Throwback Thursday: Squeezed In

Here is the letter that started my clown career. M.B. Kellner was the "Matthew" in "George Matthew's Great London Circus," the owner's son. Let's dig a little deeper into the specifics of this offer. Room A bunk in the band bus. The band bus was formerly a school bus, but the front part with the engine and driver's seat had been cut off and a fifth-wheel doohickey attached. A partition in the middle of the... Read more →


Busted... Almost.

I've made a bit of progress on "The Sequel"; Camp NaNoWriMo really did get me going! And I'm still going! Perhaps I will finish it after all. I mean, it's only been 13 years since I started it. Anyway, I decided I'd fiction up another episode from my sordid circus history -- the time I almost got busted on the way to Natchez, Mississippi. I was sure, absolutely sure, that I must have written about... Read more →


The Route

I was idly googling around a few days ago, procrastinating on Camp NaNoWriMo, when I thought I might see what would pop up for "George Matthews Great London Circus." And what to my wondering eyes should appear but a link to Ivan Henry's circus blog. I clicked and there it was -- the route card for 1976, my First of May year in the circus biz. Just looking at it brought a flood of memories...... Read more →


Winter on the Road

Oh hi, Polar Vortex, soon to be unseasonably warm spell! It's really cold tonight and it's going to snow. And sleet. And rain, both freezing and not. By this time tomorrow night, God knows what the conditions will be, but the precipitation will be over. It's going to be dangerously cold tonight, but by Sunday noon it will be over 60 degrees. What the hell, weather? I spent several weeks one frigid winter on the... Read more →


Rosie Takes a Walk

One fine day in the olden days (1976), Sidewall Sam* and I were sitting in the doorway of his van enjoying the fine spring air. We were in Huntsville, Alabama; the circus was set up in a mall parking lot. It was between shows, late afternoon, a quiet time when most of the performers were fixing supper and the gazoonies and workin' men were passed out. I was feeling particularly good -- the lot was... Read more →


OVO

I've seen several Cirque du Soleil shows, starting in the late 80s. I have loved each and every one of them, too. Last Saturday, Sonnyeboy came up from Baltimore and the three of us took off for Hershey to see OVO at the Giant Center. Normally we see Hershey Bears hockey games there, but not this time. As is our habit, we arrived at 6:30, about an hour early, just as the doors opened. Half... Read more →


Big Top

The Holidailies Random Promptinator suggests: Post a personal photo and tell us a story about it. Here you go -- the three-ring big top of the George Matthews Great London Circus. I took this photo in spring, 1976; I can't remember where we were, but it looks like a pretty nice lot. George Matthews Great London Circus Big Top What a great big top it was! Those beat-up trucks in the foreground are seat-wagon trucks.... Read more →


Skittish

Well, the nor'easter wasn't nearly as bad as it was supposed to be, and that is just fine. Don't get me wrong -- it is windy and nasty and rainy, but the river is behaving itself. So far. Fingers crossed! Joe's working tonight. Normally, he picks me up, I drop him off and go home, then I pick him up. But I have gotten wimpier about driving at night in bad weather, so he picked... Read more →


Clowns!

Here I am with a couple of real clowns! (I wish the light were better, but hey.) Yes! Every year the Kelly-Miller Circus comes to Olney (only seven miles from us) and every year we try to go. And one reason we go to this lovely small show is to see the clowns, of course. Steve and Ryan are two of the best in the business. I met Steve briefly at the Clown College Reunion,... Read more →


The One about the Donniker

Okay! The donniker story! As I mentioned, circus folks have a language all their own. One of my favorites is donniker, which means toilet. Merriam Webster Online says it probably has its roots in the word dunnekin, from an old English dialect. Well, be that as it may, of the four circuses I worked for, only one had its own donniker. The others either brought in Porta-Potties (which we still called donnikers) or played venues... Read more →