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Fred Yockers, Jr., was born January 13, 1948, In Bushwick, Brooklyn. Father, Freddy Sr. was a blue-collar factory worker and mother, Rena, a stay-at-home mom. With one exception. Fred Sr.’s avocation was to appear as “Freddy the Tramp” at Coney Island’s famous Steeplechase Park, evenings and weekends during the summer months. It was not long before dad included Freddy Jr. in his “act”, appearing with him at civic events as publicity for Steeplechase Park.
Young Fred’s summers were spent swimming in the park’s huge saltwater pool, playing on the beach and watching his dad perform his antics on the stage of the “Blow Hole Theatre”. Little did he realize how iconic this time of his life would be. Unfortunately, these days came to a crashing end in 1964 when the park went bankrupt and 2 years later when new owner Fred Trump demolished the entire park in one day.
In 1970, he applied to and was accepted at Ringling Bros., famous clown school In Venice Florida. He toured with the show for one season, returning to college where he attempted various careerstudies, only to be interrupted by his childhood memories of clown performance and his circus season. He studied theatre, travelled abroad to visit European clowns and in 1973, along with several other performers, he and friend John Towsen founded “If Every Fool” Inc., a NYC based non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the “new vaudeville” physical theatre movements sweeping the country. Fred and John toured together for 12 years, performing more than 2,000 stage, circus, street and school shows.
In 1985, Fred left NYC for the northwest coast, still performing as a solo clown. He found a permanent home in Friday Harbor, Washington State, part of the San Juan Islands. A 20+ year career followed as a high school drama instructor. He married Linda Cooper and they raised two children. Fully “retired” he now lives in a beautiful home, with Linda and best friend pooch, Riley. Every day he makes an attempt to organize his “memoirs” and finds himself immersed in lawnmowing, gardening, and/or or home repair. There’s always tomorrow.
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