Ringling goes home to Florida. Soon rising just north of Manatee River, The Feld Family’s new headquarters, to include eventually all their activities, best of all – with their eyes on tourist trade — The History Hall. (Not the Howard Tibbals History Hall?) Inside, you’ll be feted with big top lore, such as the signed contract between John Ringling North and Irvin Feld transferring ownership of the circus to the latter in 1967. His last talent find, one might argue, among his greatest discoveries, North effectively placed the Big show into Big Hands of business brilliance. This move will only deepen fan enthusiasm for Mr. Kenneth.
The new Feld Entertainment headquarters
Here, only a few miles north of Sarasota (what a disgrace that Sarasota resisted the move) new Ringling shows will be crafted and rehearsed, as will the mice on ice units. Here, as well, Feld's Monster Truck shows will get annual tuneups between tours. Over this new line of outdoor amusement, Feld is said to merrily obsess, he having tossed circus producing onto his daughters to concentrate on gas, gears, and gusto. Not bad? Perhaps one day, they will roar around the hippodrome track to replace outlawed elephants. Dancing dump trucks? I'm already laughing. Tickets yet on sale?
Circus Fans to San Diego, next Feb. 20-24, and while in session. they will be favored with a parade of films about and around circus rings, lineup to include “an award winning examination of one of the nation's premiere youth circuses.” Also lensing, a look at circus acts rehearsing to compete at Monte Carlo, and a film about a "legendary trapeze flyer." Guess who? No, not me! But a story, just the same, of my fleeting days in the air ...
Once, in a three or four foot space between our house and the garage of the house next door, I’d stretch a rope tight, cling to the thing while making some clumsy body movements and imagine myself to be a great aerialist. To score myself, I made shrill sounds with my lips – mind you, not just a whistle, but strange other sounds to supply crude orchestrations. Is this getting too weird? Okay, onto the next display...
China Rising: The newly installed Big Boss, Xi Jingpeng, is married to a bonna fide singing diva, Peng Liyuan, so expect the boss to generate a new kind of buzz. And while on the subject, here's a link,down the Covington chute, to some visionary Chinese acrobats flexing their new-found creative musicles on the double wheel and through those every exhilarating hoops, at the Wuhan International Circus Festival 2012. Avidly recommended:
Walkaround Giggles: Russia’s Putin taking the sparkle out of Germany's Markel in 2007, when he seated her (known to harbor a fear of dogs) near his Labrador. They remain prickly — a reality show, perchance? Da! ... Self-Acclaim Sweeps America: Now, it's "in" to gild your resume and shamelessly strut your ego, as witness Paula Broadwell (so aptly named) describing herself “Author; national security adviser; Analyst; Army Vet; Women’s Rights Activist; Runner/Skier/Surfer; Wife; Mom!” She left out "full service charmer to four-star fools." I could sum her up in one word, but I'd get thrown off the lot. What a cesspool of grasping power-hungry egomaniacs populate DC; no wonder the town leaves me feeling so stone cold, so detached and alienated from humanity ... Free speech, of all places, on a campus? Are you kidding? Nyet! ... Colleges clamping down on loose lips who tend to offend: Yale bans T-Shirts quoting F. Scott Fitzgerald. The quote? “I think of all Harvard men as sissies.” Hmm, the ban seems to confirm ... Mental Minneapolis: did you know your are considered the most intelligent city in the U.S., from a recent poll? ...
That’s enough. Got to get back to my aerial practice, and I don’t even use a mechanic!
The horse she loved: May Wirth and Joe on the Ringling-Barnum lot, date unknown. [Photos of Herriott, at the Great Circus Parade in 1993, and of Wirth, from Bandwagon].