The articles and pictures that you see within these pages about Bluford
were submitted by Janice Staples
Written permission was given by the Author the late
John R. Warren to use on this website.
The Haverstock Comedians (Toby Show) came into Bluford every summer. We
always looked forward to it, and many of us went every night. They would
come in and set up their tent in the field between DeWitt's and Fred Lee's
house, usually pretty close to Fred's house. They would let boy's in free,
if they helped them set up the tent. There were many Toby Shows during the
'30's, '40's, and '50's that traveled around the country. We think that "our"
Toby Show, the Haverstock Toby Show was the best of them all. They
didn't come during WWII, but returned in the '50's. They "wintered" in
Texas. There was another Toby Show that came in for a year or two, and
it was OK, but none could match the Haverstock's.
There would be a 3 act drama play and before the play and at each
break, they sold candy in boxes for a dime. That seemed like a high
price at the time, because you could get candy bars for a nickel. The
boxes contained a few pieces of candy and a trinket. Popcorn, snow
cones, and drinks were also available. They had a stage set up front
and benches or folding chairs. The front section was reserved for kids.
There would be some music , some vaudeville, some magic, comedy skits
by Toby & Suzie along with the play. The admission price was
probably a nickel for kids and a dime for adults --not sure of that.
Harvey & Lotta Haverstock were Toby & Suzie. Their son Rolland
was the "hero" and his wife Peggy, the heroine or damsel in distress.
They had a villain, of course, named Herb, I believe, with a sinister
mustache. Toby was a red headed blundering country bumpkin, and the
exasperated Susie tried to keep him inline.
Entertainment in Bluford was rather limited, except for basketball
games in the winter and free shows in the summer, so this professional
troupe of entertainers were well received and well attended. They sold
advertising signs to local businesses, and those signs were displayed
up front around the stage. They presented truly family entertainment
with nothing offensive to anyone. Most kids in town went every night. I
think maybe they were there 4 or 5 nights. The show was finally
disbanded in 1956. Peggy, the last Haverstock survivor died Dec. 1,
2000. Her and Roland had no children, so that ended the Haverstock line.