Sealo - The Seal Boy

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.

Postby Diego » 03/28/11 06:09 PM

Thanks Richard, for including my note about Sealo in the lastest issue.

Readers should know he was a stand-up person, and real show people.

He would tell me stories about the early days of Coney Island, when he and Al Flosso knew each other.
He saw Houdini, but told me, "Just a regular guy."

When Sealo and magician Fred "Manipolo" Harris were on the Ringling Brothers Circus Sideshow, they had a bet of who could________in each new city, and Sealo usually won.

A performer who did his act for almost half a century, he was a smart, knowing person, fondly remembered by those who knew him.

In the 1970's, when the state of Florida tried to enact a law banning sideshows with attractions like himself, he testified and fought against it, maintaining his right and ability to earn his living and live the life he enjoyed, which took him across the U.S.A., and to different countries....options that would have been otherwise unavailable, for Sealo and his fellow performers.

(A matter of perspective: 50 years ago, future Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O'Connor, with her law degree from Stanford University, was turned away by law firms, telling her why she couldn't/shouldn't work as an attorney for them, because she was a woman .)
Diego
 
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Postby Bob Taxin » 03/29/11 11:03 PM

I saw Sealo performing at Hubert's Museum (in Manhattan) when I was a boy. He was charming; showed us all how he shaves, etc. Seemed like a normal guy. The show, by the way, was fabulous. In addition to Sealo there was an old vaudevillian who played classical music on glasses with various amounts of water, a live woman in a small fish bowl (which was mounted in the wall), a sword swallower, and my favorite, "The Jungle Creep". This was a black man with disheveled hair wearing only raggy shorts, no top. As we were directed from act to act on the different stages, I noticed him sitting on his stage, quietly smoking a cigarette. But when it was his turn and we approached his stage, he transformed into a scarey wild man. He ran to the edge and screamed at some guy, "Come here fat baby, I'm gonna squeeze your head until your eyeballs squirt!" Then he ate lit cigarettes, and walked up a sword ladder. It was wonderful and frightening. And then, after he finished and we moved on, he sat back down and quietly smoked another cigarette, waiting for the next show.
Bob Taxin
 
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