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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Friday, July 1, 2011

Circus comes to town, as big a draw as ever


Austin Conklin, 2, of Milford, Pa., enjoys his first circus experience with his mother, Christy.

07/01/11

For decades until the end of World War II, on a June or July morning, the circus train would arrive at the far end of the Erie Railroad tracks, almost into Sparrowbush.
Crowds would be waiting, watching the elephants lumber sleepily down large wooden ramps, as a lion would growl from the next car. The circus stars would rub sleep out of their eyes. The chuckwagon would serve piping hot coffee with scrambled eggs and thick slices of bacon.
At about 10 a.m., the performers would don colorful costumes and decorate the elephants with silk trimmings.
When everything was in order, the circus band would strike up its brassy music and the parade would start on Front Street in Port Jervis, then continue through the river city until it would land on the large fields next to where the high school now stands. All along the way, kids of all ages followed as if answering a siren call.
Who wouldn't want to run away and join the circus?
Times have changed, but the lure of the circus remains a force to be reckoned with.
Last Sunday, when the Walker Brothers Circus came to Matamoras, Pa., hundreds came to experience the same enchantment that filled the air in 1900, when the first circus arrived in the tri-state area.


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