Life is a Circus

Circus 9

Some would argue that the holidays are the busiest time of year – things to tie up at work before year-end, families to tolerate, booze to drink, and Christmas trees to hump.  December is, in short, one big circus.  Which actually got me thinking about circuses…

I’ve loved the circus since I was a little girl and my dad would take me to the Ringling Brothers headquarters in Baraboo.  On the car ride, we’d pass several big quarries underneath which – he told me – all the circus elephants were kept for the winter.  I can’t pass a roadside quarry to this day without thinking that there must be elephants under those huge piles of sand.  He had a way of making everything around me magical.

As an adult, I have tended to avoid the showier circus spectacles for the smaller, single-tent variety with lounge singers and strong men (Spiegelworld in NYC was spellbinding – if you can catch it on tour), but I still find them completely transportive.

So which circus performer are you during the holidays?  The ringmaster who gets all of her Christmas cards out in November?  Or maybe the lion tamer who keeps Uncle Tom from decking Uncle Joe after one too many eggnogs?  Or the clown who feels up all the women at the office party?

Take a look at these beautiful photos of Ringling Bros circus life in 1949 and take a break from whatever circus you’re currently living in!

Circus 10

Circus 8

Circus 7

Circus 6

Circus 5

Circus 4

Circus 3

Circus 2

*Photo Source: Nina Leen—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images*

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