Friday, March 30, 2007

Fun Florida Circus Finds

Florida is a mecca of circus - active and retired performers, performing venues, teaching circuses, museums, and circus STUFF. Me, I'm into the books, because I can take them home with me, unlike the fabulous statues of Cirque du Soleil costumes I saw at the John and Mabel Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota.

Between the bookstore at that museum, and the flea market, and the antique shops in Arcadia where we were staying, I brought home a small stack. Hubby bought me The Pictorial History of the American Circus by John and Alice Durant. Very cool book with some amazing photos in it and a good, true history of American Circus up to about 1957, when it was published. I also brought back First of May by Charlie Hill. The cover says "At Last! An Authentic circus novel." We'll see. It was on deep-discount at the museum in Sarasota, I got it for $3. It was published through a vanity press, so no telling how many typos there will be. LOL

I also picked up a picture book chronicling one year's Great Circus Parade in Milwalkee, Wisconsin. It is pretty neat to see some of the circus wagons I saw at Circus World in the parade photos. And last but not least, at one of the antique stores I got a copy of Circus Life in Pictures by Johnnie Schmidt. Johnnie traveled with circuses as a clown and archivist. He took some amazing pictures and interacted with some amazing people. I spent two nights down in Florida going through that book with a fine-tooth comb. A cursory search on the 'net hasn't turned up too much about him, and I don't know when he died, although he was born in 1900.

I just wonder what else I would have found if I'd dug through a few more antique stores.

Geez, you'd think I was dead...

I can't believe I've not posted here in forever. No one will read the words if I don't write them, right? LOL

It's been a busy month or so, but I really need to force myself back into working on my book. Work has been a little more nuts lately, and I've had to spend more hours doing that than usual. The boss sent a bunch of us home with brand new Dell computers and a copy of Vista that we could play with. I'm taking this pretty seriously and beating this copy of Vista to death with installs, uninstalls, trying to make it do things and keeping a blog about where it fails. At least it's putting my writing skills to work.

So last week I was looking on for some circus movies. I've really been wanting to see Circus World with John Wayne. I found a copy for 79 cents. I'm the consumate bargain hunter. LOL

I watched it last night. It was a terrible copy, and I wish I could have gotten it on DVD instead. The movie stared John Wayne and a cute little actress named Claudia Cardinale. It also had Rita Hayworth in it, but oddly enough she only had really a small role. The plot was John Wayne's character heartbroken after losing his woman (Rita) and raising the woman's daughter (Claudia). Apparently they'd been having immoral trysts and the cuckolded husband committed suicide in the ring. John took what was left of his circus to Europe after almost 20 years, chasing down his lost love. He finally finds her, and Claudia figures out by accident that Rita is her mother. All ends well, of course.

Now, to find time to write...