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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Believe it or not... » » A Great Showman Passes (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Utah_Showman
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I just received this email from James Taylor.

It is with sad feelings that I share it with the group.

John
Sideshow World

Well, right after I got off the phone with Ron the first time, about 4:30, John Bradshaw died. When I talked to him a couple minutes ago, he told me as much. I've cc'ed this to John Robinson for him to post on SideshowWorld,

James
Freak Prodigy
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DonDriver
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I justed talked to John 3 days ago.I worked on his sideshow back in the 70s.He was one of the good guys that's for sure.

If you like send a card to his wife Elsa.

Elsa Bradshaw
2025 Denton Dr.
Richmond Va. 23235

John was a realiest so I think flowers are out of the question.I know they were having some financial problems so in lieu of flowers perhaps you could send Elsa and her daughter a few bucks to help them out in their time of need,and this close to Christmas...it really sucks!

John will surely be missed by many...

Don Driver
Utah_Showman
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I'm posting a tribute to John on Sideshow World..If anyone has stories, thoughts etc. you would like to share please email me and I will add them to the page.

You can email me at jrobinson@sideshowworld.com

It was very sad news to hear of his passing.

John
Sideshow World
Addy
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John was the very first outside talker I ever saw. He was out at Coney Island USA in the early-mid 1980's. He also worked the inside. I must have seen the show at least a hundred times as a kid, and I bought a wonder mouse or a Chinese finger trap every time. Not to mention coming up and looking at Madam Twisto in the blade box and paying for that extra added attraction...the one that's not included as part of the show...the feeding of the snake.
I'll never forget his booming voice and Southern drawl. This was so foreign to a kid from Coney.
Rest in Peace.
Freak Prodigy
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You know, he made those wonder mice.
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T-RAY
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I just heard and I can't believe it. John was a super nice man and was willing to share any knowledge he had. When I was a kid, I went to a Sideshow at a fair down south. I had never been in a Sideshow before and I couldn't wait to see the show. I'll never forget seeing Otis Jordan do his Human Cigarette Factory act!!! After the show, I talked to Otis and he literally changed my life forever (he told me, "Son, if I can do this in my condition, You Can Do ANYTHING!")....it's why I own the Freakshow now . This show was John Bradshaw's show, so for me, he was an important person who supplied my first Sideshow experience. Not too long ago, I bought Otis Jordan's Human Cigarette Factory banner from John...I also bought his Coney Island Sideshow entrance banner. John couldn't have been cooler about selling them and sharing his stories of the good old days. He had nothing but good things to say about everyone, especially all the folks in Coney Island. I don't know what to say other than we have lost a Great Showman and a Good Man. I hope you Rest In Peace John and I know you are already Framing the BIGGEST CIRCUS SIDESHOW IN THE SPIRIT WORLD!!!!
All my Love to you.......
Doug Higley
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I had a nice long talk with Bobby Reynolds the other day and when I hung up I was thinking of all those who are left from the real road days...of course John came to mind and I made it a point to try and get ahold of him...alas too late. What a sad shock. Goes to show though...get ahold of whomever you can in this business that has a story to tell. The lore needs to be passed on. Folks need to know they are appreciated as well. People come and go quickly around here it seems.

Bye Mr. Bradshaw. See ya down the road.
Higley's Giant Flea Pocket Zibit
Addy
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Here's a link to the Coney Island message board. There's 2 great pictures of John at the CI sideshow as well as a nice tribute by the Great Fredini.

http://www.coneyisland.com/cgi-bin/yabb/......29907144
Utah_Showman
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Here the link to the tribute I posted on Sideshow World for John,

If anyone would like to add their thoughts please email me.

http://www.sideshowworld.com/Tribute-JohnBradshaw.html

jrobinson@sideshowworld.com

John
Sideshow World
Todd Robbins
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I did not know John well, but he changed my life forever. If it were not for John Bradshaw, I would not be doing what I am doing now. I am glad I got the chance to thank him, but I will never be able to adequately express my gratitude. We have lost the soft spoken gentleman of the sideshow.
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I was a friend of John’s, we met in 2007 on the way to the Sideshow Gathering in Pennsylvania. I got a ride there with him and Bob Blackmar, and on that ride he told story after story of life on the road. As a young sideshow performer myself, it was a very inspirational car ride. I ended up rooming with him at the hotel and there he showed me his old scrap books from the days when he ran his own show, told me stories about Otis Jordan and even gave me one of his old pitch cards and some magic wonder mice on top of that! When he spoke about the old shows and Coney Island, I felt like I was there. I felt like a little kid again, seeing a sideshow for the first time. During the course of the next few days we talked and joked, gossiped about what was going on in the world of sideshow, we talked about Jam Auctions and pitching and his dream of moving to the Philippines and pitching there. He gave me his “seal of approval” that weekend and it has really meant a lot to me.

John had such a colorful history, he was friends with most of the sideshow greats, he knew so much and had so many stories to share. Sadly the stories he didn’t get to tell, won’t be heard. The ones he did tell though, will be forever remembered by his friends and passed down to other generations.

I will always remember John as a passionate, caring person that had a hunger for the strange side of life. He affected so many people in his lifetime, including myself. He was an inspiration to me and everyone in the business. John Bradshaw, will be remembered as the man that started the Coney Island Sideshow, a show that is now world famous. Without John’s contributions to sideshow, who knows what shape the business would be in today, he helped peak the publics interest, therefore giving guys like me a job. The sideshow community thanks him for that.

John will live on in the hearts of showmen, sword swallowers, blockheads, glass eaters and fire breathers, historians and fans of the strange. His legacy will continue.


Brett Loudermilk.
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DonDriver
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John told me this story.I won't add names.He was working a show and the show had some kid that picked up trash around the tent and was a "gofor" One day before the show open the owner told the kid to do something.Well the kid didn't move fast enough for the owner,so the owner hit the kid and the kid felll down.

John went over and decked the owner.Than he stood over the owner and said "If I ever hear or see you hit this kid like that again I'll beat the s*** out of you.

Than John took the kid to town and bought him lunch.

That's the kind of guy John was.If he saw wrong doing he stood up to the plate and fixed it no matter who it was that was being picked on.

I hope you guys all rally around Johns wife and daughter and find it in your heart to send them something,$5.00 $10.00 $20.00...$100.000.They need it really bad right now.Come on guys its Christmas.The address is above in my other post.

Later,Don
ringmaster
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Sad news. I was John's Inside talker for 1979. Beautiful show with 110' of Snap Wyatt banners.
John, Otis Jordan, Lady Diana, Big john Conner, Albert Short, Sandy Conner, Frank Dorne & Eddie Miller.
Less than 2% of reported UFO's turn out to be actual interplanetary vehicles.
Freak Prodigy
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Supposedly Bobby Reynolds has Diane Faulk's banner for some reason. She never worked for him, I just suppose he liked the way it looks. But I think her banner was a Frierson, she started working with John in ( correct me if I'm wrong) 1989.
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Freak Prodigy
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I was just corrected on the spelling of John's widows name.

It is spelled Elisa, not Elsa.


Thanks Ron Curry for the correction.


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ringmaster
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Quote:
On 2008-12-24 16:42, Freak Prodigy wrote:
Supposedly Bobby Reynolds has Diane Faulk's banner for some reason. She never worked for him, I just suppose he liked the way it looks. But I think her banner was a Frierson, she started working with John in ( correct me if I'm wrong) 1989.
Your wrong. Diane was John's bally girl win I joined in 1979 in Milwaukee, on the Gooding Show. By Fall she was swllowing an 18" blade on the bally. A special free attration for all the people who had not seen her on the Johnny Carson Show, which was pretty much every body. Frank left her his swords.
Less than 2% of reported UFO's turn out to be actual interplanetary vehicles.
Freak Prodigy
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Thanks for the correction.
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drhackenbush
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John made a big difference in my life with his Wonder Mouse advice and he'll be missed. My thoughts go out to his family.
Charley
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