Arts in the Family: A Family of Artists Just Trying to Make a Living in the Wilds of Texas


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Lucille Ball documentary - Finding Lucy

Slapstick Theater- Lucille Ball Happy Birthday!

Birthdays are always special occasions and this one is particularly special indeed. August 6, 1911 the Lucille Desiree Ball was born to Henry Durrell Ball and Desiree "Dee Dee" Evelyn Hunt in Jamestown, New York and the world became a happier and funnier place. Today would have been her one hundredth birthday so, in honor of this grand day we're having an early edition of Slapstick Theater. Enjoy!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday Roundup

So this week we finally made to a meeting of the Society of American Magicians meeting. We met some nice folks and saw some pretty good magic. I can't wait for the next one. Doc Ed paid a visit to the kids at the San Antonio Children's Museum for a presentation of the Amazing Aquifer Adventure show. I brought my wife and kids along and we spent the next couple of hours after the show enjoying the hand-on fun of the exhibits. Thanks to Ms. Destiny Stiers for the comps.

Life imitates in the Alamo City from time to time. It was reported in that the one and only Pee Wee Herman (Paul Ruebens) finally found the Alamo's basement. Coolness. I always knew it was there.In the film" Pee Wee's Big Adventure" Pee Wee's search for his stolen bike leads him to San Antonio and the Alamo "basement" which he found didn't exist. The good news is that the gift shop, built right next door to the chapel, does have one. Pee Wee did pay it a visit adding to the history of the hallowed shop. He also showed up at a practice session for the Dallas Cowboys down at the Alamodome. That Pee Wee feller gets around, don't he?! WHOOOWWEEE!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Circus Memories- Max Patkin 1994
Photo Courtesy of Rik Gern.

Pictured above: Front- (L to R) Chad Miller, Max Patkin and Rik "Bonzo Crunch" Gern. Top: Michael "Piper" Simpson. Chad is sporting a shaved head for losing a card game with a bunch of clowns. Jeez!

My ol' buddy Chad Miller stopped by today and we had a good time talking circus stories. His computer is on the fritz so he wanted to see if we could find anything on him on the web. We Googled his name and the photo above popped up. It's a photo taken in 1994 when we were on the Red Unit of the Ringling show. The circus was playing in Omaha and the Clown Prince of Baseball Max Patkin ,who'd recently had his autobiography published, was going to be working a minor league game. Meeting performers like him was a great part of the joy of being on the road.

The rest of the story is on the Clown Alley site. I wasn't a part of this outing. I think I was looking forward to sleeping on the train run but more than likely I was a bit short on the funds. Those were the days!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

From the "You Just Just Never Know..." Files

 David Strathairn is the actor who played Arthur Spiderwick in " The Spiderwick Chronicles". The reason I'm posting this is because there's an interview with the actor in the online edition of USA TODAY where he reveals he was a Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Clown College graduate. The year was probably 1970 according to circus clown Steve Copeland (currently touring as one of the clown comic duo of Steve and Ryan with the Kelly Miller Circus ) He even toured with the show for a while. Wow and cool!

This tidbit is courtesy of fellow RBBBC clown Mike Wheatly who is always a wealth of neat information of the clown variety. Thanks, Mike. Steve followed up with the year of his RBBB Clown College class shortly after Mike passed along his info via our clown grapevine. Thank you Mr. Copeland. We're in good company my fellow clownies!


Boys of Summer are Here

I was so busy yesterday I forgot to post about the dvd release of the movie The Perfect Game
. Oopsy! The picture book tie-in The Miracle of Monterrey/Milagro de Monterrey will have a digital book version soon with all the appropriate App bells and whistles. I'll keep you posted on the progress for that.

From Way Back When: CAROLE KING (Live) - I Feel The Earth Move (1971)

Monday, August 1, 2011


I really enjoy films especially those of the sci-fi, horror and fantasy genre. A couple of weekends ago I posted "The Blob" as my Sunday Morning Matinee. It's a film I hadn't seen since I was a kid back before cable t.v. when Saturday afternoon movies were part of the schedule right after the cartoons were over at noon. There was always a horror or sci-fi movie double feature to fill the afternoon. If there was anything to be learned about a particular film within the aforementioned genres I'd rely on certain magazines like Famous Monsters of Filmland, Fangoria or Starlog to name a few. These publications always had great articles and photos to satisfy a young nerdly lad's desire for pop culture knowledge. These days I don't buy magazines as often as I did back then. They've just gotten too expensive and being all grown up I've got bills to pay. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Thank goodness for the internet.

Since we hooked up to the internet around three and a half years ago we've found the neatest things. After I posted "The Blob" (Thank you Youtube) for my Sunday Morning Matinee I wanted to see what else I could dig up on the film: That's when I came across the website simply titled The Blob Site, dedicated to our beloved gelatinous monster from space. If that wasn't cool enough on the website is info for something called
Blobfest held in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania where scenes from the film were shot. One particular location was the Colonial Theater where the Blob attacks a theater full of movie goers enjoying the midnight "spook show" . As part of the event they even recreate the scene where the movie patrons run out of the theater where the blob is chowing down on his victims in a "healthfully air conditioned" auditorium. Blobfest is a three-day event that takes place in July which is the perfect time to get out of Texas.

I love this stuff. I feel like a kid again when I run across these sites. It's nice to know childhood lives on in a good number of people. That's a very good thing. I'm not sure what my point is but I guess I like the internet. Oh, and I also got a chance to show off my great achievement for the weekend: making a hyperlink.

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