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Wednesday, August 06, 2008 

August 6th, 2008 41 miles. Gibsonburg, OH. Sunny, warm. Grass Lot.

The last trucks decamped Kelleys Island on a ferry at 11:45 last night, making the mainland after twelve. And rolling into today’s town around two in the morning. Ariel Terranova Webb the grad student in geography from a British university who has traveled with the show since opening in Hugo left us to return home and spend the next year making sense of it all. In February when winter is hard on London will she sit in flat writing, remembering that in the valley in Texas it’s almost springtime, and in a few weeks the circuses will stir taking their first tentative steps north towards their rendezvous with summer? Will she wish, fleetingly, that she was along for the ride? Good luck Ariel.

In trying to understand the affinity between the circus and Kelleys Islanders it occurs to me that it’s an annual meeting of insular cultures both of whom survive on the largess of the mainstream while fiercely standing apart. On the island, for a couple of days both cultures let their guard down.

Gibsonburg is our lat date in OH. Tomorrow it’s into Michigan. Writing last autumn about circus routes MI scared the heck out of me. Localized economic conditions and fuel prices would define ’08, I thought. Every database, every market prognosticator for Michigan looked awful. It’s a state in deep economic recession. Historically MI been good to circuses, but for the last ten years business for shows has been spotty. It will be interesting to see how we fare over the next few weeks. And it may say a lot about the viability of the upper midwest for several seasons to come. As fares Michigan, so fares Wisconsin etc.

It's February in London, I am in the British Library trying to make sense of it all and wishing I was on the road again. For now the numerous blogs will have to suffice.

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About me

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