Mortimer “Mort” Gamble V, Ph.D. (September 21, 1951 - January 29, 2020)
Our hearts are saddened by the recent passing of one of our board members Mortimer “Mort” Gamble V, Ph.D. The very epitome of a gentleman and a scholar, Mort was Senior Vice President and Associate Professor of Communication at Virginia Wesleyan University in Norfolk, Virginia. Before that he held faculty and staff positions at Bethany College in West Virginia and Hood College in Frederick, Maryland.
Mort was a highly respected circus historian and scholar with membership in the Circus Historical Society, Circus Model Builders and was the current public relations representative for Circus Fans Association of America. He presented numerous academic papers at communications and popular culture conferences, and was working on a book-length biography with Maureen Brunsdale at the Milner Library at Illinois Statue University on Ringling flying trapeze legend Arthur Concello.
Mort loved everything about the circus and circus life. As a college student at West Virginia University, he worked as a “candy butcher” with Circus Kirk, an “all student, three-ring, traveling tented circus on the road.” Although he chose academia as a professional career, earning his doctorate from West Virginia University, Mort never lost his love and enthusiasm for the circus and its traveling people, as demonstrated by his work and dedication as a board member of the Circus and Traveling Shows Retirement Project (Showpeople's Winter Quarters). A prolific writer, Mort’s talents were instrumental in developing written communications and website material for the Showpeople’s Winter Quarters (SWQ), a retirement village for traveling showpeople.
Mort will be sorely missed but he will always be in our thoughts. Our hearts go out to M.E. Yancosek, his life-long companion and wife. Rest in peace, our friend and “see you down the road!”
Thanks For Making Our Fundraising Event A Success!
Circus Angel Scavenger Hunt - March 30, 2019
Nothing says CIRCUS better than being in Sarasota, Florida. And that's exactly where we gathered for the Circus Angel Scavenger Hunt benefit. Starting at St. Martha's Church, dozens of teams took to the streets to find locations with significant connections to circus history. After the hunt, all returned to St. Martha's, where the Grand Prize drawing was held. Roberta Ingrassia, Delaney Kirk, Arlene Morris, and Anna Maria Tosolini won a private gourmet dinner aboard an authentic Ringling Circus train car, with Master Chef Bob at the helm, accompanied by Sous Chef Father Jerry Hogan! Thanks, Lynn McDonald for coordinating our "heavenly" event, along with Harriet.
Tom Dillon. September 28, 1953 - May 21, 2018
One of our earliest volunteers was Thomas F. Dillon, a lifelong circus professional and fan. Without Tom's devotion, the SWQ may never have become a reality. A celebration of his life was held on November 10, 2018 at St. Martha's, Sarasota's "Circus Church," followed by a reception at The Showfolks Club and a dedication at the Showpeoples Winter Quarters. Here are photos of Tom's friends and family to help remember that special day.