Dereck Higgins and Celeste Butler’s Show Wagon Memories

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Performing artist Dereck Higgins and fiber artist Celeste Butler discuss and reflect on their Good Fellows Show Wagon memories from the early 1970s.

Submit your Good Fellows Show Wagon memories here.

Produced by Kaylea Kuhlman

Dereck Higgins



Celeste Butler




Dereck Higgins- I know that I performed in the show wagon at least three different summers. I remember Adam’s park, I remember that one, but I remember a show wagon down here (Carter Lake) and the other one i don’t remember the location. I was around this is about time I was in sixth grade with my sisters we had a dance group.

Celeste Butler- I don’t recall performing although me and some of the girls from back then we would do different performances for school and different things like that but i enjoyed just going to them finding out where they were.

They was usually listed and um I just enjoyed all the variety of entertainment that came along with that the variety was amazing, the talent was amazing. The kids took it to heart and dedication of practicing practicing moves, if they played instruments or had a band or what they were serious about it.

It was it was really good competition it was really good community togetherness, that those are the things that I remember about it.

Dereck Higgins– Yes yes, it brought us together, I remember yeah yeah absolutely.

Celeste Butler– It was always a good feeling around it.

Dereck Higgins- Right, and a variety of races. It seemed like an extension of the in the attempt to bring people together to integrate I remember a lot of Indian kids, white kids, Mexicans as well as blacks performing in these shows together and that has a good resonance in my memory that part of it too.

Celeste Butler- It was the to me the pinnacle of what we strive to try to get back to now since everything has happened and the disruption have happened with with the 75 north freeway tearing down so many homes and and taking so much property.

It was it was solid we knew each other for blocks and blocks and miles and miles away we knew each other because for the like, how many is in your family?

Dereck Higgins- Five.

Celeste Butler- We had seven, so usually the older brothers and sisters everybody just kind of knew if somebody knew somebody in their family, the other family knew everybody in that family. It was just a continuation of that no matter whose family you met it was that network it was that community and it was that shared love it was the people looking out for people.

Dereck Higgins- I agree with that, I think that’s a good point, that when the freeway was cut through the black community on purpose.

Celeste Butler- On purpose, absolutely.

Dereck Higgins- That this was another outlet for the continued community connection like she said, everybody knew everybody you know. Just because you run a road through here trying to stop riots or whatever they thought they were doing, they’re still connected.

Show wagon in the summers was definitely, as I think about it now that was that was a that was a high point where we were in particular the children getting the kids out and getting the focus on the family and the kids.

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