Juggler's World: Vol. 39, No. 2

Profiles of a Few Prominent Members

The Founders

Art Jennings & Roger Montandon: The two principal catalysts in the founding of the IJA. See their biographies elsewhere.

Harry Lind: Vaudevillian club manipulator, one of the grand old men at the founding of the IJA. See his biography in connection with the history of propmaking.

Jack Greene: Born in 1887, another veteran of vaudeville. He was an intelligent and successful businessman, a superior juggler, and always willing to help others, particularly young jugglers. His one-handed four club shower was an outstanding achievement of its time. This quiet, modest man, friend of Harry Lind, died in 1954.

Floyd "Bill" Dunham: Remembered by all as an easy man to know, quick with a funny line. He appropriately made his career in clown juggling. He and his wife, Amy, were the social leaders of the early IJA gatherings, taking care of the nitty-gritty work of setting up, providing refreshments and cleaning up. Most of all, they made everyone feel welcome.

Bernie Joyce: An engineer with the city of Altoona, Penn., for the past 30 years, he learned to juggle at the age of 12 after his father took him to a vaudeville show. He ran home, grabbed three oranges and stood over his bed until he mastered a passable cascade - all before dinner was on the table. He attended school with Ed Johnson and they did some shows together. Joyce had his own group, "The Flying Saucers," with his two sisters, brother, and a neighbor, that specialized in hoop passing patterns.

Eddy "Easy" Johnson: The first veteran to subscribe to the "Juggler's Bulletin," he and Bernie Joyce went to the 1947 IBM convention cold, not knowing a soul, and wound up as IJA founders. While Joyce was studying economics, Johnson took a degree in accounting and suffered through the usual "juggling the books" cracks.

Born in 1922, he learned juggling from articles by Charles Carrer, Dell O'Dell's future husband, in "Popular Mechanics," one of the few, and one of the oddest, outlets for juggling information before the war. He used his juggling in the Army Air Force by performing in many special service shows. During college, he performed professionally in the Philadelphia area. He went to work with the IRS, then ran a travel agency and has now served five terms as a state representative in Pennsylvania.

George Barvinchak (now Barvin): Another friendly fellow with an infectious smile, he learned juggling from his older brother, Bill, and did his first show at the age of 15 in high school in 1932. Both he and his brother are still performing professionally in their seventies.

In retirement from the Edicott Shoe Company, George has more time than ever, making some 100 shows a year as a comedy magician and juggler. He was a machine gunner with an armored division in World War II and performed extensively for the special services division. He was instrumental in making the first convention a success and later served as president of the IJA.

Charter Members

Joe Fleckenstein: Was a postal employee in Pittsburgh, did some magic and juggling, but was primarily known for his M.C. work as Prof M. Hubbard, an excellent dry humorist. He worked with Art Jennings as M.C. of the two hour "Mirth Quake" show, and often shared bills with Art around the city.

Teddy Ray (Tony Renda): At the time of the 1947 IBM convention, he was a machinist working in Pittsburgh and a close friend of Bobby Jule, who helped him put his outstanding skills as a high school gymnast to work in a hand balancing and juggling routine that provided a way out of working in the mills. He specialized in block building, doing a series of one arm planges, slowly building to four blocks high, then doing a handstand on the stack. He has lived on the west coast since 1947.

Bobby Jule (Joe Pegnato): A personable, generous man dedicated to his art and one who compares favorably to his boyhood idol, Bobby May, in both generosity and international reputation. He began as a champion competitive club swinger on the state level and was first coached by Art Jennings, who says Jule was a natural juggler, easy to coach, a truly serious student of the art, and one who "soon surpassed his coach in technique."

Doc Baldwin: An obstetrician, he was most prominent in the IBM, a good friend of Art Jennings, and consultant for the legalities of establishing the IJA. He contributed financial support to get the IJA going its first year.

Vin Carey: Born in 1898, he was primarily a magician and owned a magic shop in Baltimore frequented by many jugglers. He collected juggling props that were later donated to the Circus Hall of Fame and then tragically disbursed to private parties. He was known as "Peerless the Clown" and also worked with his friend, Lou Meyer, as the "Vinlou Brothers." He and Lou carried on the "Newsletter" editorship for five long years. Always self-effacing about his juggling ability, he bragged about his patented Vin Carey "two ball shower."

Honorary Life Members

Stuart Raynolds: Has probably held more offices more times and over a longer stretch than any other two IJA members put together. He was an early disciple of Harry Lind and learned club making from him, bringing quality custom clubs into the 20th century through his expertise in chemical engineering. Inspired to juggle by his father who was also a magician, he performed professionally throughout college at Cornell, often with Bud Carlson, son of Violet Carlson Beahan (Harry Lind's daughter). Now a senior research fellow in textile chemistry at DuPont, Raynolds continues to sell his professional quality epoxy resin clubs.

Roger Dollarhide: In the days when new members had to be sponsored, Dollarhide had the distinction of being recommended by Harry Lind in September of 1956. He quickly showed himself as one of the more active and contributing members. He lived up to his professed "lifetime contract with 'Add Another Ball, Inc.'" by being one of the few early pursuers of numbers juggling.

He brought that dedication to IJA conventions in the form of championships, and was championships director from 1969-1979. He is proud of the fact that the championships he initiated to involve more members and earn more publicity for the IJA have become a hallmark of conventions.

Among his personal accomplishments was his signature trick of a six ball shower - a major feat at the time but one he says "pales" by comparison with what is going on at today's conventions (thanks in no small part to his own efforts at promoting numbers, however). Dollarhide says he "spent his youth practicing" and was drawn to juggling as a sport for those, like him, who weren't athletically inclined, where mistakes could be made in private.

He moved from his home in Washington to California specifically to be near Homer Stack in order to learn more. He became active in the IJA and organized a convention in 1968, the first on the west coast, when the planned convention fell through. He was convention chairman in 1971 and 1972, and "Newsletter" editor 1969-1971. He was elected president and also served for many years as the IJA's official photographer. Today he lives in Connecticut as a professional commercial photographer.

Profiles of a Few Prominent Members / Index, Vol. 39, No. 2 / jis@juggling.org
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