Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I have told you that I would post about what I did during my summer vacations from school when I was a bit younger, so now is the time.

My siblings and I had a dream summer job. I am sure you have heard the saying "I want to run away and join a Circus." Well, I did! Actually, my 3 brothers, my younger sister and even my mom and dad did!

It all started when a teacher at school started a tumbling team in the mid 50's. It was so well received that he soon added juggling, unicycles, parallel bars, and spring board. As the kids became more experience the idea of adding circus acts grew. It moved to the local Y.M.C.A. and grew and grew. It wasn't long before there were High Wire acts, low wire, fire eating, even the flying trapeze. Membership grew to more than 75 young people from 3 years old to seniors in high school. Many parents traveled with the circus when they could, and acted as chaperons, helping to cook the many meals, doing laundry and offering a comforting shoulder to those away from home the first time. Many times we were out on the road traveling from town to town performing and didn't return home for several weeks.

This activity provide me the most amazing childhood anyone could ever imagine. We were like one big family and enjoyed all the many adventures and places we saw as we traveled from our home base in Wenatchee, Washington, to Alaska and all the way to California and many small towns between the two. We even performed in the Seattle World's Fair and met many movies stars while performing there.

Yes, running away and joining the Circus really is possible!!

We went by the name 'The Wenatchee Youth Circus' and were billed as "The Greatest Little Show On Earth" and you know, I think we really were!
The above photo is of me and my friend Marsha. It just goes to show that if I can juggle, any one can!

That's me doing my thing on what they call The Swinging Ladders. The ladder is kept in motion by the rope you can see that is tied to the top rung and there is a young man under me that keeps me in motion as I go through a series of tricks. Very fun.

This act is called The Spanish Web. Again someone is below me keep a bit of tension on this thick web as I do various tricks while hanging by my ankle or wrist. I really loved this act...a lot of fast motion as we were spun around during some tricks.

This act was a balancing act as we stood on these large wooden balls and did different tricks. In this photo I have just gone up and over a board that is much like a titter board while walking on one of this large balls. The only time I had trouble with this stunt was when we were performing in the rain. I just couldn't get enough traction on that smooth service.

And then there was my favorite act..THE DOUBLE TRAPEZE!

I loved this act the most out of all the things I did in the Circus. I performed this act for about 8 years and the early years was performed with my oldest brother working above me.

Hanging by your neck isn't difficult....once you get used to it and get your neck and shoulder muscles built up. I would hold my arms close to my body then spin myself as fast as I could. As I ended the spin I would put out my arms and my brother would grasp hold of them when I had slowed almost to a stop. The audience always enjoyed this move and it was always my favorite all those years.
I think back to all the places we saw, and the things we did, and sometimes I still can't believe my own childhood. And to have all of my family there....including my parents, made it the greatest childhood of all!

1 comment:

Rae said...

OMG! That is so awesome!
I was gonna share the summer that I learned to ride a bike and perfected hopscotch, but it seems a bit boring now.

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