I was reading that after 146 years Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey Circus was taking down the Big Top for the final time this spring.
I remember in the ‘50s when the circus train rolled into town and going down to the rail yard to watch as they unloaded all the animals, wagons and other goodies that we would all get to see. Watching as those big elephants walked down Main Street on their way to the Fairgrounds was a thrill in itself. Watching as the Big Top was raised into the air, knowing we would soon be inside seeing all the exciting animals and acts.
The sights, the sounds, the smells of the circus; the kids today have no idea what they’re missing with their noses stuck in their phones and tablets.
And what about all those circus performers? After generations, they’re out of work. What does a 50-something year old that was born on the circus train do? The circus, it’s more than their work. That’s all they know. That’s their home, their family, their life.
The circus is more than entertainment, it’s a way of life. A subculture soon to be gone forever.