Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cast Iron Skillet

Tuesday, August 30: Goodland, IN-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 81

Lot: Community Center Grounds

This morning's drive took a long time for me to complete. Besides it being 81 miles, I stopped for gas AND I stopped at a Flying J to dump my tank. This Flying J gets two thumbs up from me because they didn't charge for using their dump station.

You hear that, other greedy Flying J's!?!

Goodland is a small, small, small, small, small town with nothing going on. I walked to Main Street and everything seemed to be closed down.

A young clown, Adam Schill, came to visit today. He hung out with me while I got ready for the show, and then I took him into the tent.

There were small crowds for both shows, but the audiences weren't that bad. There was one family in particular that was having a blast and laughing loudly during the first show.

Before the first water gag Ryan noticed some kind of dirt stain on the crotch of my pants (easy everyone). I took some water from my jug and cleaned it off, but then it looked like I had wet myself.

I asked Ryan if it was too noticeable and he burst out laughing. Ok...I guess so.

I ran into my house, grabbed my space heater, and quickly dried the spot before going in to do the act.

There you have it folks, the things you don't know are happening backstage as you watch the show.

Between shows I met up with Beth Grimes and her boyfriend, David, who have an Indiana clown troupe based about an hour away from Goodland.

They visited with me between shows and then they joined Adam to watch the second performance.

Adam, Beth, and David brought us a ton of free roll, and then Beth and David were nice enough to treat me and Adam to dinner after the shows.

I was afraid we wouldn't be able to find anyplace to dine, but there was a 24 hour Iron Skillet restaurant in a truck stop about 7 miles from town.

A good time and many laughs were had by all.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Time Keeps On Slippin'

Monday, August 29: Chesterton, IN-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 70

Lot: Dogwood Park

I thought I was going to fall asleep on this morning's drive. I am glad I didn' being a big fan of living and all....

We entered the central time zone on the drive. So even though it was a 70 mile jump, and I left at 6:00 a.m., I got to the lot in Chesterton around 6:30 a.m. Trippy.

I loved having the extra time; I used it to sleep. My bed was a much more comfortable resting place than a ditch on the side of the road.

Ryan and I finally finished the movie "Hook" today, well over a month after we started watching it!

Both shows were full and the crowds were great. Adam Gertsacov, a 1989 Clown College grad, and his family were in the area on vacation, so they came to see the second show.

It was nice meeting them, and I am glad they saw such a good performance.

They brought delicious cupcakes as a freeroll. Yay sugar!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Darned Technology!

Sunday, August 28: Hartford, MI-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Miles: 74

Lot: Hartford Motor Speedway

(I wrote the cliff notes for this blog last night, but my computer decided to delete them. I am going off my terrible memory here.)

This morning's drive was very boring for me, and it seemed to go on forever.

Today's town was lot and license, so I was worried that no one would show up, but there was a line at the ticket window during set up.

We ended up having good business for the first show, and an average sized crowd for the second show.

I saw circus fan and blog reader, Charles Klute, in the audience, so I went out to say hello during Intermission.

The second audience was much more responsive than the first one, which was a relief. The first performance was a tough one to get through; Buckner helped by bringing me a torta from a Mexican market. He is one of my new favorite people now!

After the show Radar and I went to a bar and grill where we found Dan. We all had dinner, and I ended up answering questions for a few locals once they found out we were from the circus.

My favorite question was when they asked if Dan was the fire breather.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Agulars

Saturday, August 27: Grand Haven, MI-2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Miles: 61

Lot: Harbor Island

Even though we went 61 miles today, it was a quick drive for me; almost all highway.

The Agular family, our biggest fans, came to the lot this morning to watch the tent raising.

Afterwards they took me to Russ' where they treated me to two breakfasts!

Next I got a driving tour of Grand Haven, where I was shown the beach. In the next town over I got to see a wake park, where you pay to zipline across the water on a wakeboard and jump ramps.

Finally the Agulars showed me where they live, and I was taken to a local coffee shop where Landon treated me to an iced mocha.

The area they live in produces a lot of blueberries, and you could definitely tell from the merchandise in the coffee shop. They sold everything from blueberry coffee to blueberry jams and jerky!

The first show was full, and the second show was almost full. The Agulars were at both performances, and Ryan and I visited with them at Intermission.

Between shows I made the mistake of taking a nap, and for the life of me I could not fully wake up before the second show.

Before opening I told Ryan, "I may fall asleep playing the trumpet. If I do, just wake me up before you leave the ring."

After the shows the Agulars took me to Holland, MI to a hibachi restaurant and treated me to a sushi dinner.

They then took me by Wal Mart so I could buy groceries.

Many thanks to Landon, Rachel, Dennis, and Michael Agular for showing me such a great time and taking such good care of me whenever I am in the area.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Last Supper

Friday, August 26: Howard City, MI-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 52

Lot: Ball Field

There was a great cafe in Howard City that I discovered last year. On the drive this morning all I could think about was enjoying a nice cup of coffee and a tasty breakfast sandwich.

Wouldn't you know, the cafe is now closed. This is the second time this week that my coffee plans have been thwarted!

I need to stop getting so attached to small, locally owned businesses!

Luckily Brian LaPalme made delicious panini sandwiches for lunch. Score!

Ryan and I practiced playing trumpet this afternoon (working on the first song I learned to play three years ago), and we did some gag brain storming.

I got a package in the mail from Katje Sabin, who contacted me awhile ago with an offer that piqued my interest.

She had a 2005 Ringling Blue Show Clown Alley t-shirt, which has this awesome photograph on it:

I had a whole bag full of them at home, but Mom thought they were to get rid of, so she gave them as gifts to a lot of family and friends.


This left me with only a few shirts remaining in my possession. Katje knew that I was looking for that particular shirt, and she just happened to have one that someone left at an IJA convention (I think that is the story).

Thank you so much Katje for the awesome gift!

The first show was 3/4 full, and the second show was full. The second crowd was a great audience too!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Bright Balls Of Gas

Thursday, August 25: Evart, MI-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 76

Lot: Airport grounds

This morning I executed a very tricky "buy and fly" breakfast operation for Radar.

Ok, actually I just went to McDonald's to pick up food that he paid for. I just wanted to make it sound cool...

There was a grocery store on my walk that I spotted; however, when I went back later to shop it was a bust as far as having the things that I wanted.

We did good business for both performances; the crowds loved the water gags, even though Ryan and I were trying to make each other laugh in the second show by making vomit noises at every possible chance.

Brian LaPalme wowed us with another dessert for dinner tonight. Besides the delicious main course: beef tips marsala, he served brownie a la mode.

(Sorry Johnny Moss, I don't have a cheesy 70's kid show clip to reference for this dessert)

Tonight was beautiful. The sky was clear and I could see millions of stars.

I went out to get something to eat, only to find out later that Reyna was making my favorite Mexican dish, tortas, for Pie Car.

I guess there is always next time!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bottoms Up!

Wednesday, August 24: Manistee, MI-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 56

Lot: Seng's Lot

After getting parked in Manistee I walked to downtown, which was right next to the lot.

I found a coffee shop where I had a hot pick me up and some breakfast.

And then the hot pick me up served me some coffee.

Ba dum ching!

Later in the day I ventured back into town to have lunch, and Ryan and I went antique shopping.

Two years ago Ryan made a great haul of circus programs from one shop; unfortunately he must have cleaned them out, because we couldn't find anything this time around.

We ended up going back to one shop to look at a couple of steamer trunks, and as we were leaving, something caught my eye.

It was an envelope full of Ringling postcards! Lou Jacobs was the clown featured on several of the cards. Score!

We had good business for the first show, and there were more people at the second show.

I went to the back door for the first water gag with my shirt hanging open. I was in a daze getting dressed and didn't even button it up. I guess I didn't notice since my chest is so white; it must have matched the shirt!

I am happy that Ryan pointed out my mistake before we went out instead of exposing it during the gag like he was thinking of doing.

In the back curtain before the second finale Sara's skirt fell off. I yelled, "Alright! I didn't know it was THAT type of show!", before dropping my pants.

Both wardrobe "malfunctions" were corrected just as the curtain opened.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"By The Pricking Of My Thumbs..."

Tuesday, August 23: Empire, MI-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 75

Lot: Eagles Meadow

We were actually set up on a lot almost 7 miles from Empire today. It was a campground type of set up, so in the back yard we each had our own little parking area with a picnic table and a fire pit.

Natalie and I went to downtown Empire two years ago and I visited a cool little coffee shop with three cute women working the counter.

I unhooked my truck and drove into town expressly to visit that establishment, but unfortunately a lot can change in two years, and the coffee shop was now a laundromat.

At least I was able to fill up my gas tankin town. Yay?

Ryan spent time working on my new agent suit today. The sketch he drew looks fantastic, but once we started looking at fabric samples in real life, the color combinations just didn't do it for me.

Back to the drawing board!

We did good business for both shows; I remember packed houses here two years ago.

Once again the crowd for the first show was more responsive than the second audience.

The weather forecast called for storms after 5:00 p.m., and the wind was gusting, sending dark clouds flying by all day.

We got off with light sprinkling until after tear down was complete. Then we got some action!

It was the perfect weather to read my current book, "Something Wicked This Way Comes" by Ray Bradbury.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sew Buttons

Monday, August 22: Grayling, MI-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 32

Lot: fairgrounds

It was cold this morning! I put on my big jacket and ski cap for the jump; I already miss the summer heat.

After getting settled at the lot in Grayling, I went to do laundry; I was dragging my feet to go, but I had a clear path to get my truck off the lot, and a laundromat was only 3 miles away.

I didn't know when I would get another perfect scenario like that.

Meanwhile, Ryan spent all day working on new gag costumes. He got a lot accomplished, and I even contributed a small bit of help: button sewing!

There was an average turn out for the first show and even more people for the second show. Not bad at all for a lot and license date.

The first show's audience was more receptive; the water gag was very good.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Big Business Can Bite It

This makes me sad.

This is the business that my Dad and Grandaddy started the year I was born. My brother, Jamey, has been running the store with his mother since Dad passed away in 2001.

Seasons Change

Sunday, August 21: Lewiston, MI-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Miles: 75
Lot: elementary school grounds

There were no open gas stations on this morning's long jump. The one station that we did pass didn't open until 7:00 a.m., and it didn't even take credit cards at the pumps.
I was lucky that I had plenty of fuel; others were sweating bullets as the desolate miles continued and their gauge steadily dropped.

Radar texted me not far from town saying that he was below empty and asking if I had any fuel in my gas can.
I passed Sara, who ran out of diesel about 10 miles outside of town. She had to wait on the pump truck at the end of the convoy before she could continue.

Luckily there were two gas stations right as we pulled into Lewiston. Their business experienced a huge boom this morning, I am sure.

There were some nasty storm clouds around the lot when I went to get paid. They all seemed to be blowing past us, but then the wind changed direction and they were right on top of us.
There was some loud thunder and a little rain, but then the ominous clouds moved on to frighten other areas.

We did good business for the first show, and average business for the second show. It surprised me that the turnout was as good as it was because we were in a small town and there weren't any people around for set up.

It rained hard at the beginning of the second show, but only for a few minutes. The rain brought in some chilly weather; tonight I wore my jacket for the first time in what seems like forever.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Ryan Combs Is Going To Monte Carlo!

Ok...not really....but I knew that would get your attention!

I am very happy to announce that our friends, twin photographers Jason and Justin Senft have won "best of show" in the Fédération Mondiale du Cirque’s 2011 photography contest. Their winning image portraying the “Children and the Circus” contest theme features Ryan, his son, Nico, and Becky the elephant. Their photo was selected by Federation Honorary President H.S.H. Princess Stephanie of Monaco and will be exhibited in January 2012 during the 36th Festival International du Cirque de Monte-Carlo.

Jason and Justin always visit us when the show comes to NJ, NY, or PA and after seeing Ryan’s baby, they dreamed up the concept for their photo and proposed it to Ryan and Armando. After many attempts at capturing the difficult photo, the twins succeeded in snapping the winning image in Plumsteadville, PA.

For all of their hard work, Jason and Justin won hotel accomodations for two nights as well as tickets to two competition shows at the circus festival in Monte-Carlo. Unfortunately, it appears they will have to swim there since airfare is not included in the prize. The twins told me they are offering signed museum quality photographic prints of their winning image with the hopes that sales will fund a trip to the circus festival in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. So if any of our fans or circus collectors would like to help support the twins by purchasing a photograph, Jason and Justin can be reached at:

Jason and Justin, congratulations once again! The official announcement can be found here:

Great Adventures

Saturday, August 20: Oscoda, MI-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 55

Lot: airport grounds

The lot today was five miles away from everything cool in town, including a great used book store.

I refrained from unhooking and driving to it because I am trying to save money.

It stormed hard this morning, but everything had passed by show time. Both shows were 3/4 full.

Ryan and I couldn't keep a straight face, or a mouthful of water, in the first water gag, because beforehand we were backstage having a discussion about Disney characters having mental disorders.

The thought of our diagnosis for Smee made it very difficult to get through the act without cracking up.

In the second show we had a wardrobe malfunction in the horse walkaround. The blanket that goes around my shoulders had a section of loose trim on it, and today it caught on the horse head, making for a very awkward bit of tomfoolery.

Rather than get upset, I simply took the blanket back to my house and sewed the loose bit of trim; I should have done it a long time ago.

After the shows we had our first BBQ in a long time. It was very nice.

(An Addendum)

I received some sad news today. Lane Venardos, father of our Ringmaster friend, Kevin Venardos, has passed away.

Ryan and I had the pleasure of meeting Lane during our time working with Kevin on Ringling's Blue Unit.

Lane was a kind, funny man that was loved by everyone on the show. He produced an excellent series of DVDs called "Circus Train Adventures" that chronicled the Blue Show's travel by rail as well as interesting backstage happenings.

Here is one of my favorites:

Lane will be missed, and our thoughts and prayers go to the entire Venardos family.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Friday, August 19: Standish, MI-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 75

Lot: fairgrounds

This morning as I was driving across the lot, Tavo noticed that my trailer bounced pretty hard going over a bump. He told me to have Castro check my trailer springs, because they could be broken.

Castro took a look, and the spring wasn't broken, but the spring's support was.

Early this afternoon I went to a feed store in town to get duck food, and when I came back Fridman and Castro fixed my trailer problem.

Castro had to take one of the tires off my trailer so Fridman could properly reach the spring support; once that was out of the way, Fridman welded the support back together.

Since he had all of his equipment over at the trailer anyway, I had Fridman weld my broken trailer step as well. It was so nice to have it fixed after such a long time of jumping in and out of my house.

Castro also took a look under my trailer to see why my batteries were not charging during the day. I don't want to jinx myself, but I think he may have solved the problem!

There were small crowds for both shows. In the opening of the first performance, Ryan and I ran out and styled, and the tent was dead silent.

I muttered to myself, "Oh dear God", which made a lady in the front row about pee herself laughing.

Sadly that was the high point of the day!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Tra La La!

Thursday, August 18: Flushing, MI-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 26

Lot: Riverview Park

I was understandably feeling less than peak this morning after my late bedtime last night.

I stumbled through my morning ritual of driving, setting up my duck habitat, and making breakfast before I finally fell into bed for a couple of hours.

When I arose I went for a pick me up from the little coffee shop that I patronize every year. Joel joined me and was nice enough to buy my coffee.

This afternoon Ryan and I had a discussion about next year after learning of a tentative show running order.

There was average business for both shows. Brian LaPalme rocked us once again by having banana splits for dessert at the cookhouse.

NO! Not those Banana Splits! The edible ice cream kind!

Rob Corba and his friends came to see me at the second show. Rob is a clown in Clio, MI, and he saw me for the first time when I was performing for my final week with Ringling.

After the show I ran my big mouth for awhile with him and his group.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Holly Rocks!

Wednesday, August 17: Holly, MI-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 60

Lot: Corner of Holly and Quick

A couple of weeks ago, I got an e-mail from Katy Hughes. She was involved with bringing the circus to Holly last year, and she wanted to make our time in town this year very special.

She told me of all kinds of plans sure to make the day a memorable one. She delivered!

I met her in the morning after we had all arrived at the lot. Katy was nice enough to let me have some squibs mailed to her house, since we were running out.

She delivered the box to me, and she also gave me a map of downtown Holly with a list of fun things to do.

As I was heading back to my trailer, I ran into Paul Hesano and his family. The Hesanos saw the show last year, and Paul found my blog shortly after.

They were very excited about seeing the show; I took them back to my trailer to see the ducks and Chancho, Ryan's pig.

At 11:00 a.m. the Friends of Holly Library put on a luncheon for the circus across the street at the Baptist church.

A delicious meal was prepared for us, and everyone was just as nice as could be. In addition to the free food, there was a table set up with Holly goodies: t-shirts, mugs, bookmarks, bags, etc.

The Town Supervisor and DDA Director were going to present the key to the city to John Moss, but he was running late due to set up. I was chosen as the replacement recipient.

I was presented with the key (it wasn't filled with chocolate as I had hoped), and a big banner saying, "Holly Welcomes You".

In my acceptance speech I joked that I was chosen as the recipient because I looked the most like John Moss.

Starting at noon, Katy's husband was running a shuttle for circus employees to go to downtown, whether they needed to do laundry, buy groceries, or just to explore the shops.

Dan and I made friends with Jessica Teague, who sells Shaklee Sports Nutrition products and works out of the chiropractic and massage center in town.

She took us downtown to the Bittersweet Cafe and Blackberry Bakery where she treated us to coffee and goodies.

Never has a town been so welcoming to the show and done so much for us.

The first show was almost full, and the second show was about 3/4 full. John Moss put up the running order in the backdoor, but instead of putting Holly, MI at the top, he made light of my presentation earlier in the day and dubbed the town Copelandville, MI.

I think it has a nice ring to it!

The ring was a bit rough due to holes, but the prop crew filled them with sawdust during Intermission which helped immensely.

Paul Hesano and his family came to the first show. Here I am with Gavin:

and Paul and Amelia:

Jessica Teague was also at the show with two of her young family members.

All day I had been looking forward to a trip downtown after the shows. At the last minute Radar and Nikki backed out because they were tired.

I was just going to walk the mile and a half to town rather than get my truck out of my tight parking location, but I lucked out and Katy Hughes was still on the midway.

She saved me a long walk by being nice enough to give me a ride downtown.

She dropped me off at the Blackthorn Irish Pub; she introduced me to one of the waitresses who knew about my blog (wild), and the owner of the pub.

She also introduced me to Ashley, who was going to be my hostess for the evening, as well as my ride back to the lot.

I was lucky that I caught a ride with Katy instead of walking, because I got to the pub just as the kitchen was about to close.

I had a delicious meal, and two glasses of Guinness (one of which was on the house), and then I joined Ashley and her friends, Laura and Laura, at their table.

When they were finished, we walked a few blocks to the Broad Street Station, which had rented a karaoke machine for the night JUST for the circus.

Boy did I feel bad when I was the only person from the show that came to sing.

Jesse Lambert, the Town Supervisor, was at the bar and joined our party. Ashley, Jesse, and myself were three of the five people in the bar singing karaoke, so naturally we each got to sing a lot.

The guy running karaoke was very helpful and looked up all the weird songs that I wanted to sing that weren't in his book.

It was a lot of fun; once again I just felt bad that there wasn't more of a representation from the circus.

Close to closing time Ashley gave me a ride back to the lot, and I crawled into bed around 2:00 a.m.

One more BIG thank you to everyone in Holly that made this day so awesome!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Side Wallin'

Tuesday, August 16: Westland, MI-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 10

Lot: City Hall Grounds

On this morning's route slip it said, "Follow arrows to a difficult lot". Boy, they weren't kidding!

Everybody was jammed onto a tiny parking lot right next to city hall. There were no other areas to spread out into; most of the parking lots were reserved for city workers, and the only other open space was taken up by a farmer's market. As luck would have it, we were playing Westland on the ONE day of the week that they were set up!

There was not enough room to set up the tent, so the decision was made that we would be side walling it. That means that the side tent flaps would all be set up to create a performance space, there just wouldn't be a top.

As luck would have it, I was one of the few vehicles with access to leave the lot, and since there was a lot of cool stuff to do in town, I decided to unhook and explore.

When I came back to the lot, a motor home had been moved in front of my trailer, so I was blocked from hooking up.

Even though I had been gone for an hour, vehicles were still being moved around in the tight space, and Valerie was still waiting to park her motorhome.

While we were waiting for directions, the local Barney Fife sauntered over and started giving us grief for blocking an important driveway.

I quickly became frustrated by the situation, and rather than have Barney use his one bullet on me, I did a 30 point turn and went to park at Kroger across the street until everything settled down.

A little later I found out that show vehicles could park in the rec center parking lot, so I moved there to avoid being towed from Kroger's.

As I got back to my trailer, Hugo apologized for blocking my access to the trailer with his RV. He said that once he was done setting up the side walls he would move so I could hook back up.

What a nice guy!

Since my truck was out anyway and I had time to kill, I decided to go back into town to do some more exploring.

When I came back I got my truck hooked up to my trailer, and then I walked to Culver's for some delicious butter burger-y goodness.

When I got back to my trailer I was feeling pretty lousy; I got too much sun this morning and didn't keep properly hydrated.

I popped some Ibuprofen for my headache, downed a lot of water, and laid down for awhile. When I got up I felt much better.

This morning when I saw all the trouble that the show was going to for one date, I asked, "Is this all worth it?"

I was told that the advance sale was great, and come show time we found out that it definitely was worth it.

The first show was almost full, and the second show was full. That would have been a lot of refunded tickets!

And as they say, "The show must go on!"

(I wanted to punch myself when I wrote that)

Working with no top was definitely an interesting experience. It leant a completely different atmosphere to the whole show; not one I cared for as much, but I am glad to say I did it.

It was amazing to me how much the big top helps with the music; in the open air it was almost like there was a sound vacuum in the ring.

Since there was no top, there were no aerial acts and no fire breathing. Fridman brought out his rola bola to replace his loop walk act.

We were very lucky that the weather was beautiful today (which has been the norm for the season); today could have been a lot worse!

(photo by Nikki Ogle)

After the shows I went to Kroger to pick up a few things since it was right across the street and open until midnight.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Gluttony At Its Finest

Monday, August 15: Redford, MI-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 45

Lot: Bell Creek Park

Rick and Carol were back today with more goodies: donuts, chips, sandwiches, beer...the diet starts next week!

They took me to Panera Bread for lunch (what can I say, they know me), and they also bought food for Radar, Elisa, and Ryan.

There was good business for the first show and the second show was 3/4 full; the audiences were very responsive too.

We had a BBQ after the shows since Elisa goes back to Massachusetts tomorrow afternoon.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Goodies Goodies!

Sunday, August 14: Romeo, MI-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Miles: 70

Lot: Lions Field

Today our friends Rick, Carol, and Johnny were visiting. Rick is a mortician and brought some scalpels for Ryan to use in foam carving; he also brought some donuts to chow down on and a case of Guinness for me.

Carol and her husband, Johnny, brought goody bags for me, Ryan and Tatiana, and Radar.

She included some of her favorite foods (which she said would soon be ours), and Ryan and I got custom welcome mats.

Here is mine:

I am curious as to what role women play in my man cave...

Our other friend Carol, from Maryland, had goodies for us as well via a package she sent to Rick.

The most important content of the package (which was filled with actual factual peanuts instead of packing peanuts) was two packages of Baltimore's Berger cookies. Yum yum!

All in all, it was a GREAT day for getting swag from our friends! Many thanks to all of you!

We had good business for the first show, and there were less people at the second show.

It drizzled all day, which made everything feel dreary, but as soon as we were done working the sun showed itself a bit.

After work I joined Radar, Elisa, and Nikki at an Irish pub for drinks and dinner. The four of us all ordered the exact same thing, fish and chips, so the waitress had a very easy job serving our food.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Steve's Big Night

Saturday, August 13: Ypsilanti, MI-2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Miles: 52

Lot: Lakeshore Golf Course

I was very relieved when I saw that we weren't parked in the ghetto of Ypsilanti this year.

My ducks were also relieved when I took their bulletproof vests off.

We did decent business for both shows. Barry Miller and his wife were at the first performance; I went out and visited with them during Intermission, and then after the show they gave me two bags full of old circus programs.

Ryan and I spent the whole between show break looking through them and reminiscing. We even saw some folks from our show in old Carson & Barnes programs.

Thank you Barry!

A big storm hit during the water gag of the second show. We could hear the rain beating down on the tent, and afterwards the lightning was flashing and the thunder was crashing right on top of us.

Finale was canceled so the audience would be out of the tent faster and the crew could start tear down.

That was fine with me, because I had big plans for my evening!

I rushed to get out of make up and off the lot, and I headed into Ann Arbor, which was the next town over. Luckily the storms didn't follow me.

I had a delicious burger at Red Robin, browsed Barnes & Noble for a bit, and had some ice cream at Cold Stone.

It was so nice to get away from the circus for an evening and have some alone time.

I was also able to fuel up my truck before heading back to the lot and hooking up to my trailer.

Night well spent!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Pack 'Em In

Friday, August 12: Sylvania, OH-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 19

Lot: Centennial & Brint Rd.

After I got to the lot and had breakfast, I unhooked my truck and went to do laundry. While I was out I also stopped at Kroger to get some groceries; while there I remembered that Radar was going to Wal Mart after the shows, so I saved most of my shopping until then.

The first show was packed and the second show was standing room only; the audiences were great as well.

Radar, Elisa, and I went to Wal Mart after the shows; the staff there was extremely slow at the check out lanes, and we were all about to fall asleep by the time we left.