Joining the circus

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Dear Mom and Dad,

We’ve run away with the circus. You can have our rock collection. Please feed the fish and check on the kids once in a while.

George and Wendy


Find a video interview with Big Apple Circus crewmembers at the bottom of this post or on George & Wendy Parker’s YouTube channel here.Find a video interview with Big Apple Circus crewmembers at the bottom of this post or on George & Wendy Parker’s YouTube channel here.

This week, we got to do something totally different. Not only did we make Maine, which completed George’s travels through every state in the contiguous United States, but we got to haul flatbed for the Big Apple Circus.

We knew it was going to be different upon getting the load information. Instead of a street address, there was an intersection listed. We ended up meeting the crew at a city park that took some doing to get into. Clearly the place wasn’t built with any forethought given to big trucks. Hell, not much in Rhode Island was. Teeniest place I’ve ever been.

I was super-excited, even though clowns scare the bejesus out of me. (Clowns are terrifying and mimes are harbingers of doom.) I imagined us pulling a trailer with a huge circus scene on the side of it. I hoped fervently for a load of cotton candy machines so I could catch wafts of the delicious smell now and then. Alas, it was not to be.

We were handed paperwork for a stepdeck and told to wait.

Fortunately, George has pulled flatbed before, so he wasn’t completely out of his element. (George has either driven or hauled almost every kind of heavy equipment there is — there’s not much you can throw at him that he doesn’t know how to operate or pull around.) We sat and watched the crew disassemble what was left of the tent when we got there, and we got to talk to some really nice people. We were assigned to pull the bobcat, which is what they used to do almost everything — it was the very last piece of equipment out and needed to be one of the first to arrive at the new destination, as most of the unloads were waiting for it. No pressure there.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and I’m pretty sure I’m almost best friends with a Chinese contortionist now, although she may have been telling me to go away and leave her alone. (Mandarin is no easy language to understand.)

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I shot a little video, and got some really good information from the transportation supervisor, Chris Bryce. I was unable to get anything from the performers, as most of them were either already gone or couldn’t speak English, but the crew was awesome and generous with their valuable time. Thanks guys!! Enjoy!

[youtube 5HIFpd7XQDc nolink]

For more information about the Big Apple Circus, watch this PBS documentary.

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