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GEORGE LESSARD - Big “A” Shows - Speedy McNish’s Drome

1964) Left- George Lessard on the bally, Speedy Mcnish's motordrome (Amusements of America), in Ottawa Canada.      Below- 1957, George Lessard riding the wall on an Indian Scout, Speedy Mcnish's drome.

Sam; As discussed, here are pictures and history from my dad's great ol' photo album. I will be sending you a number of e mails with a couple of photos (jpg's) attached. I just want to make sure they get to you... (and not disappear into cyber-space)... the files won't be too big.  I hope you enjoy them and show them on your site. If anyone wants to contact my Dad (or me), or has any questions or comments, please feel welcome to forward them to me via my e mail address. My Dad rode from 1954 to 1967, through out Canada and the USA. He has lot's of great memories of people and places from this time in his life and it would be great to share them. I have many more photos, if your interested I'd be glad to send them also. Thanks and ride safe! -Charlie Lessard

Below: Drome belonging to Speedy Reese!

Allen “Speedy” Reese (USA)

Nov 9, 1999    Dear SamI never got to know Joe Pelaquin but I understand Vonnie and he were the best trickriders in the country.
I was saddened to learn of Vonnie's passing and also Joe (Cupid) cupit. Jay E-Mailed me after I signed the guestbook and it was great to hear from him. I wish him the best of luck with his new drome. I saw his page and it looks great. I went down to the Iron Horse Saloon in Ormond Beach last week and met Don Daniels Jr., Gail Donmeyer, Joe Castro and Rusty Linfield. They were very gracious and invited me and my wife to see the show. It was great! People have no idea of the bond between people who have shared the drome riding experience. It really is strong- a real connection between people who have lived on the edge and lived to tell about it. Please keep in touch.. Sincerely, Allen (Speedy) Reese
pic courtesy of Allen (Speedy) Reese!
Allen's email address is:

Terry Ashton (Canada)

The guy to the right is Terry Ashton, from Canada. Terry rode the big combination drome for Sonny and with the rest of us in '80 & '81 on Conklin Shows(show belonged to Conklin at the time). Terry just recently got back in touch with us (after finding the website)! Turns out, he had continued his career riding on a wall out of Canada(Canadian Daredevils)! It was great talking to him again, and he was kind enough to send us some pictures he had from back when.
Thanks, Terry!
Terry recently had major surgery - we all wish him a speedy recovery, and hope that he will be back to his old self very soon! Keep in touch, Terry, and let us know how you're doing!

Maverick (Sweden)

Until I get a separate page together on Globes of Death alone, we include Maverick here:
The fellow in this pic (left) sent us an email signed, "Maverick"...and that was all. I asked for anyone with more info on him and received an email from Ulf Capper, jr.(Ulf & his dad were the featured pic of the month not long ago, and can now be found on this page - above!) It follows:
"Here is some information about the globe rider you have named Maverik.. Maverik is his nickname. In real life his name is Ronie Decker and he was a learning rider of my father Jack Capper in Sweden.. Ronie become one of the most skillfull riders in Swedish Globes and Drome riding. Ronie was riding in Capper's Motorshow for about Ten yers 1953-63(?)
best regards from Sweden -Ulf Capper "jr" KEEP ON RIDING "
Thanks a lot, Ulf! We appreciate the info! -sam
This guy is riding a "Globe of Death"! When Sonny & his brothers were kids, they rode a Globe in a tent out back of their family Drome - as a "blow-off" act {cost ya an extra dime!)


Pic below right: Ulf Capper, jr., in 1975, when he was 15 yrs old!
Pic below left 1949: His dad, Jack - riding on the Wall with his dog! (well, if lions could do it - why not?!)
Jack Capper owned and ran his own show -was one of the biggest in Sweden for about 45 years, according to Ulf, jr.
He also said that about 200 riders learned under his dad!
If you see this, Ulf...and would like to send more background info! Thanks for the pics, Ulf!
Ulf's email is:

Johnny Rotten (USA)

Mr. Johnny Rotten (the ORIGINAL Rotten). John rode for the "California Hellriders" a few years back. He rode the gocart and did the 'dips and dives of death". John was a longtime friend of everyone in the show - growing up around Mike Morrison(next months feature rider), Don Daniels, and the rest of the guys! He visited and helped out with the show for years before he started riding.
John retired to be "married with children", and lives in Maine. He was a part of the old timey crew, along with big Mike & Don Sr. He always kept everyone laughing! His help and great sense of humor is missed by friends and fans alike

Ken Fox Troupe (England)

Left - Luke Fox, trikriding! These pics came to us from Neil Calladine (! Thanks, Neil!
You can email the riders at or if you would like to check out their new website - the address is:       Right - 3 Man Ride!
Ken, Luke, & Johnny Dare!

Terry Johnson (USA)

1987 Terry hootin’ all the way down!

1980 Terry & Sonny Pelaquin shootin’ the breeze

Terry and Sam Morgan in 1987 when Sam was trickrider for the “California Hellriders”.

I first met Terry Johnson as a kid on Big "A" (Amusements of America) show. I was riding for Speedy McNish on his big drome on the big unit of the show. Terry and his then partner Mark had a small silo drome which they operated very successfully over there on another unit.. They both were great riders,and Terry could trickride an Indian like nobody else!
I saw Terry next in '80, when he came to visit us on the combination drome which Sonny had on Conklin Shows(out of Canada). It was a short visit, though Sonny & he got to hang out for a little while, and he gave me some pointers on trickriding!(Yeah!)
When I last saw Terry, I was riding for the California Hellriders at a fair in Carolina,. His wall had been retired for a while - having been set it up at an airfield(Skydive Carolina!), where he swapped shows for jumps out of airplanes! He told me he had done hang gliding for a while, but jumping out of airplanes, stacking chutes, etc., had won him over! In the end, Terry burned his wall down, having lost his heart for riding with the passing of his longtime friend and partner, Mark, in a terrible road accident years before...
Terry is one of the most talented riders and showmen I have ever met. He is one of the most awsome humans I have ever had the priviledge to know. Terry gave me his ding bucket and his siren, the last pieces he had left of his wall. I cherish them and use them to this day.
...wish I could have ridden with him... -sam

Meindert Kreekel (Netherlands)

This is a photo sent to us from Meindert Kreekel of the Netherlands. Meindert (on the green bike) and another rider are holding hands on a Wall in Holland.  Meindert is 57 years old (2007). He learned to ride at the tender age of 12 years - from his mother and father. His brother also rode.   Meindert now only rides a couple of times a year.   We came to know about Meindert (and other riders) from them signing the guestbook on this site...Thanks for contacting us!

Hi Sam, This electronic stuff is all new to me but I'm giving it a shot. First I'll send the bio stuff. I'm asking my wife to send the photos that  I got scanned Here goes:

Curly Lou Cody was born in St. Paul, Minnesota in around 1910. He always had a nack for working on machines and used to get involved in repairing cars when the broke down nearby. Of course he was coated with grease and dirt all of the time. Too many times he was filthy when he got  to school and eventually got tossed out before he finished grade school. What was a kid to do then? Naturally he got involved in carnivals. His fascination with engines led him to ride a motorcycle  around the grain silos as good as they could. There were lots of falls and broken bones, but he loved the thrill of the speed and freedom. His dad got sick and he and his  brother, Cyclone Jack, who rode with him, became the supporters of a family of ... The brothers created a Wall of Death show and toured with carnivals in the USA. They had motor dromes built to their specifications. We have a  blueprint of the drome that was built in 1937 in Luna Park, Coney Island in  Brooklyn. They got involved with Captain Bob Perry, who was forming a group to go overseas.. For many years, the brothers worked out of Liverpool, England, France and Germany. Eventually they worked North Africa for some time. Lou built his own car for riding the wall and the Indian bike was the super standard for performances all over the world. Their Dad became very ill in the mid ‘30s, and the boys came back to the USA and set up the show in Luna Park. A few years after I came along, my job was to gun the engine of a display machine without a muffler and rear wheel to bring people in from all over Luna Park to see the show. I still remember stretching to reach the grips while gunning the engine. Cyclone Jake married a gal with brilliant red hair. Red actually got  into the show. The 3 of them would ride the wall together criss-crossing and do amazing stunts. The one that I remember very vividly is when another uncle would hold me inside the motordrome and Lou would come come up and eventually slap my hand every time he went around for a few minutes. The show, as all of Luna Park, became more and more deserted as people went to war or worked long hours after Pearl Harbor and the show became a victim of WW !!.
It was a good life,  lots of broken bones when bikes didn’t have enough centrifigal force and came down  sometimes on top of the rider(s) but it was a great life. I recently saw a few 1923 and 1929 Indians in the NHRA museum in Pomona, California and was hit hard by the old time memories
.  -Dick

Curly Lou Cody

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