Category Archives: circus

Winter of 57


Christmas of 57 found me in Illinois working for the Franconi bros. A declining touring circus. We had planned on wintering in Detroit … but a card game involving the mayor turned sour …and by late December we managed to pitch up out outside of Illinois in time for Christmas eve performances…. I had to lie low for a while as news travels faster than a menagerie…and anyone who has travelled with a circus will know ..They don’t carry passengers… I fitted snuggly into Miss Shufflebottom’s role( a shooting accident involving her mother) on the high wire, and for that season I was Estelle, Florences sister ,until one night a member of the public caught me weeing standing up in my tutu. … Christmas with carny folk was never dull … and the lion with diarrooea was not entirely my fault….It was the 50’s after all . my remaining days were spent collecting the camel fur after the shows and sticking it all back on the beast with tape before the next performance…..

high wire