First actually scheduled library performance

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

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Flag of United States  , Pennsylvania
Thursday, May 23, 2013

We rushed over to New Freedom (actually Glen Rock, PA first) to meet up with our driver. The circus sponsor wasn't able to drive us around today, so she enlisted the help of a delightful woman named Stella (the first Stella we think either of us have ever known!) to drive us. She met up with us at a local market up the road from the library. Since we ended up making great time getting there, she asked if we'd had lunch yet and said we had time to run in the market to grab some food. They had a nice deli inside, so I bought some chicken salad (with almonds and grapes) and egg salad and we ate in the RV.

Stella drove us to the local library that was advertising "CLOWN SHOW TODAY AT 1:30PM!. They had even made a flyer with John's picture from his J.P. Facebook page and hung it on the door. I meant to get a photo of it and completely forgot. The library crowd was really, really young...a bit tough to play to because none of the kids knew each other and they were shy and quiet, but John did a fantastic job. He played it up to the adults that it was a tough crowd and the parents laughed along with him as he worked the crowd. The local newspaper was there taking photos and all in all, even with the quiet crowd, we felt it was a success. The library was more than happy to keep flyers at their circulation desk and even when walking to the car, we had more people coming up asking for flyers.

We got back to the RV and followed Stella as we made our way to New Freedom. Before we left, we stopped in the market to thank them for letting us park there and for selling tickets for the circus. The folks who worked there were wonderful and appreciated us stopping by. Interestingly, we encountered our very first objector when walking in. A woman, who only wanted to voice her opinion and wasn't at all interested in being educated, made it clear that she didn't agree with circuses keeping animals. We invited her to come out early and see the animals for herself/talk to the trainers/etc. because we have nothing to hide and welcome a discourse with folks who have concerns, but she wasn't interested. We wished her a pleasant day and made our exit.

She'd set it up for us to park behind a community building next to a park that gave me immediate deja vu (I know there's an accent mark in there, but I can't get it to show up and when I try to check spelling on it, the computer desperately wants me to change the word to "deejay"): the park looked EXACTLY like Moore Park in my hometown of Bryan, was uncanny. We parked in the shade, plugged into their electric, and we were off.

Stella took us to a Bonkey's Ice Cream Shop (it’s legendary in this area for unusual flavors and superb deserts)…I fell in love with it instantly – CIRCUS FRIENDS: It’s not far from the circus grounds at all (E. Franklin St, a couple of blocks away from the train tracks), so you need to go there. I chose lemon lavender ice cream which was really refreshing for such a hot day.

New Freedom has a working steam engine in town for a couple of weeks (which will still be in operation when the circus is here), so we went down there to see that. A guy from the railroad saw John in full clown and asked him for a photo next to the train. Wish John could have been a conductor for that photo! J We noticed a group of younger school kids down the way, so we made our way over there and I asked one of the teachers if it was okay for John to do a short program. They were delighted, so I handed out flyers and he did his program for about 30 kids out on the sidewalk next to the train tracks. A clown tends to attract attention wherever he or she goes, so by the end of it, he’d attracted quite a number of families just walking by. One of my favorite parts of it was when a construction crew drove a dump truck behind us with some gravel they needed to dump. It was quite deafening when she dumped it and John played along with it. He turned around, shook his fist in the air in mock anger, and the woman laughed, shrugged her shoulders and waved. The kids LOVED it. And since he was on a sidewalk, he had as much room as he wanted to do his kick-the-hat gag. Looking forward to doing more outside events as the weather clears up!

Stella drove us back and wished us well, saying she had a really wonderful time with us this afternoon. On to Havre de Grace, Maryland and then a three day weekend!
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