This week I am continuing with the photo story that I began last week . If you would like to start at the very beginning of this saga then you might want to look at my first post on the topic of Lois Kay Trevillian Jackson . Today's story begins after the birth of Lois's first two children, Lee and Joy.
In the idyllic 1950s, the veterans of World War Two were busy building their dreams and their families. Television was rapidly taking it's hold on the popular culture, but vaudeville desparately tried to hang on. Variety floor shows were common in night clubs and fraternal organizations like the Moose and Elks Clubs. On any given weekend in a large city like Cleveland, Ohio, hundreds of performers and bands would be playing in the local venues as adults went out for dinner, drinks, dancing, and an evening of live entertainment. Variety acts that were not circus were having their heyday.
Bob and Lois Jackson -- The Juggling Jacksons-- were among those performers taking advantage of the entertainment boom. Lois learned to juggle after she became pregnant with her first child. She had to take a break from dancing for obvious reasons. Juggling came easy to her since it is a physical art much like dance and involves rhythm and patterns. Once she had learned to juggle the clubs (the correct term for what some refer to as bowling pins), she and Bob began practicing team juggling, also known as passing.
Show business was not a full time occupation for the Jacksons. Bob, who was a trained accountant, worked for an industrial contractor during the week. Lois played the role of stereotypical June Cleaver style housewife and mother. Busily attentive to her two young children and her husband's needs, she kept house and prepared the meals. However, she also would take the bus into downtown Cleveland, with two small children in tow, making rounds of agencies, costumers, and prop houses as she did the work of maintaining the show business as well as the home front. She was always on the go.
In 1955, Bob took off from work for an extended vacation which allowed the Juggling Jacksons to go on tour with the FOLLIES OF 1955 stage show which was part of the Gooding's Carnival Midway. They played dates throughout the southeastern U.S. at fairs in places like Knoxville, TN and Atlanta, GA. The carnival revue show played according to audience demand and the Jacksons performed up to sixteen shows per day in a full stage production that included comics, singers, and burlesque dancers. This is where the Juggling Jacksons really polished the act to perfection. It was very different than the types of vacations that most families would take.