A Ticket to the Circus: A Pictorial History of the Incredible Ringlings (Classic Reprint)

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Fb&c Limited, Oct 26, 2016 - Biography & Autobiography - 196 pages
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Excerpt from A Ticket to the Circus: A Pictorial History of the Incredible Ringlings

I have just finished reading the manuscript of your fine chronicle of the Ringling Circus, and of the lives of the men who dreamed it and built it. The men who, in your words, were the Incredible Ringlings, but to me were just Papa and Uncle Al and Uncle Alfred, and Uncle Otto, and Uncle john, and not at all incredible, but just the ordinary folks who made the world go round, for a little Wisconsin girl who lived among them and loved them in the early days of the century. These five were, of course, the mem' bers of the firm, but to me not more interesting, nor more loved than the other two brothers, Uncle Gus and Uncle Henry, who at first were not members of the firm, but later came to be a very important part of the circus.

It is good to hear these seven men spoken of as if they were real people, and not figments of someone's imagination - and sometimes so inaccurately - as, for example, when one writer of circus annals spoke of my father's piercing blue eyes, when he had eyes of the deepest brown, which could never have seemed piercing to anyone who really knew him.

Of course, the things I remember best are not the factual things of the growth and development of the circus, with its dates, and details of time and place. Much that you have recorded, I could not have done, for it all seemed so everyday to me at that time that I would have given it little thought and could not have remembered it with any accuracy. So there is much in your book that clarifies and revivifies my memories, and serves as a background for my vivid personal impressions of it all, as it was in those long past days, and of the men who gave it its aura - the true aura of sawdust and stardust, which was part of the daily living of my early days.

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