Monday, September 7, 2015

The Night the Circus Came to Town

We all went to see the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey circus the first weekend we were in town to visit our grandson and his parents. It was in mid-August, at the Oakland County Oracle Arena.

Unfortunately, it was a Friday night, when the St. Louis Rams were visiting the Oakland Coliseum to play the Oakland Raiders in an NFL preseason game, creating one helluva traffic jam on the freeway, feeder streets and parking lot (the Raiders won 18-3, by the way).

We were unable to park close to the Oracle Arena and had to hoof it and puff our way for I'd say between a quarter and a half mile to the entrance. It was a very, very long walk and I was prepared to suffer a stabbing back ache every step of the way.

However, I must have looked pathetic trying to keep up, and a nice guy on a golf cart asked if the wife and I wanted a ride up the hill to the entrance. Oh hell yes! So we hopped on board, hailing the other three in our party and telling them to join us. Luckily, it was a five-seater, and we all enjoyed a relaxing ride through three-quarters of the parking lot, up the hill to the entrance.

I gave the guy an outlandish tip, of course.

It's been a couple of decades, at least, since I'd been to a circus, and I'd forgotten what fun it was. The wife and I piled our grandson high with outlandishly expensive souvenirs, my son bought armfuls of outlandishly expensive cold drinks and snacks, and we marvels at the amazing exploits of the performers all night long.

They had it all (well, almost) – Ringmaster, clowns, performing elephants and marching camels and scampering dogs (what, no lions?), a dozen "trained" tigers, tumbling acrobats, skilled skateboarders, mini-bikers (ouch, one fell), beautiful human cannonball, talented jugglers, unbelievable sword swallowers, daring aerial performers (what, no trapeze?) and amazing high-wire walkers.

Some of the performances (like the guy running on the outside of a spinning wheel) gave me the squinchies.

Here are a few more of the dozens of pictures I took that night:

It was quite the exhilarating night!

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