Clown for a New Day

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

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saturday Slide Bys: A Covington Cameo on PBS & Other Misc. Goodies Randomly Down the Runs ,,, Well, Have You Anything Better to Do?

Cyber Courier Don Covington, a Mighty Contributor to this here blog in the form of captured news stories about circus lore from far and wide that he e-dispatches my way, landing his 15 seconds of fame in Circus, the PBS doc slowly fizzling out before our eyes. We spot him answering a complaint by clown Glen Heroy about frozen water in his trailer. Notes Don about his brief cameo, one reason he may not have reaped more air time is because he was "shadowing the PBS crews." And a good giving shadow was Don, evidently letting see-all cameras poke revealingly about the premises; my, what filthy restroom conditions are the crews stuck with over there! Did you see? And here I wondered about the leaky Kelly-Miller clown alley truck ...

About Circus, Paul Binder's soft humble honesty moved me. After announcing his retirement, noted the BAC founder with a twinge of regret, "The response has been subdued." About as subdued as was the treatment of opening night in NY, an opening that seemed never to have happened, I might add, Mr. Paul ... Another reason why I believe that behind and around this cumbersome, staff-heavy organization overseen by 33 -- count 'em, 33 -- board of directors, Binder was likely pressured to hang up his ringmaster's hat and step aside. The mystery of this exit, however, is worthy of a Sherlock Holmes examination. Does anybody have Doc Watson's address? Okay, I'll move on, to another obsession. But what should that be?

So silent out there, over still-surviving sawdust, even if the seats are ominously blank. One sturdy source opined earlier that Carson & Barnes came close to heading back to the barn early. A check of their website shows Texas dates a-go, and we are are almost in Christmas Tree buying time. That old circus-as-holiday theme, I guess, still at least pulls in a few hundred, enough to keep the old pony ride in motion ... Also still up and tenting is Johnny Pugh's redoubtable Cole Bros Circus, the new or old or starred version, name keeps changing. ... And what else?

Why so silent? Blame it on the Kelly-Miller bloggers, who spread accounts of what's up day by day. They've conditioned us to a new form of intimate reporting. So quiet over on Steve and Ryan's blog. Last posting, up in the air like an ambivalent flyer frozen in space: October 27. Is Steve still stewing about having to keep up a blog he originally had fun with? He has far more "followers" than my humble stand; oh, I just can't give out a number; even I may have to start peddling Peterson Peanuts ... Anyway, what was I saying? Oh yes, Steve, the clown, who once so zealously shared his daily Kelly Miller rituals with us, is now hiding somewhere in the early winter. He left without a sign-off salutation to his many followers. Not a happy trouper, I'm left thinking ... Those K-M blogs, and I've questioned the savvy of telling so much for one who wants to stay active under big tops, do give us a real sense of a show out there on the road. Compared to which, Cole Circus of Stars feels so anonymous to the point of virtual non-existence. Ditto the Byrd big top. Perhaps the most snidely, purposely anonymous show is Mr. Walker's Its-A-Black-Thing-Thank-You-Not UniverSoul Circus. So we can maybe thank John Ringling North II for casually tolerating all those keyboard pushers who flourish on his lot ...Yes, okay, let's get back to legit bits:

And where are there any? ... Lot's of stuff from across the pond, and stuff about Tuffy Nicholas, son of late ringmaster Count Nicholas, touring a Hawaiian circus round the Islands. And I've run out of oomph; Anyway, Gotta get back to the runs. Show is leaving another burned-up town early. Where did Sid Kellner go?

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