Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Leduc’s Frosty Follies at Midway Mall – June 1969

Fifty years ago this week at Midway Mall, Leduc’s Frosty Follies was appearing. The ad above for the traveling ice skating troupe ran in the Journal on June 15, 1969.

Jean Paul Leduc was the man behind the show, which featured a transportable ice rink made of real ice that was brought to each performance.

I suppose the unusual spelling of “Winnie the Pooh” and “Tigger” were designed to avoid any hassles with the infamous Disney lawyers. No matter; I’ll bet the kiddies were thrilled to see them.

Anyway, Leduc enjoyed a long and successful career with his traveling ice skating show. Here’s an early ad, from Billboard Magazine in November 1958.

For a while, it appears that Leduc experimented with an “iceless” ice show. Here’s an article from 1971 that explains how he did it.

Lastly, here are some clippings from an appearance at the Ohio State Fair in the summer of 1984. By this time, Mr. Leduc – who lived in Ohio at that time – was back to transporting his rink of real ice.

From the July 10, 1984 Xenia Daily Gazette
From the August 18, 1984 Elyria Chronicle-Telegram
Jean Paul Leduc passed away in 2015. As his obituary points out, he "traveled the world and led an exciting and interesting life as a professional ice skater. He and his family awed audiences with their acrobatic moves on the ice as they entertained at children’s shows and other ice events. Due to the extreme conditioning required to perform some of his amazing acrobatic moves, Jean Paul trained and worked out with numerous professional athletes and movie stars. 
"At one point in his career was the owner/operator of his own Country Music Park with performers such as Roy Clark and Minnie Pearl. His work was his hobby. Jean Paul also had several other business ventures over the years including along with his wife Patty, as a decorator for parties and events held at malls and other public venues. Because of his world travels, Jean Paul also was fluent in several languages including French, Spanish, German and Creole. 
"He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and was a member of the First Baptist Church of Palatka. To know Jean Paul was to know a man who truly loved life, his family and loved to entertain those around him with his humor and amazing acrobatics both on and off the ice. His wealth of life stories and experiences will be missed by all who knew him. "


Jay said...

Sad how much the mall has fallen. Jcpenneys closes for good this week. The mall won’t be able to hold on much longer now.

Unknown said...

Thank you for this amazing glimpse into my past! This is my uncle Paul. I grew up traveling and skating with him and my family. The really crazy part is that I ended up living in Lorain county long after this (Elyria) and the others in my family are in Avon Lake. Small world. Thank you again!!