Friday, August 10: Sylvania, OH-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Lot: Pacesetter Park
This morning when we pulled onto the lot, I was relieved to see that it was a new location. Most importantly, it was on cement. With all the rain that the area has received, and with the possibility of even more today, the grassy lot we usually play in Sylvania would have been a nightmare.
I went to do laundry, and when I came back, the big top was already up; it was finished much earlier than usual.
I had promised a local circus fan, John Bolster, that I would meet with him and his group after the tent raising tour, and it appeared that I was late.
I parked by my trailer and headed straight for the midway. I ran into John at the ticket office and accompanied him to the marquee where his group was waiting.
I talked with them briefly about my background and answered any questions that they had.
After that I put away my laundry and headed back into town to run errands for the afternoon. Being on Kelleys Island on Monday and Tuesday really threw off my normal weekly schedule.
Rocco Paris, a former Ringling clown, brought his family back to see us today. They came to see us in Dayton back in May, but Rocco's youngest son, Alex, is a huge fan of ours, so they came to see us one more time before we left Ohio.
Rocco brought a huge portrait of himself from when he was on Ringling.
He told me to hang it up at Winter Quarters so he can be our "clown patron saint". I think the disappointed look on his face is quite apropos for the work Ryan and I churn out in the winter.
John Bolster and his group were also at the first performance, and John provided pizza (from the East of Chicago restaurant [plug plug]) and salad for dinner in the cookhouse.
After the shows Ryan and I had a great visit with the Paris family. I wish it could have lasted longer, but the pesky 7:30 show got in the way.
While we were visiting it began to rain. I walked with Rocco and his family out to their cars so they could use my umbrellas.
It continued to rain throughout the second show, sometimes very hard, and water began to pool in the low spots backstage. The inside of the tent was remarkably dry compared to the back door, but after all of us tracked the water onto the ring mat, it was pretty nasty.
Ryan and I were being as careful as possible on the wet ring mat. I know I've said it before, but the danger makes it worth repeating: that ring mat, when wet and on top of cement, coupled with our traction-less clown shoes, is like ice.
We had friends in the audience for the 7:30 show. I'm upset they didn't get to see our A game due to our extreme caution. Luckily both crowds were great, even with the in climate weather.
Justin Bennett, his friend Andrew...er, Jon, Jon's girlfriend, Kasedy, as well as Andrea and her friend, Dennis, were our friends at the second show.
After work they took me out to dinner, and Justin was nice enough to buy my meal. Andrea also brought me a box of chocolates (which my Mama always said life was like) as gratitude for the tickets that I set up for her.
Justin and Andrea are aspiring clowns, and Andrea just returned from Moosecamp, which is my "clown alma mater". Needless to say, we all had plenty to talk about.