My long and winding road to opening night of illuscination
so many flukes carved a contorted trail, delivering me within a feet of the Feld who runs the greatest show on earth (notice how I’ve put the famed slogan in lower case).
First of all, Cole Bros. Circus did not come through. My source, who promised to send specific 2010 dates for coney faded out. I had reserved a train putting me in NY mid July.
Second, through sleuthing in the meantime, I learned that Kelly Miler Circus would be playing some dates close to NY city in June, one being Brewster, on Thursday, June 17. Easily reachable by train, so I canceled the July train and got decent sleeping car rates on one that would put me into NYC on June 14, leaving morning of June 18.
And then I learned, finally, that Ringling would be returning to Coney after all, opening night — June 17, same day as K-M easily reachable in Brewster. Decision made; I had never seen a circus produced by John Ringling North II, so I would skip Illuscination for Kelly Miller..
Third, in checking with Brewster Chamber o Commerce on the upcoming Kelly Miller date just to confirm, miracle of miracles – it was moved ahead ONE DAY, to June 17. Which meant I could see BOTH Kelly Miller and Ringling!
I booked the cheapest seat on line, $10 (nearly 20, thank you, Ticketmaster), just to cover myself, knowing last year was sold out.
Fourth, Terrible view from my seat, nicely close to floor and ring, only second row, but late arriving customers wandering in front, making it hard to see all of the show.
Fifth, empty seats and the usher who said yes: Because there was a slew of empty seats to my right, in the section directly facing the front side, I appealed to two ushers; first said “no,” second said, okay, unless somebody else comes to claim seat.
Finding a spare seat: I hurried up the aisle, and sat myself in a largely vacant row, soon noticing all around there were impressively dressed men, possibly part of the Brooklyn or Feld opening night contingents.
During intermission, I discovered Kenneth Feld standing a few feet away from me in the aisle, chatting amiably with his corporate and/or holy entourage. That’s when, after he turned around and I could only see his backside, I could not resist the urge to take out my camera, lift quickly, snap and put back.
During the second half, when my attention was directed to my right, I noticed the Feld of Felds sitting right on the aisle, same row as me, (I sat only one seat from the other side of aisle on same row), and was amused by the proximity. I had up against my knee half the time a flier about safety handy out by sh, upon which i was scribbling notes of his show in progress.
By the way, when I spotted Feld in the seats, he was sitting in his eagerly watching the show.
End of Feldian tale.
Next: Kenneth Feld sightings before the show; memories of my one sighting of his father many seasons ago.