Sunday, May 31, 2009

The local crowd.

May 31, Olney.

A group calling themselves the Free State Clown Alley came by today: we got free lunch and new faces in the show. They had met Steve and Ryan when the two were at Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus.

Night move.

May 31, Olney.

We moved last night, I imagine to give the crew a morning off.
We're here two days, on one of my favorite lots of the year, like last year, and I'm hoping to see my friend Nileeni, like last year too.

A trailer with a view.

May 31, Olney, Maryland (62 miles, Montgomery Hospital grounds.)

Saturday, May 30, 2009


May 30, Emmitsburg.

The word meltdown in its domestic connotation entered my lexicon only a few weeks ago, thanks to my friend Matt.
Meltdowns until then conjured up scenes of nuclear devastation, desolate Eastern European landscapes, haggard faces, blown-up places, in black and white, for a more sinister effect.
Now it's got a soundtrack too, and if not quite as dire, my own private Dylan version, widely shared in homes the world over, can claim just as vast a devastation of Mom's central nervous system.

A trailer with a view.

May 30, Emmitsburg, Maryland (79 miles, Sleep Inn Motel.)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Mud bath.

May 29, Hancock.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Travel day.

May 28, Hancock.

Travel day, an endless succession of downhills and uphills, overheating hazards and brake hazards along interstate 68. Passed Fridman leaving the Morgantown lot and arrived early, his truck all but stops going uphill. It's six o'clock and he's just arrived: the generator truck seriously broke down, they've been out there all day.
No light til now on a warm muggy buggy day.

A trailer with a view.

May 28, Hancock, Maryland (121 miles, Widmeyer park.)


May 27, Morgantown.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Coal mine.

May 27, Morgantown.

Visit with my friend Joel Beeson and his family, more kids stuff (their youngest are two boys aged three and four.)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A trailer with a view.

May 26, Morgantown, West Virginia (43 miles, Mylan park.)

Monday, May 25, 2009

A trailer with a view.

May 25, Dunbar, Pennsylvania (48 miles, fairgrounds.)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Dylan's world, part IV.

May 24, North Strabane.

A trailer with a view.

May 24, North Strabane, Pennsylvania (68 miles, softball field.)

A disgrace.

May 23, Cadiz.

How can there even be such a thing as a "torture debate"?

A trailer with a view.

May 23, Cadiz, Ohio (62 miles, fairgrounds.)

Josie just left.

May 22, Millersburg.

Josie left this morning for Hugo with everything and her trailer; her father is set to have open-heart surgery on Monday. Her mother didn't want to let her know but finally relented yesterday and called her.
Juju might be gone more than two weeks.

A trailer with a view.

May 22, Millersburg, Ohio (80 miles, fairgrounds.)


May 21, Buckeye Lake.

Father Notter arrived yesterday; there was a mid-day mass at the cook house today and it was well-attended.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A trailer with a view.

May 21, Buckeye Lake, Ohio (40 miles, Albanese IGA parking lot.)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Dead mall.

May 19, Columbus.

Westland Mall, 4 PM.


May 19, Columbus.

Westland Mall, 4 PM.

A trailer with a view.

May 19, Columbus, Ohio (69 miles, Westland Mall.)

Monday, May 18, 2009

A trailer with a view.

May 18, PIketon, Ohio (60 miles, fairgrounds.)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Circus bros.

May 17, Georgetown.

We call Nicolas "the echo."
He repeats everything we say and imitates everything we do, especially when it comes from his brother.

A trailer with a view.

May 17, Georgetown, Ohio (25 miles, fairgrounds.)


May 16, Batavia.

More Matt.
More kids.
A flurry of kids around the table for dinner (plus Juju.) Noisy dinner.
Wish they'd come every day.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Circus life for a day.

May 16, Batavia.

My friend Matt came back to visit yesterday and brought his kids, seven-year-old Tony and three-year-old Sophie. They watched the show (circus folks rose up to the challenge and the show was on time,) spent the night in the trailer, traveled with us to the next town and watched the tent being raised.
They were a circus family for a day.
It was a muddy morning but the sun just came out.

A trailer with a view.

May 16, Batavia, Ohio (23 miles, Red Barn Market grounds.)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Late start.

May 15, Loveland.

It's one o'clock and we've just arrived onto the lot.
There was a last-minute change of plans with the sponsors today, apparently over the rain we've had (in truth we pretty much destroy pristine fields when we pull tractor trailers on them after the rain,) so we had to park and wait until the high school let out (early) and we could go in and set up on its parking lot.
In the meantime it looked like all the circus kids were at McDonald going wild in the play area. We did laundry across the street while eating breakfast, and even found much-needed pajamas for Dylan next door at a second-hand store.
The bets are off as to whether the crew can raise the tent in time for the show.

A trailer with a view.

May 15, Loveland, Ohio (45 miles, high school parking lot.)

An episode to remember.

May 14, Camden.

Giuliano pushed Dylan into a stream today, then realized what he had done and ran home as fast as he could. I heard Dylan scream and looked up from the computer to find him standing in the murky water, crying, dripping from head to toe like a wet puppy.
The stream runs in front of our trailer and I was keeping an eye on the two of them playing near it: obviously both eyes would have been better. The little green car overturned with Dylan in it.
It could have been a lot worse, there were no rocks at the bottom of that water so all we got was a scare - and the first true childhood lore to remember.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A trailer with a view.

May 14, Camden, Ohio (29 miles, elementary school.)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A trailer with a view.

May 13, Connersville, Indiana (44 miles, 14 Acres.)

A trailer with a view.

May 12, Lynn, Indiana (35 miles, Lions Club park.)

Sunday, May 10, 2009


May 10, New Castle.

Rare daytime shower (Mother's Day treat) reasonably successful despite sense of guilt and urgency slowly creeping in as Nicolas' banging on the door increased in intensity.

Thank heavens.

May 10, New Castle.

Renato's OK. He's back at the circus this morning.

Etc, etc.

May 10, New Castle.

Today is Mother's Day and we have the day off (except the mothers, etc.)
We moved last night so that everybody can sleep late (except the mothers, etc.)

The times they are a-changin'.

May 10, New Castle.

How fitting the times, the name of this lot.

A trailer with a view.

May 10, New Castle, Indiana (40 miles, old Chrysler parking lot.)

Saturday, May 09, 2009

An accident.

May 9, Dunkirk.

Renato fell to the ground during the passing leap in the first show and was taken away to the hospital. A cable broke from the safety net.
We are all anxiously waiting for news.


May 9, Dunkirk.

No end to it.

May 9, Dunkirk.

Another day, another move to a parking lot after the shows because the field has become an engulfing ocean of mud.
Then this morning a long wait to get parked (only not for us for we always arrive late) because there's no possible driving onto the lot and other arrangements have to be made in emergency mode.

A trailer with a view.

May 9, Dunkirk, Indiana (45 miles, City park.)

Friday, May 08, 2009

Wings and feathers.

May 8, Decatur.

New costumes for the opening are in.

Max is one, and other math reports.

May 8, Decatur.

Josie's youngest, Max, had his first birthday party today.
Watching the children swirling around, Tavana remarked that there were more of them this year than ever before at the Kelly Miller circus: Armando's oldest daughter, Zefta, arrived yesterday along with Natalia and one-month-old Argio Norberto, raising the kid grand total to nineteen.
It stopped raining long enough for us to enjoy the party outside.

A trailer with a view.

May 8, Decatur, Indiana (41 miles, Riverside Center.)

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Game plan.

May 7, Warren.

The situation outside my trailer today.

A trailer with a view.

May 7, Warren, Indiana (53 miles, Huggy Bear Quick Stop.)


May 6, Kokomo.

Renato's back in the ring.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Circus late news.

May 6, Kokomo.

Things forgotten: last Monday Renato fell during his family's flying trapeze act and sprained his ankle. He's been walking with crutches since, may be back up there today.
And Natalie started working her dog act again this Monday.

Mother's day.

May 6, Kokomo.

Reyna's birthday party last night at their trailer next to ours. Her birthday is on the seventh but John wants to get some rest over the next few days to be fit to drive all night to Tennessee for Mother's Day on Sunday.
A devoted son.

A trailer with a view.

May 6, Kokomo, Indiana (34 miles, Future park.)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Laundry dream.

May 5, Frankfort.

Circus folks' dream lot: laundromat right across the street, next to a gas station. Everybody was there in the morning, buzzing it up.

A trailer with a view.

May 5, Frankfort, Indiana (15 miles, fairgrounds.)

Monday, May 04, 2009

Clown's natural habitat.

May 4, Lebanon.

Steve between the shows, in his natural state (his words.)

Good news.

May 4, Lebanon.

Cost of a breast ultrasound without insurance, total time six minutes: $1,550.
That's with a ten percent discount.
Good news is, I didn't need it in the first place.

A trailer with a view.

May 4, Lebanon, Indiana (36 miles, fairgrounds.)

Cinco de Mayo.

May 3, Mooresville.

We were treated by Mr. North to a buffet restaurant last night for an early celebration of CInco de Mayo, Mexico de facto National Day (and one of the French's less than shiny ones, thanks to my man Napoleon.)

Finally, a friend.

May 3, Mooresville.

Dylan on Juliano: mon ami. Juliano on Dylan: my best friend.
Dylan finally made a friend, and now I have to chase after them all day. Nicolas is generally ignored, which suits him fine.
Juilano, best known as Juju, is one of Josie's children. He's four.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

A trailer with a view.

May 3, Mooresville, Indiana (39 miles, high school.)

Open-air rehearsal.

May 2, Shelbyville.

Armando rehearsed his horse act in the field today with (from left) Eric, David and Jason.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

A trailer with a view.

May 2, Shelbyville, Indiana (40 miles, fairgrounds.)

Not again.

May 1, Osgood.

An end-of-the-day battle with Dylan left my spirit battered and bereft.

Friday, May 01, 2009

A trailer with a view.

April 30, Liberty, Indiana (59 miles, school grounds.)


April 29, Rising Sun.

My friend Matt came to visit this afternoon from Cincinnati.
We met and last saw each other for a few short hours fourteen years ago in Venice, under auspicious stars.
He has two small kids too; we spent the time chatting on the trailer steps, watching Dylan and Nicolas play. The lot was extremely tight, with all trailers all bunched together, and ours allowed us backstage front-row seats.