Friday, December 14, 2007

This One’s for the Very Much Alive Judy Finelli

She directed the Pickle Family Circus for a few seasons in the late 80s. In 1989, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. For many heroic years since, Judy has faced her illness with evident dignity, courage and resolve. And somehow somewhere I gained a sense that she had passed on. Not so. Of the many errors I have made over the years in my books — and I’ve made my fair share — reporting about “the late Judy Finelli” is surely the worst. In fact, she has just witnessed me fall off a very high high wire...

Judy called me yesterday ("David, this is Judy calling you from the grave..."), having heard from a reviewer with an advance copy of my book Fall of the Big Top, officially due out in February, asking Judy if she is still alive. Indeed, the valiant Judy is still very much alive, and very articulately so, I can vouch for that, having spoken with her at length about this issue. I recall her many warm and outgoing invitations to me during the Pickle years to attend annual openings. She served as artistic director during a most difficult time, in the wake of the big top revolution called Cirque Du Soleil, when all American circuses to a degree were struggling to answer the Cirque challenge.

My profound regrets and apologies to you, Judy. May you live many more years!

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