Friday, February 03, 2012

I Love This Stuff

Left: Sword swallower I saw on a family vacation in Key West, late December, 1991.
Right: Same guy, same spot, January 2012. Click to enlarge.

My dad was filming with the giant top-loading VHS video camera the first time. Above left is a screen shot, from the point in the act at which the guy purposely wastes the film of someone (us) shooting "moving pictures" by standing still for a long time.

As Kim and I strolled along that same pier a few days ago, I was thinking of this guy--and there he was. He noted he was 61 years old now. (In the '91 performance he said he'd been swallowing swords for 18 years, so he's up to almost years in the biz 40 now.) Above right is also a screen shot, from a video I took with my still camera.

In '91, he was calling himself "D.W. Blademaster." The Internet tells me he's now "Dale the Sword Swallower," and further research shows his real name is Dale Pritchard.

I gave the guy a buck and told him I'd seen him 20 years ago. He smiled his now-much-fewer-toothed smile and thanked me. Then we watched the sun set and everyone cheered as it sunk into the sea. And then we went to a drag show. ("That was a pretty good day. Why couldn't I get that day over and over and over...")

Amazing how one man can stay in one field of lucrative work, ah memories! JM Smith, sister.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States