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My Mom Eli aka Micky...a Tribute

Updated on February 21, 2017
Mom in RBBB
Mom in RBBB | Source
Source

A celebration from the Heart

This is a dedication to my mother Eli (aka Trapeze Micky) who I only had for short time in my life (she passed 1975), but I had her many years longer then I had my dad. My memories of my mom are vivid, she was beautiful, vivacious, worldly and interesting.

*circa 1963 sitting on the Rolls Royce

My intention is to celebrate with the memory of her Birthday and Mother's Day. I am so proud of her and have been Blessed to have had a mother such as her in my life... I thank God for this.

Mother's Day 1999 I made my first website, it was a Mother's Day tribute to her, but the site host was shut down after many years...so I made this page. I also have another page with the story My Life Story In A Suitcase where I mentioned about her interesting life.

Note ~ Scraper Protection: If you see this webpage anywhere else on the Internet besides here...PLEASE contact me...Thank You ~ Delia Pacheco

My heart aches that I have to live without you, we have missed so much together. I think of you every day and always will Love You...Happy Mother's Day in Heaven!

Books about the Circus

I collect old Circus books and have seen several of these...I found two books that had my Mom's photo in them...I'm looking into "The Circus" Book for purchase, especially because of the time period.

Sarrasani circus, a young girl dreaming of show-business
Sarrasani circus, a young girl dreaming of show-business | Source

Running away to join the Circus

When mom was a young girl around the late 1920s early 30's, she always dreamed of show business or fame of sorts. She was only a teenager when she ran away to join the circus in Dresden Germany.

The circus she started out with was the famed Sarrasani Circus in Dresden Germany. While there she met a visiting circus manager and Aerialist named Antoinette Concello from the "Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus."

Practicing to be a great aerialist - in Sarasota Florida

Learning to swing on the Trapeze
Learning to swing on the Trapeze | Source

Flying Concellos

Magazine ad & story, sent to me in an email after reading this story.
Magazine ad & story, sent to me in an email after reading this story.

Aerialist to be ~

Antoinette Concello thought mom would be a great aerialist and suggested she would do well in the RBBB circus, so she brought her back to Sarasota Florida and trained her for a trapeze act...Antoinette herself was from the famed Consello aerial act.

My mom said that they trained dozens of people for the Trapeze from all over the world at the winter quarters in Sarasota.

Traveling all over the United States, they performed in many capitol cities. She told me the story about the time they were performing at the Madison Square Garden, New York, she remembered everyone was excited, many were running outside of the building to watch the giant dirigible LZ-129 Hindenburg from Germany. It was flying overhead, coming in for a landing at Lakehurst, New Jersey. As history tells us, this turned out to be a terrible disaster because the dirigible was filled with Hydrogen which was very combustible. As it turned out, it burst into flames as they were landing... Mom saw the blimp only moments before it caught on fire, taking lives on board and on the ground.

Antoinette Concello, my sis & me at Cow Palace San Francisco circa: 1951

Antoinette Concello, my sis & me at Cow Palace San Francisco circa: 1951
Antoinette Concello, my sis & me at Cow Palace San Francisco circa: 1951 | Source

The movie - "die drei Codonas"

Movie ad in magazine
Movie ad in magazine | Source

They called her "the double Lilian Leitzel" - because of her death defying aerial acts without a net.

 micky dance in the air...promo photo for a movie
micky dance in the air...promo photo for a movie | Source

Promotional ~ Dance in the Air ~

These promotional photos show scenes from the movie....translates to: Micky >>Dance in the Air<< a double as Lilian Leitzel in the Codona Film.

Mom was named Micky by her Trapeze friend Antoinette Concello who had a sister named Mickey (with an "e") she also was an aerialist...somehow I believe the names are somehow associated.

For some reason mom decided to go back to Germany. I'm not clear why she left the US as the timing was bad, it was shortly before the Americans got involved in the Germany war.

She returned there and perfected her aerial Trapeze act, performing at many theaters. While in Berlin a movie producer saw her act and included her in a 1940 German movie called "die drei Codonas" (the three Codonas) Mom did all the aerial stunts as the double for Lillian Leitzel. After that movie, she was coined the "The double Lillian Leitzel" and all the posters of her reflected that in writing.

Mom performing in Berlin 1941
Mom performing in Berlin 1941 | Source

Another contact and comment from a Codona relative...

I love it when a person contacts me here and leaves a comment letting me know they are related to some one in a lens, this time it's a relative of the Codona's...how cool is that!!!!

I'm so happy Kenny stopped by for a comment on 6/9/12 and then came back to see if I replied...Thank You Kenny Codona, that was nice of you!

************

Now fast forward...my sister and I had come to America 1950 and lived in San Francisco.

Every Friday night mom took us to the movies, this is how we learned English, however this particular evening we went to a theater in the Mission district which was on the other side of town. When we arrived at the theater we saw the lobby card and knew it was a black and white German movie about an aerialist.

Mom did not mention to us that she was in it, until we noticed a few scenes that we had photographs of and magazine stories on. I said, mom is that you? she shushed us and said yes...wow we were excited to have been able to see this movie.

The movie was called "die drei Codonas" (pronounced...dee dry Codonas... meaning...the three Codonas) of course I never saw the movie again.

For many years I looked for the movie but never found it...UNTIL I got a computer around 1999! I then searched for it on the internet, and that was like a needle in the haystack, but guess what! I found it in Indianapolis, Indiana, at an online German movie store "German Language Video Center©" and it happen to be the very last one, and now it's "Discontinued" and "Out of print"... what luck!

To my pleasant surprise on April 7, 2015 I found this movie that has been added to youtube, what Luck!....Unfortunately this movie has been remove for a copyright issue.....

The Circus Book, 1870's - 1950's

The Circus Book, 1870s-1950s
The Circus Book, 1870s-1950s

I love all circus books...there is so much entertainment history

 

Mom seen in this clip - at 1min. 55sec

Mom
Mom | Source

A find on eBay Jan. 2014

A photo of my mom as a young girl in the RBBB Circus.

One day editing this page, I noticed the eBay module had circus photos from the Wallenda Estate. That evening on my iPad looking through eBay, I noticed my search items advertised on the side of the page. They had added new ones in each of the categories that I was searching.

I then decided to check out these Wallenda Estate items, but decided to shorted the search term words. Within seconds a photo popped up of my mom, I recognized her Immediately.

The person selling couldn't make out what was written on the photo, but I knew immediately it was her handwriting, with her stage name, signed with her real name. This was from the Estate of Millie Wallenda. There was another small photo of mom, but it was in a pile of other photos of other people, not wanting those other ones...I didn't bid on them.

Aerialists of RBBB on ebay

Mom under X
Mom under X | Source

June 2015 on an auction site

Mom with RBBB seen on top row right end
Mom with RBBB seen on top row right end | Source

Another photo found on an Internet Auction Site

I happen to run across an online auction in July with many Circus photos. And there she was, mom pictured with all the arialists for RBBB in the 1930's. Spotting her immediately for her very recognizable look and so different then the others. This photo had been cropped by me from a larger view that included many ladies....this way she was easier to see.

I would have bid on this photo, but they were asking almost $2000 for it. So I did the next best thing, I saved it to my Pinterest board and have it to view.

Sarasota Florida

Summer practice in Sarasota Florida...second from the right
Summer practice in Sarasota Florida...second from the right | Source

Horses she rode

her horses Margret and Paddy
her horses Margret and Paddy | Source

Margret and Paddy

These photos show the horses that mom rode, a retired Trotter off the track named Margret (L) this horse died in the 1944 Connecticut tent fire...(R) when she started riding in 1933 it was on this small Pinto named Paddy.

Judy Southern 1940 assigned to the horse Paddy
Judy Southern 1940 assigned to the horse Paddy | Source

Judy Southern riding Paddy 1940

On ebay I saw this photo and recognized Paddy the horse that mom use to ride. It posted the year 1940 and that was after mom returned to Germany. I suppose Judy then was assigned to this horse. Amazing that I recognized Paddy's markings and compared photos to be sure...see above the photo mom riding.

Hoot Gibson and friends

Performers, Hoot Gibson and Mom with her horse Paddy  marked  X
Performers, Hoot Gibson and Mom with her horse Paddy marked X | Source
Her butterfly wing costume for the Elephant Act
Her butterfly wing costume for the Elephant Act | Source

The famed Elephant Modoc

Riding an Elephant was also an exciting duty, especially the famed Modoc. Mom told me the story about a time when she was nervous and Modoc felt it, so when he picked her up with his trunk he held her too tight, breaking three ribs in the fear he was going to drop her.

Now this brings me to another interesting story...it's about a picture of mom in an old Encyclopedia. I was in grammar school and just finished a test, after turning in my paper I was allowed to look at books. While in the C section of the encyclopedia I came across the subject Circus, and there in front of me a photo of my mom sitting on the Elephant Modoc. I knew it was her because we had pictures with the same costume of Butterfly wings and sitting on Modoc, just a different pose. I could hardly wait to go home and tell mom, she being surprised.

Of course again, I looked for the encyclopedia book "C" to have for my own. In those days buying an encyclopedia was very expensive..it was like buying a computer, they were our "knowledge base." Over the years I had not forgotten about the book but just kind of gave up looking, except if I went into a second hand store.

Then Mom passed in 1975. About two weeks after her death, my youngest daughter and I were driving past the Salvation Army store. A voice inside me told me to go back to the store. I did, but not really knowing why...walking through the entrance of the store I immediately saw in my head a book. Immediately heading to the book section searching for the red and blue encyclopedia, but found only dark blue ones. I picked up the dark blue C book, it fell open to the page of mom, my daughter excitedly said, Omi!

With joyful tears I purchased the whole set, since that's the only way they sold it. Now I had my encyclopedia book "C" with moms photo in it...surely mom guided me to this destination.

In the three photos shown below, the middle one is from the encyclopedia.

Middle photo from the encyclopedia
Middle photo from the encyclopedia | Source

Coincidence or fate?

Another story to go with this...in 1995 we lived in another state. My daughter (the same one that was with me when I found the book) was coming over for Mother's Day.

Prior to that day, my friend who was involved in a Sanctuary for elephants asked me to watch a TV program showing the cruelty towards Elephants and how to rescue them. Reluctantly I watched (I can not bare to watch animal cruelty) While sitting on the floor watching this program, I was crying.

A head popped around the door, it was my daughter! Seeing what I was watching, she said, I guess this is not the right time to give you this gift...she then handed me a bag, in it was an Antique frame with a picture of mom and Modoc (the same encyclopedia image we found in 1975)

My daughter's gift was the book image of mom that she found. She had it professionally matted and framed. What a joy in my heart to receive this gift, especially how all this happened...from the first time finding the book, and again my daughter finding it on her own 20 years later.

Every year since 1975 for moms Birthday April 30th and Mother's Day, I place a small bouquet of flowers from my yard next her picture.

Spring garden flowers on her Birthday
Spring garden flowers on her Birthday | Source

Tribute and Birthday Wish

I LOVE my mom dearly and miss her, there isn't a day that goes by she is not in my thoughts...I missed out on so much not having her in my life...so remember, you only have one mother in your life!




Promotional Photos - that my dad photographed
Promotional Photos - that my dad photographed | Source

My father's photo's

My dad was a Baron, and one of his hobbies was photography, he owned studios in Berlin and Dresden. My mother had some promos done and that's how they met, most of the images in postcards and ads are from my dad's work. The image here was her identifiable image used on many posters in Europe.

They started dating, marrying her a year later, and of course we were born, all this during the war...What were they thinking!

Mom told me she had to perform the trapeze act for Hitler, that had to have been scary, also the fact she did not use a net making her act was death defying...she said she even performed while pregnant with my twin sister and me. Maybe this is why I have a fear of heights!

Budapest Poster version of the photograph

Poster from Hungary
Poster from Hungary | Source

Promotional Posters

Street Wall Advertisements ~
Street Wall Advertisements ~ | Source
Mom's RBBB business card
Mom's RBBB business card

Her Business card

I was surprised when I received an email from Germany informing me they saw this story and that he had photos of my mom's family, including this business card that belonged to my mom (notice above image Mickey is misspelled). The person turned out to be a relative to my mom's side of the family, a second cousin.

Now I have a floodgate of information sent to me on my mom's maiden name Fredersdorff, including never seen photos. To top it, I now have a distant cousin in Berlin.

Theater Pictures

Theater photos from her collection
Theater photos from her collection | Source

A parallel story of the Other "Micky" - Mickey KING.....Aerialist Supreme

I ran across these internet articles (links below) a while back but only saw one section...when I read the rest of the story I was astonished at the parallel of events of my mom Micky and this Mickey, who actually was the sister to Antoinette the woman who discovered my mom in Germany. In one of the articles it said, that Mickey King was to do the stunts for the part of Lilian Leitzel in the movie about the Codona's, they also mentioning the movie was never made. Well that's not true, as my mom did the stunts in the movie about the famed aerialist Lillian Leitzel and the Codona's.

I felt sad when I read that Mickey King was still alive till 2004, how nice it would have been to have met her and talked about her sister, my mom and the circus.

Sharing My Family

Mom and her Angels
Mom and her Angels

What I miss about my mom ~

My mom adored our girls, calling them Pumpkins...these photos are some of my favorites...especially the one were she is walking hand in hand with our first born. Mom came over that day and asked if she could take her to Europe, and we would not allow it...a big regret, but I doubt our daughter would have remembered that time, she was too young.

The girls called her Omi (German for grandma) of course at my mothers insistence, since she felt she was too young to be called a grandmother, so calling her Omi people would not know. I thought that was funny since she was in her 50's already.

tiny mom
tiny mom

Me, Mom and my twin Sis ~

Here we were celebrating our 29th Birthday. During this time I also told my mom that I was three months pregnant with our second child...she says, "How is that possible!" You had to have known her outspoken ways, she said what she felt. This question was because the Vietnam War was still going on, and my husband just got back from serving there....she felt we should not have a child because of the war...maybe a flashback for her, none the less the statement she made certainly made me laugh.

She was leaving for Switzerland to live there for awhile. I was sad because she was not going to be here when I had my second child. Personally I think this is why she made that statement about my pregnancy.

I had a hard time thinking about not seeing her or talking with her...phone calls were very costly to Europe at that time, besides that I had separation anxiety and cried a lot when she was gone... which was a residual from the wartime in Germany.

My Pride and Joy - and proudest accomplishment...

my Family - my Love
my Family - my Love

I'm so proud of our daughters, they are beautiful human beings with kind hearts and accomplished young ladies...they are a gift from God and I am so grateful for them, and of course for my loving husband.

I hope mom sees all of our accomplishments...how we wished that we could have shared this with her.

Have you ever been to the Circus? If so.......Take the poll below and share your response ~

What was your favorite thing to watch...

See results

Created on 04/28/2010

What you are is God's gift to you, what you do with yourself is your gift to God: Danish Proverb

All rights reserved, including the stories, writings and photographs by Delia Pacheco

© 2010 Delia

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    • delia-delia profile image
      Author

      Delia 14 months ago

      Thank You Peggy for stopping by, as well as your kind comment! I miss my mom, and the older I get the more I realized what I've missed.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 15 months ago from Houston, Texas

      What wonderful memories you have of your mom. She was a beautiful and obviously talented woman who had some tremendous experiences in life. I am sorry that you lost her at that early age. My dad died at age 55 but I had my dear mother for many years longer. I still miss her and think of her daily even though she entered the next life in 2010. Thank you for sharing this story. Will be happy to share it with others.

    • delia-delia profile image
      Author

      Delia 23 months ago

      Thank You Virginia, that was awfully nice of you!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 23 months ago from Central Florida

      You've probably already seen this book on Amazon: Queen of the Air: A True Story of Love and Tragedy at the Circus by Dean N. Jensen. When I saw the listing for it, it made me think of your page about your Mom.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 3 years ago from Central Florida

      It was a treat to read this all over again. Such a delightful tribute to your mother!

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