Books [Circus Days and Ways]
The thrill of them few days with Robinson's circus stuck with me through more than a half century of circus troupin'. I was hired as a “block” boy. The block boy had to help set up and “strike” (tear down) the “blues”. Incidentally, general admission circus seats has been blue as far back as I can remember. There wasn't no commoner job on the circus, but I remember how proud and thrilled I was merely to touch a piece of circus equipment: the blocks, the angle pieces, the seat boards - anything that was a part of “the circus”.
And I remember how I gazed in awe at the performers, and to think I was so close to them. I seen a lot of beautiful women in my day, but I don't believe I ever seen a woman in my later life that looked so beautiful to me as them circus women did. I had the feelin' that they was queens, or goddesses, or somethin' too beautiful to belong to this world. And I recall the thrill of thrills when a clown-circus folks call the funny men “Joeys” - said, “Hey, lad, run out to a butcher shop and get me a pound of lard.” The Joeys used lard for taking off their “clown white”, or make-up. I was so excited at havin' a performer actually speak to me that I couldn't say yes or no. But with the ten cent piece he give me clutched tight in my fist, I run like lightnin' to the nearest butcher shop. Boy, oh boy, was I happy!
I well remember when I goes back to school after my four days with the circus. I cut quite a figger among the handful of bumpkins that was my schoolmates.