Juggler's Bulletin

P.O. Box 711, Tulsa 1, Oklahoma

Number 45, July 1948


Frankly, reporting the doings of the First Convention of the International Jugglers' Association is one of the toughest assignments we've ever undertaken. We've been to several conventions and read reports of many more but never have we enjoyed one as much as this one. In fact we were so busy enjoying it that we failed to make a single note and it was only in a post-convention meeting at Lind's that we jotted down some material But notes or no notes, the highlights of the convention can never be forgotten by those attending.

Though this report will not cover the events in chronological order we can at least start at the beginning. We hopped up to Chicago to find Bill Talent waiting for us at the Round Table and we plotted our voyage to Jamestown for that night. Having a little time left we dropped out to see Howard Nichols and persuade him to join us. We almost had him railroaded but previous commitments the following week in San Antonio, Texas caused our failure. We did get a glimpse of his wonderful collection of juggliana and Howard has already started work on a feature that will appear in coming issues of the Bulletin. We certainly enjoyed meeting this modest and great juggler and only wish he could have been at the convention. As we walked through the terminal turnstile a voice called, "Your name wouldn't be Montandon would it?, and we turned around and shook hands with Jack Greene. Thus we three started a neck stiffening journey to Jamestown. Jumpin'- Jeepers we've been on the train of tomorrow - but where could they have found that gallopin' ghost from the past and stuck the respectable name of "Erie" on it!

The minute we stepped into the Hotel Jamestown and registered we knew the convention would be a success for Art Jennings, George DeMott, George Barvin, and Dr. Crosby were already there and had things in full swing. These men did a lot of pre convention work and kept it up the entire convention. To them, our hat is off for making the convention run so smoothly and successfully.

Here, then, we met for the first time the man that had the greatest load on his shoulders, Dr. Crosby. What a guy! It wasn't till the next day that we met Mrs. Crosby and we found out that the billing should be Dr. and Mrs. Crosby, Convention Co-Chairmen. How they took care of all the usual convention troubles, cured ailing jugglers, and kept up a busy practice is more than we'll ever know-- and possibly even they wonder about it now that the event is over.

When George DeMott said that Fox Movietone and Look Magazine would cover the convention he MEANT it. Mr. Blair of Fox Movietone took pictures of the 25 or more jugglers gathered together at Allen Park doing every conceivable type of juggling until he was blue in the face--. or we should say red, for exposing some feet of film in three hours didn't leave much time for rest. Some of these shots may appear in the Movietone news shorts in your local theatres before this Bulletin reaches you, or at least you may expect to see them at the next I.J.A. convention. Phil Harrington, Look's representative was a hard working young man who left no stone unturned to get the pictures he wanted. Equipped with the latest and best in camera and strob light apparatus, he took some 1000 pictures of every possible situation. Some of the publicity took place all over Jamestown, were designed to create local and national interest in the doings of jugglers. There was the hotel kitchen juggling by Talent -and Jennings, Cigar store scene with DeMott, the balance of a full sheet of newspaper in the Post-Journal offices by Wm. Schillinger, Dottie Dell's juggle on top of the Jamestown Hotel, DeMott, Lou Meyer, and Barvin at the photo club - and with a model too ! And as a finale- that traffic stopping, club passing foursome, Al Barnard, Jack Greene, Harry Lind and Buster Barnard. If all of the pictures that were taken at this convention were gathered together it would make the greatest collection of present day juggling in existence.




The Convention opened officially by Convention Chairman Crosby and President Jennings Sunday evening. Father Bryzana, Reverend Tolley, and Rabbi Minsker each skillfully blended their thoughts to form one of the most interesting and inspiring invocations ever heard. From then on things started flying and kept on flying until the end of the convention.

After returning from Allen Park the following morning Vin Carey displayed an elaborate table full of props all made by himself. His explanation of how each item was conceived and manufactured was interesting and educational - After this "serious" lecture Vin broke down and during the rest of the convention lived up to his billing of "Convention Kibitzer". Never a dull moment eh, Vin? Your editor followed with various types of foolishness such as Bouncing Putty, The Rigid Rope and the Vanishing Cane - Well, we can't all be jugglers ! Jack Greene, a truly great juggler, but you'd never guess it for his modesty, followed with reminiscences of vaudeville and juggling during the "golden era". Climaxing the educational forum was Harry Lind who after a brief talk, removed his coat and demonstrated the evolution of club juggling from single and double club swinging moves. Bobby Jule was introduced and favored us with his routine of club swinging and tossing done with the precision that is characteristic of all of his work.

The evening session covered the motion picture activities of such outstanding jugglers as Lew Folds, Truzzi Francisco, Boy Foy, Bob Dupont, Bobby May, and The Barnards, and the films taken at the Pittsburgh get together in 1947. The films were shown in the telephone company's movie studio by a professional operator ail furnished through the courtesy of Mr. Wright, the President.

At the business meeting Tuesday morning the Constitution and By Laws were amended and adopted, letters and telegrams from absent members were read, memorial service held for jugglers having passed on, and new officers elected. The new officers include Art Jennings, President; Vin Carey, Vice President; Violet Carlson, Secretary-Treasurer; George DeMott, Chaplain: Jack Greene and Harry Lind, Directors. The afternoon was filled with swapping of pictures, looking at scrapbooks and just plain and fancy juggling. Out standing among the scrapbooks were those of Jack Greene, Joe Fleckenstein, Vin Carey, and George Lerch.

We'd heard a lot about the toastmastership of Joe Fleckenstein and at the banquet that night some 52 jugglers and their ladies were entertained by his wit and humor. During his more serious moments, Joe introduced Chairman Crosby, the new and retiring officers, Mayor Stroth of Jamestown, and Harry Lind. The ovation given Harry and his expression of gratitude will never be forgotten by those attending. It was a fitting climax to the banquet honoring this great juggler and craftsman.

Autographing of the guest book and the giant club as well as the group pictures filled the early evening. And then as if pre-arranged by the fates, who should drop in but Eddie Tierney. Having driven some 300 miles from Canada and having to be in Baltimore the next day didn't stop this great juggler from giving us a demonstration of four and five club work done with the ease and grace never before witnessed by most of us. Eddie gave a repeat performance for the photographers and included some of the finest precision club passing with Al and Buster Barnard ever viewed. We interviewed Roy Henderson, who held the cigar in his mouth while Tierney and Barnard flipped the ashes off with flying clubs, and he said, " Sure is hard on a good cigar". 'Twas great having Eddie with us for a few hours. What a gentleman !

After such a strenuous night things didn't get under full swing till late the next morning with more pictures taken, hospital shows given, and preparations made for "The Big Toss Up" the public Headliner show. George Barvin certainly did a marvelous job of lining up talent and the small but appreciative audience expressed their approval of each act in the fast moving, well balanced show. Vin Carey M.C.'d and as he had previously promised, there were no stage waits. Everything clicked like a big time production. There was James Murphy and his gravity defying slack wire presentation, Vin Carey with a spot of Magic climaxed by a superb linking ring routine. Harry Lind and Jack Greene represented the Old Timers with their club passing. Lloyd Morgan with his fascinating gyrations on the high and low unicycles. -Lou Meyer with his unique comedy juggling. Art Jennings billed as the Bum juggler but the audience didn't think so... a slik combination of comic situations and juggling. George DeMott, a versatile juggler who checked with all the other artists and still presented something different. George Lerch, this versatile young juggler presented unsupported ladder, stilt walking, rope spinning and juggling all done on a portable slack wire rigging, and finished strong with the hand stand on the slack wire as seen in a picture elsewhere in this Bulletin. As if to bring this great show to its apex, Bobby Jule presented his flawless juggling technique in the routine that has made him one of the nation's top jugglers. Such smoothness and timing ! Vin Carey called all jugglers' in the house to the stage and the air was filled with flying objects as the curtain closed on a Great Show. All jugglers were invited to Bill Dunham's cottage on the shores of Lake Chit and after coffee and sandwiches and more juggling, the Convention came to a reluctant close.

CONVENTION HIGHLIGHTS IN BRIEF: REMEMBER.... The introduction of Mayor Stroth as "the best mayor money can buy "..... The joke Joe Fleckenstein told that made H.H. Brown laugh so hard that it made everyone laugh til the tears came.... Morgan Anderson's excuse for his black eye, "I ran into a club"..... Vin Carey's improved two ball shower, and we'll bet you can't do it either the first time.... That the thumping on the floor of 828 kept Fleckenstein awake all night, and he was two floor below.... The Pryde Shannon vs. Art jenninas running feud.... Stuart new method of 3 club juggling, evidently only Cornell students learn it this way, but it sure looks good.... Bill Dunham at the Victory cafe falling asleep at the table, the gang leaving him and having the


waitress wake him up, Mumbled Bill, "Am I too early for breakfast or too late for dinner".... John Wright telephone company prexy saying, "If there is anything I can do for you let me know", and Lind saying, "I'd like a telephone".... Vin Carey's question of how the juggler in the story "The Juggler of Our Lady" started the six balls with his stocking feet and Father Bryzana's quick reply, "You must remember it's just a legend".... Pryde having to return the silverware at the banquet and looking daggers at you know who... Dottie Dell's nerve in juggling on top of the hotel.... Bill Talent's wonderful ball juggling and the Talent, Barnard, Barnard, and wastebasket routine.... The great job of Instruction, advice, and moral support by Talent, Greene and Lind.... Phil Harrington's constant cry, "Hold it, I'm out of film" Les and Steve Kosanke hitch hiking to Jamestown and being watched over by the Crosby's ....The great job done by Mrs. Crosby, Mrs. DeMott, and Violet Carlson.... H. H. Brown's sense of humor .... The barkeep who wouldn't believe there was a convention going on because only two had been in for drinks .... And Art Jennings confessing that he was one of 'em... but for the cold.... How Art kept going in spite of a terrific cold.... George Lerch's marvelous juggling in the ballroom, but seen by only a few.... Bill Dietrich who learned to shower five balls before he knew they could be cascaded.... Those quiet guys like Burford Carlson, John Boettcher, Louis Rich, Jos. Boyle, Forest Little, Buddy Dell, and Dr. Baldwin.... Theodore Stromberg sending in his registration even though he couldn't attend ... The fine fellowship and cooperation that made this convention AN EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME.



The publicity had already started before we arrived. We have never had contact with a more cooperative press than the Jamestown Post journal. Every day of the convention and even days before and after, the Jugglers' Convention was given front page attention. We doubt that even those attending realized how much publicity was given this affair, so we have gathered together on this page and the next one some of the press reports and pictures used in the Jamestown Post journal. Our closest contact with the press was with Stan Olson, Staff photographer who took the pictures appearing in this Bulletin; What a swell guy!... And excellent photographer to boot! And what service... if we ordered pictures at four... they were ready by 7.. the SAME DAY ! Amazing, no less. Thanks then to you, Stan, and all of the staff that gave us such swell coverage with such friendliness, We don't know how much more news was national in scope, but we do know that the picture and story of the Kosanke brothers, Les and Steve, appeared all over the nation as an AP release The story of these two hitch hiking Texans appears on the following page as written in the Post journal. Les told us that on the way back home they'd try to stop at Tulsa- at Box 711. That's a mighty small hole in the wall, but maybe they can cram you both in there !

[JIS Editor's note: In the original Juggler's Bulletin several newspaper articles were reproduced. We have just included the headlines here.]

City to Play Host at Jugglers Convention Tomorrow

Jamestown Post-Journal

Young Texans Hitchhike To Jugglers' Convention

Brothers Risk High Treason Charges By Admitting New York State Has.'It'

Charity Show For Boys' Club Ends Convention Jugglers To Aid Boys' Club Fund

Jugglers Take Over Park for Movie Camera Field Day News Reels Grind and Magazine Photographers Record 'Routines'

Jugglers Open Convention Here Sunday



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