Paul T. Gilbert

goto bio

goto bertram

goto bertram is back

goto circus stories

goto key to culture

goto pictures

goto links

goto contact

goto home

the stories: Snake CharmerArthur Borella, ClownThe Flying WardsReporter in TightsElephant TrainerTight WireDress Rehearsal

billy sunday, trained elephant

"Up, Billy," said the trainer, and the docile creature reared. He towered above me, a balanced rock of flesh, threatening to descend at any moment and leave a grease spot on the floor in place of me...

They were now shooing the last of the spectators out of the menagerie. The elephants who but a few moments before had been conveying peanuts to their red, three-cornered mouths, were being transformed into a durbar. An oriental princess rocked gently back and forth from a curtained howdah on the back of Trilby.

I was shoved along thru a crowd of painted clowns—one of them with big, false feet—toward the main entrance. Here I sidestepped to avoid the business end of a trick mule. I caromed into a team of llamas, and, on the rebound, knocked over a Japanese wrestler, who emitted a hissing sound. An ugly camel bared its teeth and made a lunge at me. I noticed that most of the performers avoided both the elephants and camels.

The band struck up "The Sheik," and the oriental pageant was on. I marched with the Bedouin spear carriers... (read the whole article)

photo: Paul T. Gilbert of the Post is shown in the picture with Billy Sunday*, a firm believer in Mr. Volstead's amendment to the constitution.

*Billy Sunday, the elephant's namesake, was an outspoken evangelist who supported the Volstead Act, an expansion of prohibition to include such drinks as beer and wine.