Emmett Blackwelder, the Turtle Man
Today is the birthday of Emmett Blackwelder (1923-1996). Born in North Carolina with limbs (all four of them) that stopped at the joint, the highlight of his act consisted of juggling with wooden paddleballs. He performed in Ward Hall’s and Chris Christ’s sideshows, invested wisely, and retired in 1984.
To find out more about the variety arts past and present, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold. And don’t miss Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, to be released by Bear Manor Media in 2013.