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Saturday, July 05, 2008 

Friday July 4th, 2008. Pittsfield, MA. 165 miles. Lot – unplayable. Warm, overcast.

Woke today to heavy rain in Merrimac. Took three hours to pull everything off yesterday’s lot, where we did fair business and make the 165 mile jump west into the Berkshires to Pittsfield. Only one truck break-down, not bad for a long jump. Today is an off day due to the long mountain haul and the holiday. In Pittsfield we discovered that the lot for tomorrow is too small for the tent. Possibly the city will close the street. Elsewise we’re looking for another lot. The Cole Circus played here a couple days ago. Their paper (posters) are everywhere. Ours are not to be found. An ignoble conclusion to a great MA run.

I remember sometimes that although I may be a circus guy, or an animal guy, for a very long time I have also been a writer. In Pittsfield I remember that. Herman Melville lived here, summering in the mountains with Hawthorne. Both the Scarlet Letter and Moby Dick were writ in part in these Berkshires. Melville, perhaps the greatest of writers was never so well off to give up his periodic day jobs, generally clerkships in government offices around New York, but in the Berkshires he found time for his imagination to soar. Hawthorne on the other hand was a literary superstar, holding court in his mountain digs entertaining the other writers of his day. What did they talk about, those two? Did wonder about narrative? The perfect sentence, the perfect opening line in the greatest of literary adventure yarns was so simple: “Call me Ismael.” Did they ever visit a small circus, a wagon show passing through the low mountain between Albany and Boston? The Civil War was raging. Was war the topic of every discourse?

The Kelly Miller Circus is moving west now. The show will move west and south for the rest of the season. The relentless run through spring and early summer east and north is over. In a few weeks the show will be in Ohio returning to its midwestern roots.

About me

  • I'm B.E.Trumble
  • From Everywhere, United States
  • Ben Trumble works in circus, carnival, and media relations
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