Loretta Howard
Side Show Performer
Born: Upstate New York, 1920

Born in 1920 to a middle class family, Loretta grew up in a small town in Upstate New York. Even as a young girl, her beauty was captivating. She charmed everyone she met and was considered the heart breaker at her school. Her beauty was compared to Rita Hayworth. She was breath taking.

Loretta’s parents, Mildred and Norman Howard, were typical parents of the time. They were caring, doting and loving to Loretta and their two other children, Agnes and William. Norman worked at the only appliance store in town, Miller’s, where he was a salesman. Mildred was a housewife, devoting all her time and attention to caring for her family. When the depression hit, Norman lost all of the money he had saved when his bank closed in the stock market crash of 1929. Mildred went to work as a cleaning lady for a few of the wealthier families in town. Norman did odd jobs, appliance repair work, basically anything to make money, although he never was able to financially establish himself again.

Loretta had always aspired to go into some form of show business. She was encouraged by everyone she met to pursue a career as a performer. She wanted to go to college and major in music or theater but with her family’s economic hardships, she knew she needed to get a job after high school to help her parents. Her first real job was working as a sales girl in a department store. She started in millinery and moved to lingerie. She needed to make more money and took a job as a coat check girl, eventually becoming a hostess in a supper club, Laubes Old Spain.

One night, a scout for the G.E. Circus was in town and went to the supper club to catch the show and relax. Loretta greeted him at the door... he was immediately smitten. After much conversation, he convinced her to join the circus where she could travel, make decent money, and capitalize on her beauty. Loretta was nineteen years old when she joined, and is still with the circus today. She was billed as The Most Beautiful, Seductive, Alluring and Glamourous Woman on Earth!! When her looks started to fade, she still remained a head liner at The G. E. Circus. They don’t believe in retirement or nursing homes and care for their own until they die.

Sometimes, Loretta longs for the days when men and women would turn their heads as she walked by. Now, she looks in the mirror and wonders what happened to that breath-taking beauty, the perfect skin and radiant eyes....the amazing figure.. All she sees now is someone she doesn’t recognize. Loretta never married, finding men too intimidated. She had few female friends because women resented her. She has had numerous affairs and relationships over the years but remains alone. She was able to send her parents money orders every week and this allowed them to keep their house. The Howard’s came to see her every summer and were always proud and grateful. Because of her sacrifices, they were able to live a decent lifestyle. Loretta never regretted her choice to join the circus.