By MICHELLE THERIAULT BOOTS
Anchorage Daily News
“If you’ve ridden a Ferris wheel or put your child on a carousel in Alaska at any time since 1967, chances are a company called Golden Wheel Amusements was behind the carnival.
“I had just turned 15 and I answered an ad I saw in the Billboard newspaper that they wanted a sideshow magician and fire-eater for the Dailey Brothers Circus. It was a small circus, and I thought it would be a good place for me to learn, so I answered the ad. I got a telegram back from the sideshow manager offering me the job, and the old nosy landlady in the walkup we lived in didn’t give it to me. She waited until my father came home and gave it to him. So he looked at the telegram and he said, ‘Well, what in the hell is all of this about?’ I said, ‘Dad, I’m not asking you. I’m telling. I’m going to go with the circus.’ He said, ‘Well, you might as well go ahead and do it. You’ll get it out of your system and be home in two weeks.’ Well, I’m 81 years old now, and my two weeks still aren’t up.”