... the journal

The Guest
Refrigerator Door

From my cousin Donna's fridge

DG-VOOD.jpg (22878 bytes)

She has refrigerator poetry magnets, so a lot of these magnets will be sayings she's made out of the magnets

* Discussion *

Talk about it here.


Deja Dead
Kathy Reichs

(not for the squeamish!)


The Gary Condit Interview

Pictures from the Cincinnati are now up at Steve's Club Photo page.

Pictures from our Family reunion are on my own Club Photo page.

That's it for today!


24 August 2001

If it's the end of August, it can only mean two things:

  • It's almost time for Ned to have a birthday (Saturday)
  • The Barnum and Bailey circus is about to hit town

While I'm not a big circus person, I have very fond memories of years past, when Barnum & Bailey arrived in town.

In 1968, Ned was about to celebrate his first birthday and I had a call from my friend Char, letting me know that the circus train would be arriving in Oakland that we should take the kids down to watch them unload the animals and then parade from the train station up to the Oakland coliseum, where the circus would perform.

She had four kids at that time, ranging in age from about 8 down to 1. I had Jeri (2) and Ned. It sounded like it would be fun for the kids. And I must admit I was kind of excited too. I'd never seen a circus come to town. I remember reading Toby Tyler, by James Otis, the story of a boy who ran away to join the circus. I also remember sinking into the seats in the local movie theatre and immersing myself in "The Greatest Show on Earth" when it was released in the early 1950s.

Doesn't everybody dream at some time or another of running away to join the circus? Well, maybe not now. But when I was a kid that was the dream of so many people--to get away from the concerns of life and become a part of the glitz and glamour of a circus. And there was no finer circus than Barnum and Bailey. It truly was the greatest show on earth.

So we packed the kids, backpacks, diapers, and cameras into the car and drove to the Oakland train station.

When we arrived, they were unloading the animals--zebras, camels, horses, and I'm not sure what else. There weren't a lot of onlookers, and we were able to get up close to the train so the kids could see everything.

Ned was comfortably perched in a backpack on my back, and the television crew there for human interest stories, took our picture and Ned made his television debut on the evening news that night.

It was very exciting when the elephants lumbered out of the train and slowly walked down the hill to the point where all the animals and people were gathering for the parade to the coliseum.

When the trains were empty, we hopped in our car and drove over to the coliseum so we could be there when the circus parade arrived.

The big cats were already there, in cages, under a tent in the parking lot. There were no ropes to keep people from getting up close, though we obviously kept a safe distance.

Soon we saw the parade headed our way, the elephants swinging their trunks as they lumbered along. It was a warm, sunny day and we found a nice a spot behind the tent with the big cats in it so we could get some shade and watch the parade arrive from there.

What we didn't know was that we were directly in the path of the elephants. There we stood, two women and six children huddled up against a piece of cloth which was the only thing shielding us from the lions and tigers, and the elephants were headed right toward us.

As it turned out, they passed about 3 feet from us, so we didn't get run down, but as the largest of the lot passed, the handler looked at us and shouted "watch out for that one; she kicks."

And were were we supposed to go? There was absolutely no path of escape. It was probably one of the tenser moments of our early parenthood, though the kids were very excited to be so close to all the action.

I've never looked at an elephant in quite the same way since.

One Year Ago:
The Problem

Some pictures from this journal
can be found at
Club Photo

<-- previous | Journal home | bio | cast | archive | next ->
Bev's Home Page

Created 8/24/01 by Bev Sykes