Thursday, May 02: Centralia, IL-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Lot: Fairview Park
When we arrived at the lot this morning, there were men on riding mowers cutting the grass; I'm glad they waited until the last minute! Since they were in a hurry to get out of our way, they were doing a lousy job to boot.
Good job guys, way to be.
The tent and semis were on one side of the park, and all the trailers were on the other side, separated by a little road.
I was afraid we wouldn't have power because we were parked so far away from the generator, but the section of the street separating the two sides of the lot was blocked off from traffic so cables could be run to our houses. Hooray!
Since the tent was across the street, and the back door was on the complete opposite side of the tent from us (not to mention that I was blocked in by trailers and couldn't move my truck closer), Ryan and I elected to do the cookie gag instead of the carpenter gag today.
There was a shopping center across the street from the lot, so I walked over to check it out. There was a farm store that had baby ducks, including a cute little Mallard. I have been looking for a baby duck since Easter, but I was always a day late and a dollar short.
Finally I found a fowl that I was fond of (pardon my alliteration), and the store wouldn't sell it to me! The attendant helping us said it was IL state law that I would have to buy two ducks.
As much as I wanted that Mallard, I am just not set up to handle two more ducks, especially when they are full grown.
Nuts to you, Illinois, and your antiquated laws!
After lunch I explored Centralia's downtown. My favorite sight was a storefront reading "House of Karaoke". We peeped in and saw two dour looking people sitting among a bunch of speakers, computers, and microphones. It looked like a heck of a happenin' scene!
About an hour before show time the heavens opened up. In just a matter of minutes there was standing water everywhere on the lot and by our trailers.
Bill Reynolds, a former circus musician, sat in with Mike and Marshall during the first show.
When we went out to do the trombone gag in the first show, we realized too late that Ryan had left his microphone backstage.
After the first bit I ran backstage as fast as I could through the puddles of rain and mud in the seating area, burst through the curtain, tore through John's bag, and found the mic.
I then had to run back to Ryan, dodging more puddles, as well as the crew guys running with the panels of the tiger arena.
I made it back to Ryan just in time for the second bit of the gag to occur.
In between shows I went to throw out some of my garbage; Ryan was outside, so he grabbed his trash and joined me.
Just as we reached the dumpster, a family on their way to the show walked by. I figured two clowns, looking miserable, and throwing away trash in the rain was a sight worthy of comment, so I shouted out to them, "You're just in time! We're throwing away our hopes and dreams!"
In the second trombone gag, the area between the ring side seats and bleachers was ten times worse than the first show from the constant traffic of a tent full of people. There was ankle deep mud and water; thank God we were wearing our boots!
Ryan and I both got good laughs out of the situation. As we were walking through the little pond, I used my trombone as a row. On the way back Ryan pretended to be stuck and unable to follow me into the ring.
I felt bad for people at Intermission that were wading through all the muck in the tent. There were even a few people wearing sandals. Yuck!
Surprisingly, everyone we talked to at our table seemed excited and happy to be at the circus. They come from a hardy stock here in Centralia!
After the shows everybody had to move off the lot and park on the sides of the road running through the park.