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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

his famous vanishing elephant stunt........


ATTENTION CITIZENS OF SEPIANIA!
This Saturday, the 26th October 2013, Sepia Saturday celebrates its' 200th edition and to mark the occasion we are asking everyone who has ever taken part to re-post one of their own favourite contributions from the last four years. We will then gather together all these contributions into a small book which will be available on a non-profit, publish-on-demand basis.
Tommy Cheesebits from Halifax,West Yorkshire,UK
Tommy Cheesebits

This week's sepia saturday see's   the 200th week of posting. To mark the event, we have been asked to select our own  favourite post.(i.e. from the ones me made ourselves) .Of my own posts i have chosen Sepia Saturday #102 "How To Hate The Working Classes"{ Friday, November 25, 2011}
It looked at some photos i found of local Halifax 'Characters''eccentrics',gentlemen of the road;kerouac's with yorkshire accents..call 'em what you wish too.
......... I knew of both these gents in my childhood.I used to pretend on Sunday mornings aged 11 to go 9 o'clock Catholic Mass on my own..
Unknow to my parents,I went instead to Peoples Park in Halifax.Often I used to hangout for half an hour ,with this other brand of Saints.........
Mr Donald John.
Since the original post I came across this video of Donald .To quote You Tube ".......... The old 'let's stick a coin to the pavement and film people trying to pick it up' gag. Halifax town centre, early 1980s. Local 'character' Donald John I believe at 57 secs...."Rather Cruels,non?
While Googling "Tommy Cheesebits" I came across the strange tale of Charles Morritt A.K.A.'the Professor'.............
Morritt also knew the famous American escapologist Harry Houdini well. In fact he worked with Houdini for several years and sold him the secret of several tricks. Morritt's disappearing donkey trick was adapted by Houdini to create his famous vanishing elephant stunt. Sadly, after the Halifax court case in 1928 Morritt never worked again; his health and spirits had suffered too badly. He moved with his "wife" to Morecambe, where she set up in a booth as a fortune teller. Charles Morritt died in hospital in 1936.........{Halifax Courier]

24 comments:

Brian Miller said...

other bands of saints...heh...sometimes those are the best to hang with...and congrats on 200...pretty cool on putting the book together as well...

Kristin said...

Good choice. Too bad the music won't fit in the book.

Alan Burnett said...

Tommy Cheesebits and his companions will make an excellent cast for the double centenary volume.

Dee said...

I love the history that is tied to each of these men. I'm glad you were not the only person to recognize they were another brand of saints.

Dee

Kat Mortensen said...

Fabulous! Do you think they modeled Roy on Coronation Street on that fellow who dressed as the Roundhead?

Rosie said...

AW, I got caught with the coin glued to the floor in an old type restaurant in Gagetown Village, NB, Canada a few years back. There were some old men sitting in the corner getting a bird's eye view of everyone bending to pick it up! It was worth a few laughs...

Bob Scotney said...

I must have missed this the first time as I don't remember any of it. The characters you chose reminded me of men and women in the village where I was born - characters in their own right. Why don't any like that exist today.

Jackie van Bergen said...

Agree - a shame the music can't go in the book, perhaps a link reference to it :)
I grew up in the country and remember such characters well - had a great uncle who probably 'qualified'.

Mike Brubaker said...

A very original post, Tony.
Every community has its wandering lost souls, and every one has a story. I've met a few characters too, and they help keep our town fresh.

Sean Bentley said...

I wish my last name was Cheesebits.

Martin Hodges said...

I think you're right about characters not being recognised as such in the present, Tony. In those you describe here, I recognise some of the "other saints" I have known and worked alongside. And I'm grateful.

Wendy said...

Characters need to be immortalized. Excellent!!

Jackie Mc Guinness said...

Cheesebits!! What a great name.

And a great post this week, as always.

barbara said...

Mr. Donald John looks like Hemingway in that photo. Such interesting characters but such sad souls. We've always had a few in our small town. The latest is a young woman who walks the streets of downtown wearing a bikini and leading a collie on a leash.
Barbara

North County Film Club said...

That was a fun post. I don't remember reading it originally. Maybe it was before my time on SS. Some of the stories are very sad though. Especially the son that beat up his poor mother.
Nancy

Nancy said...

Yes, indeed, interesting characters. I think we still have some around here. They're interesting to read about but more interesting to know, huh?

Patrica Ball Morrison said...

Tommy Cheesebits is my favorite but I enjoyed every one of your characters.....maybe it is true we only recognize characters in retrospect, or is it we only recognize them when we get older too? The sketch of Donald John is wonderful too...

Little Nell said...

Good to be reminded of these characters again. Why don’t we see them nowadays? I can recall several eccentrics in my own home town.

Doug Peabody said...

I wonder what it is he is drinking? Very nice post for Sepia Satuday 200! :)

Karen S. said...

Perfect 200th post! You always know how to touch my funny bone and my soul, sometimes in the same post. You are quite the entertainer and teacher as well, throughout all of your posts Tony. Perfecto on the photos too! I adore each and every character, that we often become to know very well ourselves right here.

Boobook said...

A fun post. I like eccentricity.

The Silver Fox said...

I just love the name Tommy Cheesebits...!

L. D. said...

It is a good choice of saints. Saints like that do become heroes in many places where they take care of themselves with others also helping on the side lines. Great post.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Hi Tony, thanks for introducing us to Tommy and Donald.

In Eugene, we had one guy named Zeus, who hung out near the U of O campus. He had long dark hair, usually war a tutu decorated with Barbie heads and it is reported that he had to go to the ER once for eating 13 of those Barbie heads.

There was another man, Frog, who wasn't mentally ill, but he walked around selling his handcrafted joke books for a reasonable price.

Thanks for making me remember those guys; I enjoyed this post very much.

Have a super week,

Kathy M.