So glad there weren't any 3am fires!

Trip Start Apr 15, 2013
Trip End Oct 31, 2014

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Where I stayed
Outside the Hancock Fire Station

Flag of United States  , Maryland
Monday, May 20, 2013

We arrived last night and met up with our contact from the fire station (they're the circus sponsors). He set us up with electric at the station, free laundry, and even gave us the door code in case we need to get in there when the garage doors are closed. He said we were welcome to use their lounge to relax in (it has a TV, comfy chairs and a kitchenette), though we didn’t take him up on that one. Doing free laundry at the station was a huge blessing though and we thanked him profusely. The next morning, we were ready to head out at 8:15am since our first gig was at a school at 8:30am. Unfortunately, some wires were crossed and the guys who we were told would drive us around that day didn’t know they were driving us around…haha. So that was a bit of a surprise for them that morning, but they quickly got the schedule and loaded us into a van. We were late to the first school, but they didn’t seem to mind thankfully.

J.P. did a full program in a pre-kindergarten classroom…the kids were super excited to have a circus clown visiting them. They’d even been including the circus in their curriculum and proudly displayed a poster with all the words associated with the circus that the kids could think of. Their teacher had been telling them a lot about the Kelly Miller Circus, so when J.P. asked his usual questions, the kids were all getting the answers correct, which was a lot of fun. And then, when J.P. did the music part of his program, the kids wanted to sing a song we didn’t know…I think it was called something like "Tootie Tah". Haha…there was a CD that they sang along with and as per usual with kids songs, it was full of motions and ridiculous lyrics and before long, we were all laughing pretty hard. It was a really nice way to start out the day.

The second school we went to ended up getting us a half hour late, since we had such a late start this morning. Unfortunately, the teachers were a bit frazzled and annoyed by this, much to our understanding. We apologized profusely and John got started on the program right away. By the end of it, everyone was laughing and the teachers wanted a group photo with him, so I think we won them over.

We headed over to a nursing home next…the woman we were supposed to talk with and who was supposed to walk us around from room to room was in a meeting and wasn’t sure when she’d be out, so the receptionist told us to go ahead and do our thing from room to room. It was a little strange walking ourselves around, but we stopped at each nurse’s station, explained what we were doing there and got the go-ahead. We handed out a good number of flyers and visited with some nice folks.

The highlight of the day was definitely the radio station…we visited the folks at WDHC (I think those were the call letters), a country western station in a neighboring town and boy, do they LOVE the circus! We felt like celebrities…some of the best questions John’s been asked yet in a radio interview and both people we talked to there were gushing about how much they love Kelly Miller. It was a real joy to spend some time with them.

Lunch time was next…we headed over to a McDonald’s where John had a working lunch: he made balloon animals for a handful of kids (one kid kept asking for a way bigger balloon animal, so his mother had to teach him a quick lesson in being thankful for an unexpected gift) and we enjoyed spending some time relaxing after that.

Our last stop of the day was a senior center…they had just finished up their lunch and as I passed out flyers to everyone, John did a program for them. It’s always nice for him to do his program for adults after spending most of the day with kids; not that spending time with the kids is bad (on the contrary!), but it’s a different dynamic and he can joke around in a completely different manner. These folks were thrilled to have us there and asked us to visit them again next year.

After saying goodbye to our drivers, we relaxed in the RV for a little bit, reveling in the a/c before we had to unplug. We had an hour and a half jump, so we figured we’d start that early so we could get settled in for the night. I’m so glad we did because the space we were supposed to plug in tonight didn’t actually have an outdoor outlet, so we called the sponsor and he was able to find another spot for us. Security for the area has been alerted that we have permission to stay here, so hopefully that means we won’t get a knock on the door at 3am. That hasn’t happened yet, but I’m sure it will someday and I am not looking forward to that. But in the meantime, we’re plugged in, relaxing, and looking forward to what Olney, MD has for us tomorrow!
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