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Wednesday, July 15, 2009 

Saturday July 11th, 2009. Jordan, MN. 25 miles. Grass, gravel. Sunny, warm.
Every year at some point I can define the circus season as a collection of scabs and scars. If you never bleed, how can you possibly be working? In 2009 I suppose I got off to an early start, breaking a fingertip while changing a tire on my motorhome the day before I actually left for Oklahoma. It’s still discolored five months later, though I have every hope that by Labor Day I may reclaim the nail. Standing in the shower the other day it occurred to me that we were truly beyond the halfway point in the season because the scabs on my legs ran pretty much from ankle to kneecap. But most years I manage to really, really bleed at least once – and last night I ran straight into a stake for a moonbounce while carrying a section of perimeter fence that surrounds the cats. Not a small scratch, a big six inch rip that had me hobbling to the convience store for Dr. Cainan’s "Lysol Cure." Until you’ve actually sprayed lysol onto an open wound you can’t imagine how "bad" medicine can feel. But hey, it works for claws and fangs and assorted infections and I’m betting that it will be tough enough for tent stakes.
...All of which brings up another point. Most years I yammer on and on while blogging. A bit of circus history, a bit of geography, a taste of gossip, and lots of opinion. This season I’ve been relatively quiet. It isn’t that history is less fascinating, the geography less interesting, that I don’t have opinions, or that gossip has dried up. Circus is a job. Most seasons it’s a fun job, other years it’s just a job. This year with so many people out of work in every town where we pitch the tent I find that it’s hard to takie things lightly, and mostly I’m thankful to be employed. To date, at least for Culpepper & Merriweather’s Great Combined Circus the season has been alright. We’ve had some slow stretches in New Mexico and Arizona, the California desert and in South Dakota – but we had a great run on the west coast and in most of the country business has been respectable. Maybe because of the economy people are staying at home and coming to the show instead of vacationing. With three more months ahead of us it’s way too early to declare success. August is historically slow and we’ll see how the rest of July plays out and how we fare in the autumn. Today was nothing to brag about. Circus travels across the latitude lines chasing the Spring, the longitude lines basking in Summer, then in Fall withers and returns home hoping that next year will mean another season. In hard times like these I think we are all particularly grateful for this season. In town life you hope and worry and wonder about your options. In a traveling society success and failure can be measured every day when the sponsor settles, when we call "doors." We’re blessed that a couple of good weeks can erase a really bad one. Town life doesn’t work like that.

About me

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