proper channels the only thing left to do is to hold your hands over your head in a protective manner and step out of the way of the cord of wood coming down at you.

The clubs used were regulation juggling clubs but were slightly smaller and much lighter than the type used for juggling in those days. In the old days when you ordered clubs from the wood turner you got the amount ordered but you couldn't depend on any uniformity of balance in the individual clubs. They would all be alike as to size, but more than likely some were knob heavy and others bottom heavy. We always ordered twice the amount that we needed in order to pick out enough clubs that would match for different tricks.

Without casting any reflections on the various club makers of those by-gone days, I most sincerely believe that there were no perfect clubs made until Harry Lind got into the game of manufacturing them. He was a great juggler himself and he knew the value of a well-balanced club. Harry's clubs are not only perfectly balanced but they are uniform in every respect. If you want a special club made, all you have to do is tell him what you want and Harry will make it.

Clubs in the old days were generally quite awkward compared to the ones that are made today. When clubs were first used and sold it was with the idea of making them as large as possible without making them impossible to handle. There were not many lady club jugglers in the old days, but as girls started to juggle clubs something had to be done to lighten them and hence they became smaller. Thanks to the lady jugglers we were able to get a lighter club although some of the more husky male jugglers disdained to use the "sissy" clubs.

The clubs used today have a much greater life span than their ancestors of forty years ago did. When we used to practice new tricks or freshen up on old ones we always went to a place where there was a nice bed of grass or a gym that had plenty of mats on the floor. A good bang on a hard floor would knock off the handle or split the club wide open. The handle of the club was attached to the neck only by a thin coat of glue; this weakness was remedied by Ed Van Wyck, who put a wooden nut on the inside end of the handle. That helped. Then Harry Lind came along with a much lighter contraption in the shape of a wedge, and presto, we have the club of today. Today's clubs are many ounces lighter than the old ones, and much stronger. It takes a lot of banging to injure a modern club. They are made of stronger grained and well-selected woods, and the canvas cover, while not entirely new, is much lighter and still very strong. The manufacture of juggling clubs seems to have just about reached its peak of perfection.

There are some jugglers who take the time and patience to make their own clubs. This may be a good idea, but to me it seems like a musician trying to make himself a fine instrument. It can be done, but I doubt if it can be done as well as by a man who has devoted his entire time to making a particular item, and who has all the necessary power tools and other equipment, not to mention the manual skill and knowledge acquired through years of experience. So my advice to the youngster who aspires to the juggling art is to purchase his clubs from a reliable club manufacturer.

Everyone can't originate tricks, and it isn't necessary that they should. If you can't originate any, just do the tricks you have seen other jugglers do. It's true that jugglers do not like to see other jugglers imitate tricks that are original with them. It irks them to see someone come along and steal the material they have used to build up their reputation. However those self same jugglers that claim originality are using someone else's stuff, too, even if they won't admit it. After all the mere juggling of three clubs is a trick that belongs to some juggler of the past, so don't take it too much to heart when you are accused of doing someone else's stuff. Do whatever you can accomplish, but remember that it pays to be original. Almost anyone can imitate someone else, but it takes brains and hard work to be original. Even simple moves thought up by yourself are more likely to lead to success than is a rehashing of tricks that are old and worn-out. But be sure to do a new trick smoothly. Be sure you are the master of a trick before you present it before an audience.

It was always my aim to be original, and I did create many good and showy tricks, only to see some other juggler doing them and even sometimes copying a whole routine. This often left me disgusted and discouraged. However I never complained and came to look at it as a compliment. It's just something that cannot be avoided.

Whatever you do, do it smoothly and be sure you have mastered the trick. Do it so you feel at home with it. Practice will accomplish that. To be a really great juggler you must never be satisfied with your art; always try to better it. Don't get lazy or indifferent. Even if you are only a three-ball juggler doing a routine of tricky and clever moves, do them better than any other juggler does them. Work hard. Take time out for other things, but don't forget that all work and no play makes Jack !

Much advice can be given to the spirant, but it won't do a bit of good unless he is honest with himself and is sincere. Just wishing you were good won't do. A few words in magic won't help either. Devote so many hours each day to practice. Stick to the routine and it will pay dividends. And don't give up -- any fool can do that!



Houston, Texas: Kay Farelli here with "Holiday on Ice". Nice smooth act with 3 and 4 club work, and ball and stick moves. Juggling acts really do something to these big shows and I do mean all to the good, The Conners still on the road. Lloyd Hokum playing around town with his comedy act, also Buster Raye doing his bit. Yours truly and son Dean keeping busy with our double act. We have recently completed a new design in illuminated clubs (electric). Expect to put them in the act soon. That is the newest thing we have and the oldest is a set of original Van Wyck torches (fire brands). Have had them for more than thirty years and still use them. Did have some Van Wyck clubs but Bobby May and Stan Kavanaugh traded me out of them a couple of years ago. And to top it all those roving writing jugglers Doug and Lola Couden rolled in for a string of dates in this area that kept them busy for over a month. This gave the Blau family another opportunity to postpone everything and visit with this friendly and talented couple. We had lots of fun together. The usual jamboree in our back yard as well as a picnic in the woods. Caught Kay Farrelli's act together. Yours truly with son Dean caught the Couden show at one of the school auditoriums and will say that it is very entertaining and amazing from beginning to end. Fifty minutes of Baton twirling, juggling, gag pictures, vent, magic, Punch and Judy, hoop rolling, Honey - the educated dog, marionettes, plus some swell accordian playing. Plenty of comedy bits are sprinkled through the show. Want to say right here that I have seen the Coudens making us of the methods of booking and playing that he describes in his book and they are "sure fire". Glad to see the articles in the Bulletin from time to time written by the name jugglers. Mighty fine. How about something from Wilfrid Dubois, Bobby May, and Truzzi? And some more from Tommy Been and Larry Weeks. (And how about some more from you? Lola and I enjoyed visits with Blaus. They are a juggling family with 7 members all doing some juggling. Bob is one of the 1st 50 J.B. subs. Snap shows him with Dean (Juggling Aldos) passing 7 hoops at our trailer.-- Doug)

Unless a California Jug shows up at the convention at the last minute, Al Barnard 'ole man Barnard' and Buster Barnard will take honors for travelling the greatest distance to attend. In a recent communication the Barnards report that by expert juggling their vacation period jibed with the I.J.A. Conclave dates. You'll see some expert Juggling from these two Wichita boys -- And can they talk juggling!


Dear Roger. We been held over at the Waldorf and stop the show but instead of china plates I glued some 5 & 10 cardboard plates together and painted them white so if I drop one onto some guys dome it wont start no riot, ha, ha. They have a corny band here throwed together by a guy named Whiteman and when I ast him to play some good old ragtime for the act he just smiles but he done it. I had to cut out the watermelon routine as the customers touched the baloons with the lit end of their cigarettes which made them explode so it crabbed the whole act. We was ambling around Times Square and dropped in the Palace but it was just pictures which gave me a slow burn. I stops in the office and squawked to the mgr and he said they cut out vaudeville as every act thought they was the headliners and they had to put stars on all the dressing room doors. He said pictures in cans aint tempermental and now they aint no professional jelousy or nothing. So vaudeville is a dead duck Roger and some Acts wound up on Al Wagers coffee and doughnut circuit at a buck a show. I never duke my way in shows no more because if you do a 1-eyed Connelly you cant beef at a bum show if you dont lay it on the line. Just send my jugs bul to the Waldorf as it looks like we'll be here from now on. We ate lunch at the Waldorf and the check comes to $9.75. 1 told them off plenty and said I didn't want to buy no piece of the joint. I been thinking of putting out a big jugglers magazine like the Clipper so Roger will you give me the low down on how to start. I'll call it Jug Jugglesons Juggling Journal and should mop some big dough up on it. We close the act now with potato juggling and juggle 4 spuds and then take 8 but dont juggle them. I gag, Not at these here prices, then shower them over to Marie who catches them in a big kettle. So long, pal.. Jug.


A worthwhile project for I.J.A. would be the revamping of the corny definitions of juggling in the dictionaries and encyclopedias. A magician recently wrote a modern contribution on magic for the Encyclopedia Britanica. A write-up on juggling should contain something beside tossing.

The beginner should also consider these other elements, so we're bringing this up again. Remember, juggling also includes balancing, spinning, bouncing, rolling, sliding, catching and air gliding. I include catching for those tricks in which catching is the important part such as catching a coin on the eye, catching a ball on a mouth-stick, etc. Air gliding is added for such tricks as gliding hats, cards, trays, etc. through the air, boomerang throwing etc. Some tricks are hard to classify. For instance, cigar box routines often include several of the above elements.

The use of more than one phase of juggling not only lends diversity to the act but change of pace as well. The most radical change is from a routine involving extreme action to the most static element, balancing.

Other diversity angles which should be carefully considered are; silent or talking tricks, straight or comedy, different lighting effects, variety of props, diversity of decoration of props, and different musical numbers. A Juggler can use action to advantage as do such performers as dancers, acrobats, roller skaters, etc. If a Juggler does most of his act in one spot like most singers, ventriloquists, cartoonists, etc., he is overlooking a good bet. So if the young jug makes a careful study of action, diversity, and change of pace, he has something not only to think about but to APPLY as well.


COLLECTORS' CORNER: The May "Holiday" had a fine colored pic of one of the Chiesa brothers in action.--- A copy of Everhart's "Facts, Fame and Fortune" is wanted by collector Couden.--- Unus, Ringling acro star, was pictured spinning five rings while doing a one-hand stand in "Time" for April 19.---Bob Blau of 4301 Canal Street, Houston 3, Texas, collects juggling cartoons, hint! hint!

HERE AND THERE: Glen Phillips just finished two weeks at the Flame Club, in St. Paul.--- The Coudens are heading for some California sunshine this summer. They have just had some attractive advertising printed. One card with four photos and another with comments on their show from various school principals.--- Speaking of advertising, Carl Thorson has had some neat views and reviews of his act printed for publicity purposes.--- A couple of Jacks- Taylor and Melville- got together recently in Merrie Olde England.--- The Juggling Jewels opened April 26 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, with the Gran Circo Americano.

We were indeed fortunate in having the opportunity of seeing Bobby May while Skating Vanities was in Rock Island, Ill. This Rastelli on rollers had no trouble in holding the attention of his audience with his fast precision juggling from the moment he skated out from the wings until his beautiful finishing trick, after which he received a tremendous ovation and came back for a well-deserved encore. We met him after the show for a short visit and a few days later Jack Greene drove him over to see us. We played hookey from school that day, but we believe the instruction we received from these two fine jugs is more important than book larnin'. We enjoyed hearing them debate the merits of the present day jugs compared to the old timers and then telling about some of the experiences they had on those first amateur nights. Great jugs and grand friends, both.

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