THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO MY TWIN BROTHER, BILL DYKES (1943-1995). WE WERE NOT ONLY BROTHERS BUT PARTNERS IN BUSINESS AND BEST FRIENDS! AND TO ALL THE "BUTCHERS" THAT HAVE PASSED ON TO THE BIG LOT IN THE SKY!

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

1990 MIAMI SUN SETINEL 7 PAGE STORY---PAGE 1

The Great American Mud Show Most Tent Circuses Have Reached The End Of The Road,
But A Few, Like The Allan C. Hill Circus Of Sarasota, Still Follow The Old Traditions, Moving From Town To Town With A Timeless Promise Of Joy.
December 30, 1990BY MATT SCHUDE
From The Miami Sun SentinelPage 1 of 7
THE DIESEL ENGINES ROAR AWAKE IN the dark of 4 a.m., and another day begins for the show that never ends. The early call, the caravan of trucks down a highway -- it happens every day from early spring to late fall, this quest to bring an empty place to life.
Men fan out across a vacant lot, their long morning shadows keeping step. They anchor the spikes, and before noon the magic is building all over again.
It still lives on, this old-fashioned rite that pulls at your heart: Out in the field, the circus is raising the big top in another American town.
Elephants in harness haul the poles into place, and the tent swells into its full shape. Flags flutter with the morning breeze, and the ground swarms with hard-edged men swinging hammers, tugging ropes and uncoiling miles of electrical cords. As elephants and camels lazily munch grass, people on their way to work do double takes from their cars.
There is still something about a circus that turns a special page within us. Something in this world of animals and acrobats, of clowns and big-top bustle, fills us with the wonder of a child. Maybe it really is the greatest show on earth.
There was a time in the simpler past when scores of circuses crossed the country, stopping for a day and then moving on to the next little town. When the circus train came in, children declared their own holiday and raced to water the elephants or be the first to glimpse the lions and tigers.
The gaudy red wagons would clatter through town to the beat of a brass band, and the elephants would always close the parade, marching trunk-to-tail, with the baby running along behind. It was pure P.T. Barnum, of course, all bluster and bluff and ringmaster patter. But something about the circus was wholesome and pure, something in it made children laugh and dream with wide-open eyes.
It`s almost surprising that kids today know anything at all about the circus, in this age of Nintendo, Bart Simpson and general urban malaise. Yet kids still come to marvel at leopards leaping through fire, at elephants standing on their heads, at the daring grace of the woman on the trapeze.
A dozen hardy shows remain on the road, keeping a culture alive. The circus has tradition, an elaborate formality, its own legends and language.
``You can`t just call it a job,`` says Mike Ridenour. ``It`s more of a lifestyle.``
read more at:http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1990-12-30/features/9003050531_1_circus-train-circus-manager-elephants

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