The purpose of this blog is to share stories from the road of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown Alley. With this resource we can relive those days and have a better understanding of the transitions within Clown Alley over the years. I feel historically it's important to share these stories for future generations. 

Thursday, January 28, 2010

No Sweat!

 Here I am at Clown College on the grounds of Winter Quarters for  The Greatest Show on Earth! I realized from here on out my life will never be the same. No matter what the outcome, I was doing something very few people get to do. I wanted it! 

We were broken into groups and rotated throughout the day into the different classes. My first class was with Jim Donnelan. During the warmup I once again experienced something new. SWEAT! Since I came from a dry climate I never experienced sweat like this. The humidity coupled with the intense heat really made you perspire.  Especially in a building with no air conditioning. 

I couldn't wait for that first break. It finally came.  There was a auto repair across the street that had a soda machine that was only 25 cents. That first break I think all 48 of us went to that machine. As I waited in line I thought about how cool and refreshing a cold soda would taste. Just as I got to the machine it was sold out. This was a disappointment but,  there was always the drinking fountain in the arena. It was one of those old ceramic ones without any refrigeration. Better than nothing.

 On another occasion when I did manage to get one of those sodas I got caught by Roberta Ballantine, our nutritionist. She lectured me about how bad soda was for me and how important it was to drink water. When she left I looked at that soda with the can dripping and thought about how bad I wanted it. I felt so guilty that I gave it to someone else. Oh well, back to the drinking fountain.....  


  1. ... I can't wait to hear about how your character was born...

  2. Very nice read Mitch. It helps me to relive the memories of 1973 Class. I always thought '73 and '74 were golden years. We had some talent too- Penn Jillette and Michael Davis, to name a few. I had started my Circus World tenure about the same time you guys started Clown College and I drove Mark Stolzenberg to Haines City and then he made his way to Venice from there. I think I let him borrow my car. I wouldn't do that today!