Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Duncan YoYo Man

In the 1950s usually sometime between February to April the Duncan YoYo man would come to Salisbury and the Delmarva area to give demonstrations of his YoYo talent.  The YoYo was an early Filipino weapon (4 lb yoyo studded with spikes on a 20’ cord) and when Don Duncan Sr (previously known for introducing the Good Humor ice cream bar)  introduced it to the USA in 1929 he had a group of Filipino men demonstrate it.  YoYo in Tagalog means Come-Come.   In most all cases the demonstrator for Duncan were Filipino men.  Other yoyo makers used non-Filipinos. 
The one that came to Salisbury most often was Ceferino Ringor (Bob) Rola.  Mr. Rola was a Columbia University Graduate, a World War two veteran and a Captain in the Philippine Army.  He would go to schools, TV Stations and movie theaters (Think the Saturday matinee with 500 screaming 10 year olds, a western movie, cartoons and Mr. Rola on stage showing his skills) to put on yoyo demonstrations and judge yoyo contests.  The contestants would show their skill at “Walk the dog”, “Rock the Cradle”,”Loop the Loop,” “Rock the baby”, and “Around the Word.”   In 1965 the Duncan Yoyo company went bankrupt in a trade name lawsuit over the name yoyo and the company was acquired by a larger company; Flambeau inc.  About 1969 Bob Rola stopped demonstrating yoyos.
above photo from the national Museum of American History

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