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See You Down the Road


Circus folks never say good-bye; rather, they say “See you down the road.” Down the road — it's a circus version of the space-time continuum. It means days or weeks or years; it means the next lot, the next gig, the next season. It means that at some point in time and some place in the world, you will meet again.

You come together in a tight-knit community for a summer or a season or maybe only a weekend, and during that time you are part of a special family. Performers and working men, clowns and candy butchers, aerialists and riggers, ticket sellers and truck drivers working together to put on a show. You meet up in the cookhouse or someone's trailer, have a couple beers and tell big lies. After the show is over and the stand is done, the family scatters.

See you down the road — it’s a phrase full of hope and friendship and anticipation. It’s not good-by; it’s never good-bye. Even if the show fails and never sets up the big top again, you’re still bound to the people. You’ll always see them again; it might be on another show or at a reunion or simply in a scrapbook that holds the memories of that amazing family, the circus.