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Indiana_Dan's items3 of 4Small antique travel trunk?My sexy Prince
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    Posted 7 years ago

    (4 items)

    Hello, it would be hard to not like clowns if you lived in the Circus Capitol of the World, right? I tried to repair the flash of the camera in the two photos to improve quality. I have since sold the case and my clowns are now boxed up, sad for them, but they will return to view at some point.
    The three pictured in the close-up are from 77'/78' or real close to those years. My Dad and Uncle ran a full service filling station, Larry's ECHO Service, for most of the 70's till 1981/82 where I was also employed from 77'-82'. There was a neighborhood called Bloomfield just a walk away from the station and surrounding businesses and there was a lady that came around occasionally, always walking she had no car & little money, she lived over in Bloomfield.
    Her name was Eva, Eva Kelly, and she must have been in her early to mid eighties moved with a slow step with signs that life was a struggle for her. She hand made these dolls from scratch and tried to sell them for money to survive. Dad bought 7 or so over that period and these three are all that still remain. One Emmitt is missing his original hat, I found a substitute at some point, sad but better than the bald head under it. Not sure how many she ever did make or sale, cost was $7 I remember. My mother never knew that though, always upset with my Dad buying things, hehe!
    Years later know with internet I have been able to research some information about Eva. Don't quote me but this information is close. Eva Mae and Emmett Kelly were married around 1900 and traveled the circus route for a number of years but divorced around 1910. She did a trapeze act with her sister as I recall, it's been a couple years since I did this research.
    I never knew who the middle clown was until I did this research and I am so glad that I did. Into the 50's Eva was still performing her trapeze act with her sister but an accident in her routine caused her to fall nearly forty feet. Badly injuring her ankles, but alive and not crippled, she had to sadly end her career performing on the trapeze.
    Her entire life had been with the circus and the people closest to her; the other performers, clowns, trainers, hands, etc. That is when Mae the Clown was introduced as she would continue to travel with the people she loved, stay with the circus, and now perform as a clown. You can see Mae the Clown's photo and when I first saw it, the mystery was solved? The non-Emmitt clown in the middle of the three is her, Mae the Clown, and former first wife of the World's most famous clown Emmitt Kelly.
    She would sign the dolls upper arms in order to authenticate them and I still have a pretty vivid image of her, in my mind, walking up to the station and working my Dad and all others she passed, to try and sell her hand made clowns.
    I would be entertained with any comments, questions, or other information you would like to ask or share with me that might be related to my story/description.
    thank you,
    Indiana Dan

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    1. Manikin Manikin, 7 years ago
      Nice write up !

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