The Circus

I teach 8th grade and sometimes I feel like I am the ringleader in a circus.

“There’s a sucker born every minute.” P. T. Barnum

In January, when the I first heard the news that the Ringing Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus would be ceasing operations in May, I did a quick search to find out where the circus would be before it ended it’s 146-year run. I discovered it was in Cincinnati, Ohio – a short five-hour drive away. 317 miles, give or take. I did a quick search of tickets and found they were available. I mentioned it to B and we remembered the summer we met and when went to the circus with a large group. We laughed about the memory and then, I forgot about it and the idea shifted to the bottom of the pile.

Last weekend the memory came back and Monday night and I sent O a short text, ‘Circus?’ and another six minutes later, Circus?’ No response.

The next morning, I mentioned the circus before I left for school and left it that. No response.

Wednesday I got my reply in a text, ‘I will go with you to the circus.’

Last night I sat next to a spellbound little girl and I joined her in awe as we watched the Greatest Show on Earth for the last time, at least for us.

When we left home yesterday morning, the sun was shining brightly it was clear and cold AND I was excited, O was along for the journey. We talked as I drove, then south of Indianapolis she fell fast asleep. I plugged in an audiobook and drove. Somewhere in southeastern Indiana it got hilly as we drove deeper into the Ohio River valley and closer to Cincinnati. O woke from her nap and helped navigate with the help of my phone.

It was a wonderful show full of exciting action beginning with the camels and ending with acrobats on trampolines and bicycles performing amazing aerial stunts. In between, dances, singers, a death-defying high-wire act, the human cannonball, tigers – 13 of them, and amazing performing poodles. I nudged O and whispered to her, ‘don’t get any ideas with Ivy.’ She smiled. We finished the evening with dinner along the Ohio River. It was a magical sort of day. We have a souvenir cup and program and an amazing tiger flip-top drink cup as well as memories of the circus that will last a lifetime.

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We had a great time at the circus, neither of us will forget the adventure. It’s Sunday morning O’s sleeping, I can hear her gentle breathing as I write. The sun is rising and It’s gonna be a great day. We’ve got a full day planned and a five-hour drive. But first, I better jump up, jump in, and seize the day. Making the Days Count, one memory at a time, even without elephants.

What was your last spur of the moment adventure?

Oh, a final footnote. The circus is ceasing operations because it cannot compete in today’s entertainment market. I disagree, but the reality it is a business and the primary aim of any business is to generate income and a profit. The political cartoon below was published in The State a South Carolina newspaper and the cartoonist is one of my favorite political cartoonists – he has a wonderful sense of humor. I hope you find the humor and irony.

cartoon courtesy of Robert Arial and The State



6 thoughts on “The Circus

    1. Thanks – my subscription has lapsed, but I visited the Trains site a month or so ago and saw a video about the train and the article I saw in Cincinnati had a video of the circus train crossing the Ohio River. As we drove into town Saturday afternoon, I mentioned to my daughter the circus train was likely stored in the rail yard just west of town waiting to be loaded for the next stop on the tour. It was a great weekend and I am glad I went. Thanks for stopping in and enjoy the fresh snow. Peace.

  1. Oh man, I’m wish I could go to the circus one last time. Kids of tomorrow won’t even know what a circus is. What a shame for them.

    Thanks for sharing. I love all the bright primary colors.

    Have a great week.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  2. Isn’t it funny? My parents always used to take me to the circus as a Christmas treat when I was small. I politely went along with it, but I hated it, and I’m surprised they couldn’t see that. I didn’t like seeing the animals being made to perform, and indeed, these days in the UK, animal acts are now outlawed in circuses. In France, the circus used to come twice a year, and set up in the car park behind our house. We used to enjoy watching the camel grazing, and I would collect all the exotic animal dung for my vegetable patch. Zebra droppings, anyone?

    1. As a child, I remember my mother taking us to watch the circus train unload and see the parade of animals. I remember the first visit to the circus years ago, it brought back feelings of growing up in a different time. Saturday night as I sat with O and we talked afterwards, she wondered why there was so much singing and I explained it’s all in the spectacle. Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful week.

Thanks for visiting MtDC. How are YOU Making YOUR Days Count?