Sealing a Kiss with Princess Stephanie for a Gold Clown?

Sealing a Kiss with Princess Stephanie for a Gold Clown?
at the 41st Monte Carlo International Circus Festival in January

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Sunday Morning with Don Marcks: A Day at Carson & Barnes Circus in 1965


Lucky find:  I was going to say, this is the closest image I could find of a circus off a country road, and then, I discovered - look closely - "Carson & Barnes on a truck!  Not sure the year.

Some of my most pleasant circus-going memories are of select past editions I have seen over the years of the Carson & Barnes Circus, when it spread its magical, if sometimes modest, assets across three to five rings.

For years, I have thought back on a day, up near Calistoga in Sonoma County, when I and either Hugo Marquardt or Don Marcks went to the show.  A nice grassy lot on the side of a country road.  Plenty of people in the seats.  It's a standout day.  Sometimes, C&B would breeze across the sawdust in a kind of rough yet straight-ahead manner, no intermission to stop the flow, a live band adding gusto to the merry mix.

So I was delighted, by serendipity, to find this entry in a 1965 diary, which I'd been going through, researching another subject altogether:

The date is September 11.  It's a Saturday:

"I went this morning on the L bus to El Cerrito, where I met Don Marcks, who took me with him to see the Carson & Barnes show in Vallejo [so that's where it was! Not too far from Vallejo.}  It was a pleasant day.  The performance was 'good' - well paced and noticeably free of commercials (there were no signs in the big top).  Sky King was there to entertain the kids, and he sang a song about the circus which he had written for the finale.  It was nice -- Then I came home with a Mr. Bert Hanson, an elderly man who works magic for a hobby."

From nit-picky me, the above sounds like a near-rave.  Some circus shows remain a flowing stream through our honoring memories.  That was surely one of them.

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