Posted by: patwogan | February 20, 2017

On the Inside Looking Back

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Where have I been these last few months?  Why haven’t I been posting?  It’s because I couldn’t find my site.   Now that I have found it I want to tell you a story.

When I was eleven or so I’m not really sure of what my age was, Barnum and Bailey’s circus came to town.  At that time they traveled by train.  My Dad took me to the depot to see them unload.  First they unloaded the elephants because they used them to set up the tents.  I remember the elephants pulled on the ropes which were attached to the canvas tents.  There was a lot of yelling and general noise by their handlers.  I don’t believe they were abusing the animals but they did use long sticks with hooks on the end to move them. Maybe if I was the elephant, I would feel I was being abused.  After they set up the tents, they unloaded the other wild animals.  I especially remember tigers and lions.  I wasn’t too impressed with them as we had a zoo in Independence that had lions and tigers in it as well as monkeys and bears.

We couldn’t afford to go to the circus as it was very expensive.  We did go back that night and looked at the people who were going to perform in the side shows.  I was especially intrigued by the sword swallower.  The ladies all wore beautiful costumes and it was generally a glamorous scene.  I decided that when I grew up I would travel with the circus and become sword swallower.

The next day I practiced sword swallowing.  I got a dull kitchen knife and tipping my head back just like the circus sword swallower had done, I put the knife down my  throat;.  That is , I tried to put the knife down my throat.  I did just fine until my gag reflex kicked in.  That ended my career as a sword swallower.  What a disappointment!  No glamorous costumes, no traveling about the country, no circus career!  Another dream dashed because of my lack of ability.  At that age disappointment doesn’t last too long so I would just have to dream of some other occupation.

This year marked the end of Barnum and Bailey’s circus, but I believe the beginning of the end came when they no longer travelled by rail.  Kert and I took Kristen and Jacob to the circus when a company gave Kert tickets.  The elephants paraded by and the horse riders performed stunts, but I believe Jacob liked the motorcycles in the round cages.  That was a pretty good show by itself.

 

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