I forgot the quote I was going to use for a title

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

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Where I stayed
Mount Sterling Lake

Flag of United States  , Illinois
Friday, September 20, 2013

Today was such a complete opposite of the day before (in terms of busyness), we were quite relieved...haha. We met up with the sponsor contact, Brian, to find out where we were staying for the night. He'd set it up that we'd be at the fairgrounds where the circus will be at, but that fell through so he took us over to a campground built around the local lake about a half mile outside of town. I'm so happy we ended up there because it was BEAUTIFUL out there. We are definitely staying there for the weekend.

Our day started around 11am and we drove downtown with Brian and his associate, Debbie, in Brian's bright orange Jeep (with the top down since it was a GORGEOUS day). We visited a number of businesses and ticket sellers and every last person we encountered was a pleasure to meet. Lots of smiles and welcomes from the folks of Mt. Sterling which made us really happy.

On our way back to the campground for our lunch break, Brian received a call from the school we were visiting after our break. Apparently there was some minor miscommunication and the school thought we were supposed to be there 10 minutes before. We were right up the street from them, so we pulled up and John jumped inside to do his program. It was a small crowd, but the students were fantastic and really pumped up about the circus. It's getting to the point now where John's so comfortable with his program that he can change it up at a moment's notice, extend it when need be and shorten it if time is running out...it's really nice to see him so comfortable not only with his character, but in front of an audience with nothing more than himself, a small suitcase and some juggling balls.

Lunch time was a relaxing affair at the campground...we're under a forest of trees that shake their walnuts down on our RV in the wind and 50 ft. away from the lake (which kind of looks like a river from our vantage point). We've seen herons and geese out on the water and the entire view is spectacular. Now that it's cooled off, we're enjoying the outdoors even more than before.

Brian picked us up again and we went to another local school that wouldn't let us in during the school hours, but said we could greet the students as they lined up for the buses. In theory, this was a great idea, but in practice, it wasn't so much. The kids were understandably excited and wound up when they saw a clown juggling outside of their school as they ran outdoors. He was immediately surrounded and while most kids were well-meaning, he had a couple of kids who wanted to test the clown, which got ugly pretty quickly...one of them kept trying to stomp on his feet (those shoes are $150 from Mexico), another kid (by the encouragement of her ignorant father) walloped him in the nose pretty hard with her book (he was amazed he didn't bleed), and another girl thought it was hilarious to hit him with her 10 ft. long umbrella.

What was the most disappointing was the reaction (or rather, the non-reaction) of the parents who didn't see anything wrong with their kids bullying an adult dressed as a clown. It was as if they had dehumanized him so much that they simply saw him as a punching bag, rather than a human being. He gets that reaction a lot (we've lost track of the number of times people will look him in the eyes and say, "I hate clowns.", as if that isn't an incredibly hurtful and offensive thing to say to someone who makes a living doing that), but that incident was a bit too much.

Thankfully, we took off soon after and with one quick visit to a local ticket selling bank, we were done for the day. We relaxed in the RV for a good few hours after (John had developed a pretty severe sinus headache, probably helped by the book to the face) and then walked down to the lake to watch the sunset.
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