Thursday, March 6, 2008

Our Thoughts of Clowndom

"When did you decide to become a clown?" Often, many have asked this question as if it were a divine experience or calling.

As a young teenager, I belonged to the Kiwanis Y.M.C.A Club in Cleveland, Ohio. This was around 1950 or 1951. Every year we dressed in clown costumes and rode a float in Rocky River, Ohio. The excitement of throwing bags of peanuts to the crowds overwhelmed this easily influenced group of teenagers. We knew this was a yearly fund raising activity for the local Rocky River Kiwanis Organization. What wonderful services the Rocky River Kiwanis performed for their local and national projects and we were one small part of this great service. Were we proud to help? You bet we were.

Every time a circus came to town, My friend John Eckenrod and I went to the Cleveland Auditorium to witness the wonders of the Ringling Brothers Traveling Circus. The magnificent acts from exciting voice of the Ringmaster, the parades, The Flying Wallendas, Frank Buck and savage lions, the trapeze acts, horse, elephant and dog acts and the most fun was the zany antics of the clowns. Frosty Little, Lou Jacobs and many others dazzled us with their hilarious routines from overstuffed little cars, burning small buildings and the loud sounding bang when one clown would crack another clown with the loud paddle. The clowns were the attraction to us youngsters. This fascination for clowns would always stay with me.

LaVerne aka Fluffy the Clown also found a love of clowns when her mother took her to the Barnum and Baily, Ringling Bros. Circuses. She also found the clown shows to be her favorite part of the circus. Here is where she laughed the most and she laughed often!!

One day, as a nurse, LaVerne dressed in her sisters clown costume for halloween. Little did she know that she would have to take one of her charges to the hospital. People were tickled to see her in clown in the hospital. She received many compliments on how great she looked as a clown.

1 comment:

Mark and Chris said...

Looking pretty good, Willy! Good job.