Friday, January 28, 2005
Saturday, January 22, 2005
When I first ran away to join the carnival, I was working a High Striker. I got wind that the police were on the lot looking for me.
A cute little blond haired girl in a wheel chair named Annie, said
"QUICK, follow me!"
Her mother was Barbara Bennett, The worlds smallest woman.
She took me into The Hall and Christ World of Wonders. It was an old time ten in one circus side show. She hid me under the blow off stage of Bill, the human pin cushion.
Bill and Annie talked to me between acts, and brought me a hot dog and a coke.
That evening, the friendly elf like face of an old man bent down and peeked in on me.
It was Ward Hall. Mr. Showmanship himself. He always wore a white suit, and seemed a strange cross between Danny DeVito and Recardo Montabaun.
He looked me over and said "Hello young lady. Would you like a job?"
That night I laid low while we tore down. When we got to the next town, Ward put me under the wing of a beautiful and exotic performer named Connie.
Connie took me into town and picked out some costumes for me at the thrift store.
She did my makeup, and then pushed me on to the bally stage with Chris Christ.
Chris tied me up as he talked to the crowd, and he seemed to take great pleasure from the fact that I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing.
He mumbeled through his speil, and I could not understand anyting he said, except for the one word of each sentance that he would utter with great inflection to startle the crowd.
Bla bla bla ALIVE... bla bla bla INSIDE...Bla Bla Bla RIGHT NOW!!!...
He wrapped a giant snake around my neck and announced that I would treat the crowd to a daring escape.
I kept trying to hint to him that I had no clue how to get out of my bondage, but he just ignored me.
Suddenly, "One, Two, Three!"
He turned, covered the microphone with his hand, told me what to do, and then exaulted my great talent to the amazed crowd.
Connie was waiting at the bottom of the steps to cover the gaff, and untie the ropes.
Welcome to show biz!
A girl of only seventeen.
I ran off to join the circus side show. It was an adventure, and I fell for a motor drome thrill show rider who looked like a georgous Jesus.
The old timers all called me a forty miler. (a local who gets forty miles down the road, and then runs home crying.)
Not this kid.
I passed through the gauntlets of fetchin lightbulb grease and left handed wrenches.
I searched for the key to the midway.
IzI Lizearned Tizo Spizeak Cizarny.
(I learned to speak carney)
I worked the Bally stage of The Hall and Christ Ten in one Sideshow as Houdinis great granddaughter, "the snake charming escape artist."
Once, a big fight broke out in the area behind the bally stage. All the performers jumped into the frey. There were twenty or thirty locals duking it out with the men from the show.
What a scene! The knife thrower and sword swallower, and all the other guys in their sequined show outfits fighting like true swashbuckelers!
Someone shouted "Hey Rube!!!" (The signal for all to come to their aid)
The fight got bigger and bigger.
I was watching from above, tied to a cross on the bally stage with a ten foot python named Oscar, wrapped around my neck.
Then, the owner of the show, a little old man in a white suit and hat, came up on the stage, took the snake, yelled at the top of his lungs, and threw poor Oscar into the crowd!
It was like oil and water! The crowd parted as if Moses himself had commanded it.
End of fight.
Mr. Hall then instructed me in the art of caring for our hero...Oscar the python. He suffered a black eye and a cut lip.
I pampered and nurtured him back to health over the course of several weeks.
I became the snake girl, the gorilla girl, the girl who gets cut into pieces, and I even stood for the drunken knife thrower...ONCE!
I became friends with the side show people, and learned alot about life from my able bodied pals.
I was tricked into driving the fat man to Texas, and my poor car never quite recovered from the strain.
I learned the customs and the cons, and the loyality of the clan.
We lived like kings when the sun would shine, and we pooled our change for bologna and bread in the rain and cold.
I wintered in Gib-Town (Gibsonton Florida...carney town USA)
I apprenticed under a showpainter named Butch of Wanderin Art. I learned from Johnny Meah, and Bill Browning and The Wizard.
I started hop scotchin the shows as Sunshine Art...Showpainter.
I have a thousand stories of those years, and I cherish them all.
Im a writer now. Living the life of a townie, up north.
So, to all of you who I met along the way....
I remember you fondly, and I still feel beckoned by the sawdust in my shoes.
Friday, January 21, 2005
The way I see it, there are two kinds of people in the world:
Those who get in their cars and buckle their seat belts,
And those who hop in the car, drive down the street, and fumble with the seatbelt after they hear that annoying Ding, Ding, Ding…
I mean really, you KNOW it’s going to go Ding, Ding, Ding…
You’ve done this ten thousand times.
Did you forget?
Or is it that you just like to live dangerously. Get a little adrenaline rush as you are going down the block, testing yourself with a little dare, to see if you can manage to get it buckled before you crash into that stop sign on the corner.
For those of you who are single, I suggest that this is a great test to find out what kind of person you are dating.
The bucklers are the conservative ones. They think ahead. They are always prepared.
The fumblers are the risk takers. They are the exciting ones, but they are also the ones who will need to be reminded to take out the trash every day of their lives.
These are the folks who don’t even think about doing laundry until the moment they realize they have no clean underwear, and only have twenty minutes to get ready for work.
There’s a risk taker for you! A regular Indiana Jones!
The excitement and thrill of it all. The adventure of beating the clock as he races to find the treasure….that “almost clean” pair buried in the dirty clothes pile.
“Eureka! The treasure of all treasures! The golden BVD’S!”
Quickly, without a moment to loose, he throws them on, jumps in the car…
And spills coffee all over himself as he crashes into the stop sign while cursing that blasted Ding, Ding, Ding…
At that moment, the words of his mother seem strangely sage:
“Don’t forget to put on clean underwear; you never know when you might get in an accident.”
Saturday, January 01, 2005
My husband and I do have a wonderful marriage, and for that, I feel deeply blessed.
We have been together for almost two decades, and are still in that “Honeymoon” stage.
They keys to our success are as follows:
• We began as good friends.
• We made a life long commitment to each other that is rock solid.
• We trust each other completely. This is key. It is not a blind trust, but one that we have both worked hard to earn over the years.
• We created a vision for the future before we tied the knot. It was a detailed plan that we wrote out on paper. This provided a unified set of goals for which we would both aim.
• We manage our money with great care. We save for retirement, and put money away for the kids every month. We rarely used credit cards, and we pay off the balance every month. We research all potential purchases, and are careful to spend money wisely.
• We do not fight. Really. In all the years of our marriage, I can recall only two or three times that we ever raised our voices to one another. Instead, we prefer to use a boardroom approach to our disagreements. We think things out, and discuss options in a respectful, productive manner.
As a result, our home is a place of calm, of peace, and of unconditional love. It is a place filled with laughter and love. When we are in our home, we are sheltered from the storm.
• The last and most important part of the formula is that we openly express our love, honor and respect for each other every single day. I always remember to thank my husband for taking out the trash or balancing the checkbook. I make sure that he knows that his efforts to earn a living, and play with the children are continually appreciated, and he does the same for me.
• We NEVER try to cut each other down. We ALWAYS strive to build each other up.
In a nutshell, our formula for a successful marriage is built on the principles of: Friendship, Trust, Commitment, Respect, Planning, Responsible Choices, and big doses of Daily Affirmations.