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The Legacy of Cactus Vick.....
Lil Brother
Date: February 24, 2005 08:47PM
He was a mild mannered man that loved kids. He made his living by booking "events" at grocery stores, schools, and anywhere that would have him. Once set up, the trailer he towed behind his car revealed a four horse merry-go-round. He did all kinds of tricks with balloons, filling them with air and sculpturing them in to soft kittys, warm puppies, and even bright colored hats. His name was Cactus Vick.
He worked at all the local grocery stores. Sheppards, Cranks, and The Friendly Butcher.
Cactus even had a connection at all the schools in town, not because he was so talented, but because his wife of many years taught second grade at Howard Perrin Elementary.
Cactus Vick used to make my heart start pounding just by seeing his carousel set up when Mamma pulled into the grocery store. Back in them days you could ride the merry-go-round for a dime and Cactus was NOT stingy. Sometimes he would give Mamma enough time to do all her shopping while he babysitted me and other little tikes. At 5 or 6 years old, I was pretty content jusy going around and around in circles while Cactus Vick made jokes and kept my mind off of bugging Mamma.
Once when I was in the first grade, Cactus Vick came to our school wearing his famous straw hat and entertained the first through sixth grade. It was that day he pointed at yours truly and made me a funny shaped hat out of different colored balloons. Was it coincidence or did he actually remember me from times past? I'll never really know, but I would like to think that we were buddies.
As I started getting older, I noticed Cactus Vick didnt make it around town like he used to. If the truth were known, he probably retired and bought the merry-go-round just to have a way to supplement his income. He was a gentle old man who had a passion for kids. His wife shared this passion and taught for many years at Howard Perrin. He had made many kids smile in his day and probably put a lot more smiles on the faces of mothers throughout Saline County, and just to think, they only cost a dime a piece!
They dont make em like they used to; thats for sure, but the world needs another Cactus Vick. He was not only a babysitter, but an artist and a true "people person." I dont recall him having kids of his own nor do I recall when he passed on, but you can be certain of one thing for sure. If he's running that merry-go-round in the sky, he's still putting smiles on people!
Thanks for sharing some of my childhood.
God Bless,
Lil Brother

Tom, I remember those merry go round rides...................
Kelley (Texas)
Date: February 24, 2005 09:30PM
There was one outside the grocery store where Mother shopped evey other Friday night. After reading your story, I kinda wish we had had a Catus vick in our area...would have been more exciting! Thanks for sharing this story. Please have a great day! Kelley (Texas)

That's a warm hearted story....
Date: February 24, 2005 11:42PM
....where I have lived since I was 5 years old,the city years ago had a carnival set-up every year.It spread out over the old soccer field,I have many memory's of it,but I did not have much money at that time,money was tight for my immigrant family.My parents had boarders too make ends meet.We all did ok,except for one older brother who died early.No complaints we all loveed our new home,my grandfather worked in the usa making rifles in a factory,so I do have a small part of my life in the usa.
I think you would agree we should tear fences down rather then putting up new ones .
The carnival as I recall had mainly games of chance,some rides,do not recall animals.It was very exciting for a young child,everthing was so fascinating.I can almost taste the corn on the cobb and candy floss.Life was so much slower then.
Cheers Orlando bc

Orlando, what company did your Grandfather work for when he made rifles?
Kelley (Texas)
Date: February 24, 2005 11:45PM
Will ask my dad and report soon...n/t
Date: February 24, 2005 11:53PM
I remember Catus Vick....
Arkie John
Date: February 25, 2005 07:06AM
...He was asked to come to Judy Thomass birthday party when they lived on Thomas Road. Now, THAT was a party!
He did have at least one daughter. I'll bet Linda knew her. I can't remember her name right now.
But Cowboy Cactus Vick spread goodness all over Saline County. Don't you wish we could see more people with a heart like he had?
I remember that he was "famous." Why, he even appeared on Channel 7 a few times! Imagine that!
Thank you, Thomas for striking a familiar tune, with our buddy, Cactus Vick. <><

I thought about you Fred...........
Lil Brother
Date: February 25, 2005 09:02PM
before I wrote this story just wondering if a merry-go-round is where you got your start riding horses
Lil Brother

Re: Will ask my dad and report soon...n/t
Date: February 25, 2005 09:05PM
Hi Fred:
We kind of lost track,but he worked in Springfield,is that in Mas.?
Cheers ojm

I enjoy life in the slow lane....
Lil Brother
Date: February 25, 2005 09:07PM
so much more than the fast lane. Every town needs a Cactus Vick!
Lil Brother

I forgot he was on T V too and I guess.....
Lil Brother
Date: February 25, 2005 09:11PM
he was the first real "star" I ever met! ILY
Lil Brother

Tom, No, I started riding mules that belonged..................
Kelley (Texas)
Date: February 25, 2005 09:16PM
to some black friends of ours. I must admit that I did ride merry-go-around horses too! Please have a great day! Kelley (Texas)

Orlando, it is possible that he worked for.................
Kelley (Texas)
Date: February 25, 2005 10:41PM
Springfield Arms Company which was later merged with Stevens Arms Company which also bought Savage Arms Company. At one time they were the largest manufacturer of rifles and shotguns in the world. Please have a great day! Kelley (Texas)

Thanks Fred....n/t
Date: February 25, 2005 11:25PM

Orland, I might add that this was back in the era when firearms were made by..................
Kelley (Texas)
Date: February 25, 2005 11:38PM
folks with pride in their work. Most firearms back in that time in history had a lot of "hand fitted" parts during the manufacture of the firearm. People were more than mere workers, they were craftsmen and proud of their work. Please have a great day! Kelley (Texas)

Re: The Legacy of Cactus Vick.....
Date: February 26, 2005 05:54PM
Talk about scary, I just sent,last week, an e-mail to chanell 7 in Little Rock about Cactus Vick. I remember him coming to our school with his little merry-go round and wearing them 6 shooters. Other than being told at home about guns (to leave them alone and tell an adult if you found one) Cactus Vick was the first person I can remember spreading the word about gun saftey. I cannot remember the number times I rode on the merry-go-round. I think it advertised Wonder Bread? I have been looking feverishly for my "Cactus Vick Square shooter club" card and what is so bad is it has not been a month seen I last saw it. I am now 47 years old and for the life of me cannot find out Cactus Vicks real name. Someone that remembers his name please post 'cause I would like to do a little research on one of my earliest heroes. I promise he has got some smilin' babies on that carousel right now...Tim

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