Monday, July 21, 2008

The Circus Is Coming To Town - Part 2

OK, I actually did go to the circus!

I know, I said I wasn't going. But then as the minutes ticked by, virtually to the point of being almost too late, I picked up and dashed out to make it on time. And I did.

All along the way, of course I'm behind slow moving vehicles, people turning off to parks, taking forever to get turned. Then there's something of a minor traffic jam as we get closer and closer. Then the parking hassles, and there I am finally running across a field to get to the line of people at the ticket booth. Through all that, huff huff. Then to the next ticket booth, to get preferred seating for an extra fee. Slowpokes are ditzing along in this line, too, hemhawing over what precisely they need or could possibly want. I'm trying not to sigh or look impatient. Then after they get this otherwise-easy task finished, I zip right through. Then I find my place, a great seat virtually center stage. A fantastic seat for getting there near the last minute ... or as it turned out maybe 10 minutes before it actually started.

I was trying to soak in all the sights and sounds. I didn't have a proper camera, so I didn't have to take my time messing with that. This way I could feast my eyes on the various ones, such as all the fabulous circus women, which goes without saying. And a lot of South American men -- hotblooded and very talented, almost magical in their abilities to swing, climb, fly, and contort. Everything you'd want was there, clowns, elephants, and, as I said, all the fabulous circus women, looking quite fabulous, and probably all already spoken for by the hotblooded men...

I struck up a conversation with a guy next to me, which was a very lucky break, because he himself was an old circus performer, from 50 years ago. Now he is retired (84 years old) from everything, but still goes to circuses and seems to know quite a bit about them, about history and museums and trivia. His circus job was to be shot from a cannon over 200 feet into a net, which he got $160 a week for plus his keep. That was in the south, in the winter, and the circus was called Cole Brothers. The rest of the year he was a farmer. This circus was once a mighty show but slowly went downhill and is long since gone. I told him I'd heard of it, and asked if it was a circus around about 1904, too, but he didn't know. Here's an article from 1909 about the Cole Bros. circus. (Guess whose blog that article is from. That's where I heard of it!)

Sometimes I think about the interesting coincidences in life, almost like there really is some sort of force guiding these things. If I hadn't waited till the last minute, I never would've met this guy, which was a great highlight certainly worth remembering.

It was fun to clap for all the performers and to enjoy all their skills. Then I had to get in the car and drive home instead of running away to join the circus. I don't actually have any skills they would need, unless maybe the Sno Cone guy somehow just happened to mysteriously disappear. (Maniacal laugh, rubbing my hands...)

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