From 34 or 35 Years Ago





Backstage At The Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus...



With My Two Young Sons

1979 or 1980



This is not backstage at the circus.

(I just like this photo of my sons, Joshua & Jonathan)


      It was, as I recall, a fund-raiser for the New York City Police Athletic League to be held on a special night at the circus. There was to be a parade leading from back-stage on to the main arena surrounded by the audience.


     I had written and produced a family, musical production called SUPER-YOU playing at the 13th Street Theater (see Super-You rhymes, click here). The actors wore great, colorful costumes that caught the attention of the producers of the fund-raiser. We were invited to be part of a special parade on to the circus arena.


     We arrived back-stage (myself and my two young sons) about and hour before the parade. The Super-You Company was already there in costume. The back-stage scene that met our eyes was like no back-stage one could imagine, not in a movie and not in real life, only in the circus. It was a fantastic mix of performers and animals! In the film, The Wizard of Oz they sang of Lions and Tigers and Bears. Back-stage at the circus it was so much more. There were lions and tigers and (I’m not sure about the bears) and costumed elephants and horses and strong men and acrobats and clowns and costumed men and women who would be performing (what we had no idea at the time) and there was the ringmaster who spoke with my wide-eyed sons.


There was another ringmaster at that time



     Memories. It was a memory that will stay with my two, now grown, sons and me forever. And, there were others that belong to my daughter, as well. She came along eight years after the birth of our younger son, Joshua (See Joshua And The Grandfather Clock, click here).


     I will be describing, at a later date, our visit to the set of Sesame Street with the boys and years later, again to Sesame Street, with my daughter. The highlight of that first visit was when the boys were invited into Big Bird’s nest after meeting him. Now there’s a memory. My daughter, Lauren, survived a meeting with Oscar the Grouch where she held her own in an exchange. She met and was befriended by other well-known muppets, all shouting “Goodbye Lauren” as we were leaving.


     Talking about muppets, I was involved in, what was then known as the Museum of Broadcasting (Now known as the Paley Center for Media). The museum was highlighting the career of Jim Hensen, the creator of the muppets and, a particular muppet, Kermit the Frog. I will describe how my young sons met him and Kermit as a room full of reporters sat frozen in their seats.




                      Jim Henson and Kermit the Frog



We had great fun and my grown kids have very special memories of those visits to this day.


                                               Bob Flicker






     It wasn’t an issue then. It was a few years ago. There was a question of how Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus were treating their elephants and other animals. Some reports indicated they were not treated well.


     This was denied by the circus. However, it has also been reported that they have grudgingly admitting that there was some truth to the reports and have improved the care of all their animals.


     Let’s hope that this is true. I will report on any new information I receive.


Bob Flicker

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 © robert 2014