Hank’s History: Remembering the circus
by Hank Billings
from: springfield news-leader.com
Moving the Shrine Circus from the Mosque to the JQH Arena took my memory back 50 years.
An editor decided I should do a story as a Shrine Circus clown.
The pros helped me dress, but warned me to stay away from the monkeys because they were afraid of clowns.
I thought they might be pulling my leg, but I followed their advice.
I was also surprised when one clown asked me who could help him with his income tax. You have to pay taxes for being funny?
My son, John, then about 3, cried when my wife put him in the clown’s lap.
I asked John if he remembered that. He said he didn’t, but remembered the photo.
A friend, Salina Friend, took her 2-year-old daughter, Isabel, to the circus earlier this month at Missouri State University.
“She saw the clowns up close in the lobby and she was afraid.”
“What did she like?” I asked.
“She liked the poodles who did tricks. One poodle jumped through a flaming hoop. So did one of the performing tigers.”
The friend said something was put down to protect the arena floor, but she didn’t know what it was.
Our friend said a Shriner friend told her they could make more money in four days in the larger arena than in a week in the smaller Mosque.