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** jugglenow News! **, Issue # 12, Festival Review
April 21, 2003

April 21, 2003

Welcome to this edition of Your Juggling newsletter!

With Spring in the air here, and summer just around the corner, hopefully we can make it to more festivals coming up.

Note for those of you who receive this newsletter in text only version: There are a lot of pictures from the Pittsburgh Festival that won't show up for you. But you can always go to view the back issues when you're online for the HTML version.

Note: For all links within the newsletter, you need to be connected to the internet.

** jugglenow News! **


1. Juggling Festival Review

2. Juggling Contest continued

3. Final Thoughts

1. Juggling Festival in Pittsburgh

This section is for articles about juggling clubs and festivals. So if you have something you would like included, be sure to let us know.


A Juggling Festival is a great place to meet some great, friendly, and very talented people! The First Annual Juggling Festival at the University of Pittsburgh was certainly no exception.

Many thanks to Mike and Tom and all the Campus Fools that made jugglenow so welcome. Over 100 jugglers had all types of objects flying through the air. It was inspiring to see how many people had 5 (or more!) balls, rings, or clubs well in control.

Several people had new beginnings - with workshops from juggling to diabolos. Pictured here is Tom's (Vice President of the Campus Fools) sister who was just beginning with scarves.

Festival Highlight - Bill Dietrich

Certainly a highlight was meeting Bill Dietrich, a wonderfully gracious juggler who shared a few stories with me. Bill taught himself to juggle 57 years ago, without really knowing what juggling is.

As he said, at 16 years old, he was playing with a ball, tossing it up in the air. Realizing he had time to do something else while waiting for it to come down, he added a second ball. He was juggling 2 balls in one hand before learning 3 balls in two hands, even before learning what juggling is.

Bill was at the very first juggling convention EVER! Two years after he began to juggle, a friend told him that there was an announcement in Billboard magazine that there would be a juggling convention in Jamestown, NY. It was only 45 minutes away, and Bill was there. He said that there were about 40 people there - half of them jugglers and the other half were their wives.

As you may know, the year before was a Magician's convention. As a number of jugglers were also present, they planned the Juggling Convention for the next year. (You can find out more about these humble beginnings from the IJA, the International Juggling Association.)

In the last newsletter, I mentioned that I learned one of my favorite catches (the "neck catch") from Ken Benge's book. Bill had a better story about where he learned the "neck catch." Just after teaching himself to juggle, 56 years ago, an insurance salesman told Bill that, while he couldn't juggle himself, he did know a trick. He showed Bill the "neck catch."

Bill mentioned that it was an often requested "trick" from people. He certainly had the catch down smoothly. I tossed him the ball and he effortlessly caught it on the back of his neck and flipped it back up into a cascade.

No pictures of that, but here is Bill juggling 4 of our Handmade BeanBag balls. As he enjoyed those balls (made by my 90 year old Mom by the way) we sent the balls home with him, back to Erie, PA.

In fact, these balls are a great idea for a special sale for our subscribers. Now through May 15, YOU can get these balls for $3.89 each. That's $1 off the regular price! On checkout, just enter the code JUGNOW339. The discount will automatically be deducted on checkout - $1 off EACH and EVERY BeanBag ball. Order at .

Bill also had a great, colorful, (and inexpensive!) idea as an alternative to Rings or Plates for juggling. Here he is juggling 4 packages of (small) paper plates. These were packs of 16, the kind you'll find for children's parties, with very colorful designs. Keep the wrapping on, and as there are any small tears, they can be taped with scotch tape, to make them even longer lasting. (You can of course start with 3!)

More of the Festival...

Pictured right is Geoff Bach bouncing 5 balls, while Bill Dietrich juggles a large Ball, a Club, a Ring, and a Plate. .

Geoff (also from Erie, PA) was one of many that were quite enjoyable to watch. Everything done with amazing ease. Below, here he is bounce juggling 6 balls.

More Pittsburgh Juggling Pics...

Brian Godomski from the St. Ignatius Circus Company in Cleveland, Ohio. (Watch for a future article about this exciting group.) A definite joy to watch Brian as he was just beginning to work on 7 balls! He had just started 5 balls only a couple weeks ago. Here is Brian with 5 rings (Left) and Cigar Boxes (Right.) (Watch for this guy! He's 14 - or 15 - years old!)


And hello again, to another Brian, one of our subscribers who stopped to say hello!

While there were just too many great jugglers to mention, we'll end with Tom from the Campus Fools, the host of the Festival, passing clubs, and the Unicycle Basketball Game.

Visit the University of Pittsburgh Campus Fools' web page at

2. Juggling Contest continued

As we said last issue, this contest will continue through this newsletter. So, if you haven't already, be sure to enter this one for some Great prizes!

Webster's Dictionary says that juggling is "keeping several objects continuously moving from the hand into the air." (Or, "practicing fraud or deception.") But! Does that say it all? Something seems "left out." Can you give a better definition of juggling? You can win some great prizes.

Send your Best Definition of Juggling. Just answer "What is Juggling?" in 50 words or less.

Winner based on creativity, originality, and just being a "good" defining answer. Can be serious, or funny, but it should *define* juggling. In 50 words or less. (Remember, less is more.)

Winner will be chosen by 5 juggling and non-juggling "judges." (Note: Write your own definition. You are responsible for any "copyright" violations.) One entry per person.

The Prize? First Prize is a set of Clubs AND a set of Rings AND a set of our High Quality 4-Panel balls made by Higgins Bros. We'll even throw in a set of jugglenow "logo" balls. Prize worth over $60! AND, the runner-up will receive a set of 3 of the 4-panel balls (Value of approx. $18.) May be some "honorable mentions" published on as well. If there are some really good answers, we may even devote a page to the answers - and that way, we'll be able to include more... and give YOU "fifteen minutes of (juggling) fame."

By sending an entry, you agree to allow jugglenow to publish your answer, your first name, and where you're from. (Last name, email, and/or website will also be included if YOU want.)

So, take a few minutes, and send your entry to Include (at least) your First name, where you're from, and YOUR definition of "Juggling."

3. Final Thoughts

More contests, another Book Review, more fun, coming in the next issue.

And, don't forget to send in YOUR entry to win! "What is Juggling?" Send entry to .

And, take advantage of $1.00 off every handmade Beanbag ball - Just enter the code JUGNOW339 at checkout. See them at

That's all for now.
Keep Juggling...
Jim Nelson

Feel free to write to me at

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(c) Copyright, 2003
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