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Sunday, July 28, 2013

SMITH CANNON

Cannon Lady loves being scared to death
Jennifer Smith is one of three female human cannonballs in the world. See her shoot into the air at Quick Chek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning

 
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Human cannonball Jennifer Smith performs at the QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning July 26-28 at Solberg Airport in Readington , N.J. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO, THE MORNING CALL / July 18, 2013)
from: mcall.com
By Sarah Olah, Of The Morning Call
July 26, 2013
Jennifer Smith goes to work afraid everyday.
 That's not surprising. She's a human cannonball.
 She is one of about 10 human cannonballs in the world and one of three female cannonballs. You can see her perform at the 31st annual QuickCheck New Jersey Festival of Ballooning in Reading, N.J., returning for her second time. She will perform July 26 and 27, and will be the cannon sound-off — instead of a pistol shot — at the start of the Hunterdon Healthcare "Running with the Balloons" 5K race on July 28.

Nicknamed "Cannon Lady," the 37 year-old Missouri mother of two shoots out of a cannon around the world at speeds of 37 to 42 miles per hour.
This might sound like an unusual profession, but to Smith it came naturally. She grew up in a circus family.

Her father, David "Cannonball" Smith Sr., and her brother, David "The Bullet" Smith Jr., are both human cannonballs.

David Sr. held the Guinness World Record for the longest human cannonball flight, traveling more than 185 feet, until it was broken by her brother, Dave Smith Jr., who flew more than 193 feet.

The rest of her family also performs circus acts, including twirling, trapeze and aerial stunts. At one point, six out of 10 kids were human cannonballs. Now it's just Smith and her brother.

"My dad did it, and so did my older sister. So being a typical kid, I wanted to do what my sister was doing," she says.

Smith was 14 the first time she was shot out of a cannon. She flew about 35 feet and said she never wanted to do it again. But of course, she did.

Her father asked her if she was hurt and she replied that she wasn't, just scared. David told her when she's not scared anymore, she can stop.

"I'm still scared," Smith, says, so she continues to fly.

"I love the flying-through-the-air part. The cannon scares me, but not the flight."

It's no wonder she's frightened. The act requires the 5-foot-2-inch woman to be launched about 60 feet into the sky from a 36-inch-wide and 27-foot-long cannon into a net about 125 feet away.

"It's not old-hat even after 20 years," Smith says.
Read more: http://www.mcall.com/entertainment/mc-quickchek-new-jersey-festival-of-ballooning-can-20130726,0,4695122.story#ixzz2aDiuO6Iy
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