No. 20: Hijinx the Coney Island Sideshow Cat (2003)
Hijinx was boss of the Coney Island Sideshow for many years and this collection of interviews, made with the great cast of sideshow characters about her, earned this issue of Goodie the distinction of being named her official biography by Sideshow founder Dick Zigun. Hijinx was without doubt one of the most beloved and infamous characters in the history of Coney Island. To me she resembled the great movie star Clara Bow, the “It Girl” who once worked out at Coney as a hotdog seller at Nathan’s.
From my Dear Readers letter for Hijinx’s Goodie:
“Hijinx and her movie star lookalike have much in common. Clara Bow grew up in Coney Island too. Like Hijinx, she was born into a lower class and rose to distinction. She once sold hotdogs at Nathan’s on the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues, and like Hijinx, she was apparently loose with her virtues and got a lot of male attention. She was famous for saying, ‘The more I see of men, the more I like dogs.’ Her career fizzled with the advent of talkies thanks to her fat Brooklyn accent, and chances are, Hijinx has one too.”
Making an issue of Goodie especially for Hijinx was a great privilege. Through her, we got to know the performers of the sideshow right up close. Some of them remain friends to this day, thanks to the little gray cat who had “It.”
Photo: Romy Ashby, 2004, in the Sideshow office upstairs