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After the Ball is Over....

(All images from The Calin Coburn Collections ©2004)


Berenice Taylor Dossey, Carl Dossey, George Mills, Bob Nolan, "Sleepy" Polly Mills, Turk Greenough

 Sally Rand Greenough, Bill Tubesing, Harry Knight and Peggy Homes. Front in striped shirt: Tad Lucas



            Bob Nolan was in New York City with Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers for the 17th annual Madison Square Garden Rodeo. The Sons of the Pioneers signed for 26 performances from October 7 – 24, 1942. After 19 days a new attendance record was set. While they were at the Garden, the Pioneers made three weekly broadcasts over station WJZ and were interviewed by Adrienne Ames. Roy presented Mayor La Guardia of New York City with a pair of his silver spurs while the Pioneers and all the female rodeo stuntwomen and competitors in their beautifully tailored garb were in attendance. Sons of the Pioneers and rodeo champions were all feted at Second Annual Convention for Rodeo Fans of America and banquet at the Hotel Belvedere on October 17, 1942, and Bob found himself later at a party with the rodeo greats plus Sally Rand who was married to Turk Greenough at the time. Foghorn Clancy presented Bob with a certificate of some kind. New York's famous Stage Door Canteen hosted a performance by the Sons of the Pioneers.


            To find out more about Bob Nolan's companions in this snapshot from Bob's personal collection, I wrote to Polly Mills (now Polly Burson) who answered on Dec. 2 2002 with the following information:

• Carl Dossey – 1940 bareback,  steer wrestling, and bull riding champion. Husband of Berenice Dossey.

• Berenice Taylor Dossey – champion trick rider known as “The Gardenia Lady”; wife of Carl.

• George Mills – 1941 Bareback champion, rodeo clown, bull rider, etc.

• Polly “Sleepy” Mills (1919 - 2006) wife of George at the time of this picture, rodeo trick rider who later married Wayne Burson and became the first famous Hollywood stuntwoman, Polly Burson.

• Barbara Inez Barnes “Tad” Lucas (1902-1990) - (striped shirt) – eight consecutive years Champion All Around Cowgirl and World's Champion Woman Trick Rider in Madison Square Garden, 3 times MGM Trophy winner, among hundreds of other things. Wife of Buck Lucas.

• Bob Nolan

• Turk Greenough (1905-1995) All-Around Champion Cowboy in the 30s but by this time a judge at Madison Square Garden. One of the original organizers of the National Senior Pro Rodeo Association

• Sally Rand – stripper and fan dancer, wife of Turk Greenough at the time of the picture.

• Bill Tubesing – a friend of Turk Greenough. (Thank you, Tom Tubesing.)

• Harry Knight – Saddle Bronc Champion in 20s and 30s, at this time a judge and assistant arena director for the rodeo at Madison Square Garden.

• Peggy Holmes – Polly did not know her.



In Bob's photo collection, Calin found several other pictures taken during that first appearance at Madison Square Garden:


The "airport limo" in New York City.




Performing at Madison Square Garden


Roy Rogers presented New York City mayor, Fiorello LaGuardia, with a pair of silver spurs.

They are watched by stuntwomen Polly Burson, Tad Lucas, Berenice Dossey, Mary Parks, Mildred Horner, Bill Clements, Everett Colburn, etc. Thomas Dewey is centre back at the top of the steps.


New York City mayor, Fiorello LaGuardia, with Roy Rogers, the Sons of the Pioneers and the rodeo winners.


Second Annual Convention for Rodeo Fans of America at the Hotel Belvedere on October 17, 1942


Bob with Foghorn Clancy, longtime rodeo announcer and promoter.


Entertaining at New York City's Stage Door Canteen.


The Sons of the Pioneers being interviewed by glamorous 1930s star, Adrienne Ames, by 1942 a radio commentator for New York City

Bob Nolan's "Don't Expect Me Home in the Morning" sung here by Dave Bourne.