« Home | Matamoras, PA. 80 miles. Grass. Overcast. Two ... » | Some places just feel like home. For me the Catsk... » | Saugerties. NY. 80 miles. Grass and gravel. Rain.... » | Old School Delhi, NY 89 miles. Grass. Cool.... » | Enlarge Albany, NY. 83 miles. Gravel, pavemen... » | Whitehall, NY. 86 miles. Mowed field. Cool, per... » | Au Sable Forks, NY. 115 miles. Grass. Cool. No... » | Potsdam, NY. 73 miles. Grass. Cool, partly sunny... » | Enlarge Watertown, NY. 80 miles. Grass. Perf... » | Enlarge Rome, NY. 83 miles. Grass. Cool a... » 

Thursday, September 07, 2006 

Wilkes Barre, PA. 73 miles. Gravel. Overcast and cool.

From the Delaware we have moved into the hard coal country of northeastern Pennsylvania for a two day lot and license date at the Wachovia Arena. A century ago Scranton and Wilkes Barre were mining and rail towns, the scene of bloody battles in the labor wars that led to the emergence of the United Mine Workers. These were Barnum towns, where it was said by troupers that the big show fought its way onto the lot, then fought to leave it again. The miners as interested in brawling as they were in circus, and a melee could be mighty entertaining. Years later in Scranton a strike by hostlers on the Ringling show inked the final chapter for baggage horses when thereafter tractors replaced teamsters moving wagons from rail to show grounds and back again. Today Wilkes Barre and Scranton are college and university centers. In the hard ground it takes two hours to drive the stakes for our tent.

Way back in the 1980’s I was a zookeeper living on the Lower East Side in Manhattan and working at the New York Zoological Park in the Bronx. There was a ritual to my mornings then. Each workday I would ride the train uptown from Houston St, drinking coffee from a deli and reading the Times or the Daily News. From Fordam Road I walked to the park, and when I slipped between the gates I entered another world. The park I supposed then, in the early morning just past dawn was quiet the way that a church is sometimes quiet, the silence occasionally broken by the raucous noise of animals, or the first tentative sounds of rakes on gravel. The park was my cathedral then, the paths by Cope Lake a place of Spirit and Profundity, and the Sacred. Today, sometimes, I sense that same Grace, that same yearning for the spiritual inside the circus tent in the early afternoon when all is silent and empty like a Cathedral before the first Mass marking the day. It’s not my intention to delve into the mystical here. On any given evening a splash of Islay whisky seems profound. A spiritual experience is an experience ripe with possibilities. And beneath a bigtop, or on a stage, or along an empty path in tree filled park, the possibilities are endless. On a circus like this one nothing speaks of possibility more than the talented children who appear in our show. Watching ten years like Ashley Felix or Franchesca Cavallini work the hula hoops, or the web, or a teeter board act I can only begin to imagine what these girls will do in another decade. For children watching other children perform I think there is a connection that adults just don’t “get.”

Children see themselves reflected in the artistry of their peers.

“If she can do that, what can I do?”

What indeed.

About me

  • I'm B.E.Trumble
  • From Everywhere, United States
  • Ben Trumble works in circus, carnival, and media relations
My profile
Powered by Blogger
and Blogger Templates