Three Big Tops

It's getting late, but I still have a few minutes to post a Holidailies entry! I mentioned in my first post that I've seen three circuses this year - they were all wonderful and magical and fabulous. And they were all under a big top, which just adds to the magic. Big tops have come a long way since I performed under them. The big top on my first show was big enough for three... Read more →


May All Your Days...

... Be Circus Days! Yesterday we went to see the latest incarnation of the Big Apple Circus and it was perfect. As soon as I saw that it was coming to our neighborhood - I mean, the venue is 4.5 miles away - I bought tickets. Third row, center. As I said, perfect. I wore my Clown College Reunion tee shirt, just in case. Sure enough, the Brussels Sprouts butcher recognized it. He's Adam Kuchler,... Read more →


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... Read more →


Under the Big Top

As soon as I saw that Cirque du Soleil's Volta was going to be performed under the big top in nearby Oaks, PA, I knew we were going. I mean, c'mon now - the site in Oaks is a grand total of 4.4 miles away. It's like an order. I love Cirque du Soleil. Joe and I went to the first show way back in the 80s in (I think) Tysons Corner, VA, before the... Read more →


The Great Huberto

Remember when I wrote about Herbie Weber , his partner Marcella, and their wonderful low tightwire act? No? Well, go follow that link and catch up, then come on back. In addition to that amazing act, Herbie also had another great act, this one a solo. He was billed as The Great Huberto, and the act was called The Slide for Life. After being introduced, Herbie walked to the bottom of the thick rope that... Read more →


Low Bridge

Joe and I were driving to lunch the other day when we got held up slightly by a gaggle of police cars blocking off the left lane at the point where the two-lane road went under the SEPTA tracks. The reason was obvious -- the driver of a rented Penske truck miscalculated the height of the underpass and the back of the truck slammed into the underside of the bridge and got stuck. I snapped... Read more →


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 →