Honored Revisit: LIFE Archives: Circus City USA, 1947 {Hugo, Oklahoma}

19/07/2011 § 4 Comments

Betty Jean Pratt Cannon, 1947.

Just wanted to draw your attention to something that I think is kind of amazing that is currently happening on QC, that you might not have noticed…  A few months ago, I discovered a cache of beautiful images taken by Cornell Capa for LIFE magazine in the city of Hugo, Oklahoma in 1947.  This city has a very interesting history, due to the community’s long and storied connection to the traditional American traveling circus.  I was entranced by the pictures of the town, the multigenerational families of performers, the trained animals, and the beautiful costumes.  I ended up posting a bunch of them in April and they drew a pretty average number of viewers, who loved them as much as I did.

Then, around 4th of July, I noticed that the post was drawing a outsized amount of people, and I couldn’t figure out why this was happening.  Finally, someone commented.  A longtime resident of Hugo let me know that one of the beautiful young women in the pictures had recently passed and that her services were to be that very week.  Suddenly, I had an outpouring of comments from current and former Hugo residents, thanking me and letting me know that I had found pictures of their friends, their relatives, and of themselves.  I also was honored to receive heartfelt messages from the daughters, granddaughters, and nieces of Betty Jean Pratt Cannon, the woman who passed, and who is pictured above.

If you have a moment, please stop by the original post to view the amazing pictures and read the touching comments.  I always figured that this silly little blog was something I did to amuse myself, and I never expected to experience anything so poignant.   I am humbled and honored to have this opportunity to connect people to their history.

Original post, April 25, 2011:  LIFE Archives: Circus City USA, 1947 {Hugo, Oklahoma}


§ 4 Responses to Honored Revisit: LIFE Archives: Circus City USA, 1947 {Hugo, Oklahoma}

  • Jenny Davis says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. I am still sharing this with friends.

    Jenny Davis
    Betty Jean’s grandaughter

  • Candace Cannon says:

    Since finding your posting of the LIFE archives it is amazing how many of my facebook friends have reposted it. Also seems like everyday someone post some of there old pics of family and of Hugo. I like what you have started and thanks so much for the story above. You just don’t know how much it means to me seeing these pics of my mom especially with her passing. Thanks so much again. And thanks to all my friends for all the kind committs about her. She truly was a real “Beauty” in so many ways.

  • Alan Simpson says:

    These archives are incredible! I grew up in Hugo and graduated from HHS in 1967. I was also good friends of Aileen, Mark, and Candace.
    Betty Jean was a beautiful woman. A real treasure who would have made Rock Hudson “change his mind”.
    Thank you. Alan “Allie” Simpson.

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