The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

September 25, 2013

Fan favorites: Valley residents on 'oddity alley' roster

By Francis Scarcella
The Danville News

— BLOOMSBURG — It just wasn’t the same without “Poobah.”

“Poobah” is Norbert “Pete” Terhurn, the famous dwarf that everyone — and you all know it’s true — used to look forward to seeing at the Bloomsburg Fair.

Terhurn used to be seen swallowing the swords of fire at the entrance to “oddity alley.”

This year the “oddities” were a bit more local. There was a headless 33-year old woman from Bloomsburg and a Zombie who described herself as a “townie.”

“I’m good at it,” Bloomsburg zombie Meghan Lazure said after scaring a group of people. “I just happen to be from here.”

Lazure was locked in a cage with another zombie, Bryant Borne, of Virginia, who was also speaking with a crowd.

“Come close to me,” he told a woman who was terrified. “We can talk.”

Borne said he loves being a zombie because he gets paid to get his make-up done, wardrobe picked out for him and scare people for a living.

“It’s a great job,” he said. “I’ll do it forever.”

A few stands away was an unusual creature by the name of Serpentina. A snake-charming star of the Coney Island Circus Sideshow, the original Serpentina was lacking any bones apart from her skull, unlike her Columbia County counterpart. She was billed as a snake girl or serpent girl, due to her ability to bend her body every which way — she was the snake. It was said that it was necessary for her to be carried from place to place, according to legend.

The Serpentina at the fair on Tuesday said she is also boneless but she has a magical power.

“If the moon is right I can transform into a 5-foot, 7-inch woman,” she said. “I can walk around and move around, but only if the moon is right.”

Serpentina, of Fresno, Calif., was enjoying her time in Pennsylvania, she said.

“It is so nice here,” she said while peeking out of her cage. “The people are very nice to me.”

Last but not least by any means was a lovely woman who just so happens to be headless.

Her name is Glenda. And she’s also from Bloomsburg.

Glenda, who was behind glass, was unable to talk, so visitors were told she would be using sign language. She can hear questions magically.

When asked if she was treated kindly by individuals paying $1 to meet her, she replied with a “so-so” gesture.

She did, however, give a huge thumbs up to Bloomsburg and all the people who are paying a buck to come and see her.

All in all, the oddities at the fair were down and at least one patron said he missed the “old days.”

“We miss the guy who used to be the drug addict that could pull a tissue through his nose,” Jamie Nerpason, of Maryland said. “He was cool and so was the little guy that used to sit and put the fire in his mouth. Where is he at?”

We asked the same question, Jamie.

If you are reading this Norbert, your fair fans want you back.