The purpose of this blog is to share stories from the road of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown Alley. With this resource we can relive those days and have a better understanding of the transitions within Clown Alley over the years. I feel historically it's important to share these stories for future generations. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Me and Gene Kelly

We were on our way to St. Pete Florida for the TV taping . What excitement for a young kid only 18 years old to be on National TV! Before the age of video we always would make a 90 minute special that would air every year. I had the pleasure of doing 3 of them. The ringmaster ways always a big celebrity and one them was Gene Kelly. I couldn't believe it!
 He was from Pittsburgh, Pa. and my mother came from Johnstown. Her father was a prominent business man in that town. From the time to time as a child I heard this story...
 Gene and his brother were looking to open their first dance studio in Pittsburgh and needed some funding. My grandfather was one of the people who helped them out. For this my mother was one of his first students. 
 I had heard this  story every time a Gene Kelly movie would come on the TV . I knew it well. 
 When we did the taping there he was in real life! During one of the breaks I figured I would ask him about it. I collected my nerves and approached this icon of the silver screen. Introducing myself  I told him about this story I'd heard all my life. To my surprise he remembered my mother and grandfather as if it was yesterday! 
 He asked about my mother and I told him about her pending blindness. Thats when he asked for her phone number so he could to call her. I didn't know he meant right then!   
 We went to a phone booth and called her. They talked for a 1/2 hour!  As I listened to them talk it was like listening to two kids reminiscing about their youth......  

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