Especially from the 1940s to the 1960s, a group of "boosters" used to travel a circuit to many other towns around Table Rock to advertise the fair. They would have a loudspeaker mounted on a car, and a bunch of musicians. They would usually stop and play a little concert. Alcohol may have been imbibed.....
A booster trip in 1955
as photographed by edward tomek
Edward Tomek took these clear, beautiful photographs with a camera that he brought home with him from his service as a Marine. Throughout this website you will see some of his photographs. His eye took him to scenes that others did not think to preserve, and that makes them especially precious. For example, booster trips were a regular event each summer. Those who went and are still alive remember them fondly. But these pictures by Edward and a few by Arvid Blecha are the only ones that I have yet to see.
Edward Tomek took the picture above. The booster band is getting together before heading out to the street. Edward says about this picture:
This picture is the Booster Band. I'm not sure but I would guess that’s probably in Johnson.
There was quite a discussion on Facebook about the identity of each person in the photo. Bob Blecha gets some credibility because he is there! He says:
My take on this photo left to right. Green hat myself,Bob Blecha sax, red hat Milan Tomek sax, green hat Lawerence Stehlik, man hidden by bass horn bell Lad Trecek, Tom Krofta bass horn, then baritone, Charley Rabstejnek, red hat Herb Williams bass drum, red hat Pete Burger snare drum, and our conductor Rudy Senft.
more booster trip pictures and etc.!
another trip in 1955
"Table Rock Bob" Blecha gives us the names: Starting with Tom Krofta on the Bass Horn, next is Lawrence Stehlik, Trumpet; Edward Tomek, Tenor Sax; Lad Trecek, Trumpet; Herb Williams, Drum; and Edd Karas, Accordion. Kneeling left to right: Milan Tomek, Sax; Pete Burger, Drum; Bob Blecha, Sax; Charlie Rabstejnek, Double Bell Baritone; and our Band Leader Rudy Senft. Standing in front of car door Joe Tomek and Dr Bob Uhri."
1912 - conveyances and white hats to advertise the carnival
1941, by arvid blecha:
a little memory
Sharla Sitzman Cerra did not go on a booster trip nor did her dad, but she remembers this:
My father told me about the booster trips. He said,
"They had the band on a trailer. When they got to a town, they'd be announcing, 'Come to Table Rock, come to the fair!' Then the band would play. They would drive around, then go to the next town, do the same thing. One time, I was out cutting timber by the river north of town, with the rock road to Elk Creek in the distance. I heard music way off. Pretty soon, I see the boosters on their little trailer, and they are just playing to beat the band. They didn't care that there was nobody around to listen. They were having a great time. They just played for the fun of it, because there was no one around to hear them, at least that they knew of. Alcohol may have been involved, I don't know. Anyway, I stopped what I was doing just to watch them go all along the road and out of sight. They didn't even know I was there. I heard them going off n the distance. Then I went back to work."
I still remember Dad telling me that story. He named names, but I won't....