We're doing shows for multinational forces and observers here in the Sinai, which is owned by Egypt since the Camp David accords in 1981. Eleven countries are here! Yesterday we helicoptered to six mountain outposts to perform for isolated soldiers. It's mind boggling!
Our shows are going great. I've always been a pacifist, so working for the military machine has been interesting. These guys really appreciate our show.
Gravity's Last Stand
Help! We had a house fire in January. We're OK, but it destroyed most of my juggling memorabilia. I'd appreciate it if anyone having photos of me would send me a copy.
6060 Old Lawyers Hill Rd.
Elkridge, MD 21227
West Columbia, S.C.
Please send me at least 25 brochures. I'm "rendering assistance" to fellow jugglers everywhere in the state, but mostly in Honolulu. It may not be long before I begin another IJA affiliate. How does the Waikiki Juggling Club sound?
One more thing... Myself, Benji Marantz, Jeanne Wall and a few other jugglers were hired as extras on Magnum PI for a show with a carnival theme, "I Never Wanted to go to France Anyway." That's what's up here where the sun shines bright and the palm trees sway, even in the middle of the winter!
I think it would be great for IJA members to be part of "Hands Across America," a line of people from coast to coast on a mission of relieving hunger. It's going to be on May 26, Memorial Day. A $35 donation gets a certificate, radio headset and t-shirt. For more information call 1-800-USA-9000.
Of course my dream would be "Jugglers Across America," each passing to the person next to them!
(Ed. note -- another worthy venture for consideration by jugglers are World Peace Tours, privately run trips to China and Russia that feature opportunities for play with the local population. For more information, write 7608 Girard Ave., La Jolla, CA 92307.)
First, let me say "well done" to those who planned, produced and ran the convention in Atlanta. I enjoyed the camaraderie, swapping tricks, learning new tricks, trying out new props and the special events and demonstrations.
Excellent arrangements were made for publicity. I got more than my share. It included my act and interview on national television, pictures in the papers, etc. They thought it was remarkable for an 81-year-old man to do the things I do.
Though my performance is unique, I'm below average by convention standards. That's fine, I'm glad standards are rising so fast. The applause for me is because I combine juggling with spinning a lariat and balancing on the rola bola. Sometimes I play the harmonica and they seem to love it.
So we need a new category -- combining juggling with other things. There would be plenty of competition and plenty of interest. I would be sure to attend.
It may also be of interest that I produce "Floyd's Variety Show" for Austin, Texas, cable TV about once a month. I welcome jugglers and any other good talent (call 512/821-6802).
Jim Strinka and I finally got on the road with our "Dynamotion Jugglers" act in November. We did a TV show in Chile and then went to Kenya to work at the International Casino in Nairobi. Now we're in Switzerland until the end of February, and start with the Big Apple Circus in April.
We did a show last week with George Sollveno. We also saw Jerome Thomas from Paris. He incorporates dance into his act and it's really great stuff!
I'm a contemporary history buff and the IJA microfiche is a bit of a window on a bygone era. Right now, time-machine-wise, the club is quite a friendly, folksy affair, very informal: Harry and Alice dropped in on Fred and Ethel on their way to engagements in the southwest, that sort of thing.
Conventions are arranged primarily by single individuals. Much illness and many deaths are reported, and military service is noted often. People rumor about the revival of vaudeville, but one old timer, who had seen it come, now says it's gone. The Newsletter consists, as its name implies, primarily of letters from scattered members reporting on news in their area. The language is sincere and artless, and full of bad jokes: flies can't see under water because they leave their specs on the wall. Throughout there is the constant joy of juggling.
I'm also struck by how historically-minded the Newsletter was. They never cease to talk of juggling at the turn of the century, in the twenties and so on. Perhaps they were thinking of better times, or perhaps they were more conscious of their roots than we are today.
One of the things I enjoy about history is affirming how little changes. Now we talk about who juggled on the "Johnny Carson Show," and then it was who was on the "M&M Candy Carnival." The big buzz right now is "Jewel of the Nile" and back then they had the same anticipation for the juggling sequences in "The Greatest Show On Earth." Fascinating stuff.