Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A to Z Challenge: Gunther Gebel-Williams

When I was child the most important part of the circus was the animal acts. Back in the 70s I remember Gunther Gebel-Williams performing with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. I'm sure at some point in my childhood I even dreamed to become like him. I had the blonde hair which unfortunately has turned quite gray since seeing him.  Sadly my body never developed into his muscular physique. The big cats he used to train would probably look at me as a snack instead of trainer so I never followed in his footsteps...

He performed in a time before the explosion of social media. Yet he made a name for himself through his performances in the circle and by appearing on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and The Ed Sullivan Show.

However, recently my daughter and I had the opportunity to handle a White Tiger perhaps a bit of Gunther rubbed off on me after all..


Sadly at the age of 66 on July 19, 2001 Gunther Gebel-Williams passed away due to a brain tumor but he did leave us with long lasting memories.


Shawn Yankey said...

That had to be amazing handling that tiger cub. I also agree with you that the animal acts are the best part of the circus.
Shawn from Laughing at Life 2

mike spain said...

Shawn thanks for dropping in! Holding the cub was a neat experience sharing it with my daughter priceless.

Prem Rao said...

This post was awesome. I remember reading about Gunther in some magazine article. When we were kids, big cat trainers in the circus were amongst the most desired ambitions, weren't they? Look forward to more post in the A to Z Challenge.