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. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What am I doing here?

That first day was so intimidating. I remember looking at all these people doing all kinds of things juggling, magic, tumbling, etc. You name it and someone was doing it. And of course my roomate was riding his unicycle around the edge of the pool, and even riding it off the end of the diving board. Things I never saw in my life!

 Unlike most of the people there I was a musician from a music family for generations back. I was on my way to college to pursue my music career when my mother read a story about Peggy Williams " First Girl Clown To Graduate From Clown Colllege"

 I came home from work one day and she showed me the article. It was then she suggested it might be something I would like because of my out going personality. I applied, and the next thing I knew I was on my way. I think my mother must have seen something I didnt even realize about myself. She was good at that sort of thing. 

As I  stood there watching all of this talent  I was asking myself,"What am I doing here?" Just then I heard this voice behind me say, "Can you do any of this stuff?" The voice had a real  southern accent. I turned to say no when the voice said, "Hi my names Ruth Chaddock  from Quero, Texas." At this point I felt more at ease knowing there was someone else from a small western town, and didn't feel quite as intimidated. Thank you Ruth! From that day until now we have remained very special friends.

 Just think if we would have known the talent that surrounded us. The likes of Bill Irwin, Barry Lubin, Dick Monday, Steve Laporte, Ruthie, Dale Longmire. Just to name a few. There are many more that went on to be very successful in some area of show business. Don't worry I remember everyone.

 The first thing we did, was go in the ring, one at a time and we were told to make everyone laugh. When it was my turn I was scared to death, and had no clue what to do. I entered the ring and sat there  scratching my head wondering what would make them laugh. 30 seconds..... 45 seconds..... 1 minute.....  nothing! And then it happened. I heard a small snicker, and then a laugh, and then more, and more . Soon everyone was laughing. At that point I knew what I was doing there.


  1. Wow... you really were part of a very special, talented class.


  2. Hey!
    Welcome to blog world! May your future be as bright as your past has been . . .
    Bruce the Clown

  3. I had very much the same experience on my first exposure to the rest of my classmates. I could barely juggle, and these people were adept at everything. Luckily, I had a great deal of experience in front of an audience, and that helped me considerably.

  4. and then there are those of us who only have the "talent" to enjoy immensely what you all do. We are so blessed to call so many of you friends.


    Paul & Diane Gutheil CFA RCD