This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
SPOTLIGHT ON OUR ASSOCIATES………………………..………………………….... Olers Are Honored

Florine and Wesley Oler, Oler Pro- ductions, are being inducted into the inaugural class of the Interna- tional Entertainment Buyers Asso- ciation Hall of Fame in Nashville, TN, to honor those that have built the foundation of this busi- ness. Oler Productions is truly a family affair. Wesley and Florine were the “Johnny and June” of talent booking for over fifty years. Florine Oler, a child music prod- igy, played piano and marimba .

She joined the Jack’s Xylophone Band, a kid band of Rich- mond, Indiana, at the age of 10 with her older brother, Gene. and together they appeared in concerts right through elementary and high school along with Jack Imel, later of the Lawrence Welk Show. Florine and Wesley Oler were married in 1941. She was just 17 yrs old, he was 19. Through the 1940s and 50s, Florine performed with her own three-girl marimba act, “T

h aptns” and eventu- e Hpioe ally took her mgtihy Wurlitzer organ on the road, playing

clubs, conventions, circuses, fairs and rodeos. Wesley Oler loved growing up on the family farm, but

never wanted to be a farmer. While traveling on the road with Florine, he easily related to the agricultural Fair direc- tors and formed many friendships. Wesley soon found he had a knack for building entertaining variety stage shows at these venues. Eventually the Fairs were asking for headliner acts such as Grandpa Jones, Kitty Wells, Sonny James, Minnie Pearl and many others from the radio and television country music shows, the L He Hw

oiin ard e a . Oler Productions evolved into a full service en-

tertainment agency; booking country, rock & roll, blue- grass, and Christian music, as well as circus acts, animal acts, variety shows, rodeos, motor thrill and stunt shows. The Olers were married for 63 years, until Florine passed

in 2004, followed by Wesley in 2006. Their daughter, Vicki, was their only employee for 35 years and continues to build the Oler legacy with her partner Zeke Feimster; and their granddaughter, Jami Oler Smith.

Influence of Animal Rights - East Vs West B

y Hi i Hri t ed erot It is great to be back involved with the Florida Fairs. I

enjoyed working with everyone while serving as the Execu- tive Director, and now enjoy being a part of the association from a different vantage point – as an associate member. Lots of new and upgraded processes including the digital newsletter which I really enjoy! Over the years, with the Federation, OABA and personally, an area I have spent some time dealing with are animal rights issues and the threat they pose to legitimate animal exhibitors, Fairs and circuses. This summer I had the opportunity to spend a couple months out west. I toured through Nebraska with a circus, and then joined a wagon train in Wyoming (the trip


of a lifetime!). What was so apparent to me were the type of folks I met. I believe the statistic in these states is that 1 in 3 people works in agriculture. These folks live off the land and know hardship (just surviving the winters alone!). They are very ‘real’ and seemed to possess a greater com- mon sense than their urban counterparts, certainly about livestock. We did not have people at the pony ride or sta- ble area asking ‘are these animals ok?’ or my favorite “they look sad!” It was quite refreshing to be around folks like this. I then traveled back to the northeast for some Fairs and right back into the hotbed of bleeding hearts! I think I speak for most when I say we appreciate legitimate con- cerns. The struggle is that so many people are so removed from rural life and interaction with any kind of animals. It is our job to work on educating them. To that end, I have seen some wonderful signage at petting zoos and parks that goes a long way on this front. The more we can do the better. I often have a chance to do an educational show for kids. I really enjoy these as our performance gets their attention and we can only hope that they retain some of the information we provide. We must also continue to work with and support the efforts of associations such as the OABA, Florida Federation of Fairs and the IAFE, among others. I always feel privileged to travel around and share my animals with others and want to ensure the opportunity for future generations of my family and yours to do the same. For more information about my animal attractions, or utilizing my services for media training or crisis manage- ment, you can go to

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