Tuesday, September 21, 2010


It smelled of dirt, sawdust and elephants. The big white tent loomed ahead of us. I was a little girl. I was a little girl who had never been to a circus.

The circus seemed a long way from Neff Road. I have no idea where the circus played, but we were taking a day away from the farm for a new experience. The lighting was dim inside the big top. Dust floated on the air. Hawker lured kids to cotton candy, peanuts and popcorn. Long bleacher benches were filled with families eager for the show to begin.

When my niece, Jobi, was about four, I took her to the circus. "Smelly elephants," she said covering her nose. Nothing made an impression more than the smell inside the tent. About half-way through the show, she drifted off to sleep. My experiences years before were not about to be relived with this sleepy head.

My children loved the circus. We oohed and aahed making memories. The 'elphanants' were my son's favorite. Only now we were no longer under the big top. No, we were at Memorial Coliseum. The circus atmosphere was gone. Now the hawkers pushed balloons, inflated clown baseball bats, soda and candy. No sawdust. No intimacy with the acts which were formerly a few feet away. It was a new circus.

When I was a little girl, we didn't have the money to do special things, such as going to the circus. I only remember going once....but I do remember it well.

Life was good back the lane on Neff Road.

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