Not Every ‘Good Luck Trailer Park’ Story Has a Happy Ending — 1964

by Paula Bosse

chimp_fwst_012864Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Jan. 28, 1964

by Paula Bosse

“Entertainer, Wife, Chimp Found Dead.” THAT is a headline.

Had I not known that the (ironically named) Good Luck Trailer Park on W. Commerce had been a favorite with visiting circus folk, I might have been a little more surprised by the weird circumstances reported in this article. As it was, I was only mildly surprised.

(I kind of think the chimp did it….)

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Hats off to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram‘s headline writer. The story ran in the Star-Telegram on Jan. 28, 1964.

The victims — Harold Allen Ray and his wife Nadine (and unnamed monkey) — were later determined to have died of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.

“Buster Raye” (stage name of Harold Ray) had been a comedian and master of ceremonies who seems to have played a lot of burlesque joints/strip clubs as the between-stripper entertainment. He was billed as “The Mighty Mite of Mirth.” In a Feb. 24, 1948 review of his act, The Bryan Eagle wrote:

Buster Raye, diminutive master of ceremonies, stole the show with a clever line of chatter punctuated with juggling, acrobatics, songs, imitations. His jokes were well handled with none of the vulgarity common to many floor shows.

I’m not sure where the monkey fits in.

buster-raye_corpus_042948Corpus Christi Caller-Times, April 29, 1948

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Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

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