Clown for a New Day

Clown for a New Day
Dagwood might make it in today's emasculated circus

Thursday, July 12, 2007

An Editor Asks: “What is ‘spec’ ... And I wonder, Did Al Ringling really Kill a Farmer for Abusing a Horse? ...

... and if I print it, will they kill me???

Here I am, blurry from reading through my Fall of the Big Top edited manuscript, fact checking, answering an editor’s meticulous queries ... scrambling through notes to support, hitting the web to nail URL addresses requested....

Last chance to pull stuff that could leave me the laughing stock of Spangleland. Were did I read that Al Ringling broke away to start up his own one-ring mud show and was pulled back by the brothers? Not North. Not Plowden ... Not Apps ... Check Chapin May. Yes, there it is! ... Keep it in....

"Al is secretly remembered for having killed a farmer..." Dare I leave THAT in? ... I swear I read it somewhere, but nobody will confirm. Too chancy. Drop it NOW or the next time I set foot in Baraboo, I risk house arrest — kindly retired dentist Bob might go after me with a root canal drill...

....Bill Taggart rode a horse in spec. The editor wonders, what is spec. Okay, make it "circus spectacles". Clarity they want. ... Chimera just closed, how to alter. What’s the central point here? Truncate and end with, "He may find that reinstating the animals will attract larger crowds." Let’s pray for Jim, but don’t put that in...

I could swear that UniverSoul claims to be the first black-owned circus in the country, which is false. Search the files. Look for the Los Angeles Times story. There is. Where, where....first African American, key words — Oh **!!xx**!!! How close I came to falling off the wire --- first blacked owned circus in a century ... Wallendas, I need help!

How to identify all four in the Gaona Gold Clown award photo. Tito did not answer e-mail seeking identities. Maybe he’s sulking because I’m not using his favorite — of himself, solo. Send a copy to Ken Dodd; he said he’ll take a look ...

Did North really make the entire funeral train trip to Sarasota in 1956 in his pajamas. Let go of it, CUT ... "Ready or Not" — "a fabulous procession of Asian acrobats". Stop overworking "fabulous." Change to "dashing", and while you’re at it, try shaking your adjectives addiction and going clean.

Time is pressing, and the presses are timing. My semi-last chance to clean up, back off, restate, revise or repent ... Miguel threw the quad in "a speeding second"? Risky. Change to "four lightening fast revolutions." Once in print, I can’t go back.

... Must hurry. Two of my three readers are clamoring for the Kelly Miller stuff. One of them is accusing me of flaunting a "Royal attitude."

Barbette's "wild sense of humor." Hmm. Wild used too much. Make it "rare." Or ... "medium rare"?

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