Sometimes we don't know the impact we have on people by being in the circus. As clowns we meet thousands of people throughout the season as we move from town to town. How many names do we ever remember? Very few. Of course it would be impossible to remember everyone.
The town was Greensboro, North Carolina my first year on the road and I was working the seats. During the come in if you weren't in a gag on the floor you would work the seats doing small bit of business and general meet and greet. Because the audience was not allowed on the floor.
You meet so many people that most of them are just faces in the crowd. Every so often you have that very special person who you might remember.
Two years later when I returned to Greensboro I was getting ready for the come in. A note came for me backstage that someone wanted to see me.
The note read as follows: My name is Michael Daniels and I met you two years ago with my daughter Amy. We are in seat numbers 22, 23, and 24. Would you please come say hello? Since the audience couldn't come down to us a note like this was not uncommon.
When I got there, sitting in the seats was a family with a beautiful little girl who was about four years old. As I approached them the girl started to wave and jump before I even got to them. Pointing and saying,"There he is!" I said hello to them and the father started to tell me this story.
When they came to the show two years previously I had made such an impact on their daughter that when they went home she named everyone of her stuffed animals Mitch. And it was quite a collection of them.
For the following two years she never left them alone, always asking when the circus would be back so they could take Mitch the clown out to dinner. They asked if I would go out after the show and have dinner with them. Of course I obliged.
We continued to correspond for the next two years. When the show came back, again we went out to dinner. Now the little girl was about six and telling me her own version and how her animals are still all called Mitch. I left the show in 1979 and lost contact over the years.
When I came back to Ringling in 2000 we went to Greensboro and I was working the adventure. A woman in her late twenties came up to me with a beautiful little girl. She pulled out a picture of me and a little girl from 1975.
She said, " Do you remember me? My name is Amy Daniels and this is my four year old daughter Mary." She told me her daughter had inherited some of her stuffed animals and they still call them all Mitch. They asked me out to dinner with them after the show. Of course I said, "Yes."