The "Mighty Carson & Barnes Circus" was in town yesterday. The three-ring, big-tent show has visited Kennett twice before over the last twenty years and I, for one, was glad to see it again. After a rather dry year, Wednesday brought us as big a toad-strangling, gully-washing, street-filling rain as you could wish for (or wish to avoid). The canvas was pitched on a rather low spot of ground, so everything was pretty mushy underfoot, and it was easy to find ankle-deep water between your car and the big-top. It wasn’t too hard to find it under the big-top.
The tent only leaked in a few places, and the performers beamed as though the weather were perfect and they were entertaining the crowned heads of Europe. This despite sprays of water emanating from the toes of the acrobats’ leotards as they flew above our heads.
One of my staff asked earlier in the day, "Well, how much does a ticket cost?" To which I replied, "Who cares? IT’S THE CIRCUS!" I wasn’t the only person to feel that way, either. While the grandstands weren’t full during the downpour, there was a respectable crowd. Later, someone told me he had skipped it: "I’ve seen the Ringling Brothers big show in a huge hall, so I didn’t need to see this — I’ve seen the real thing." I’m all in favor of "The Greatest Show on Earth" myself, but in my opinion, my experience last night was much more of a "real thing". I walked in the same mud as those performers who were close enough to reach out and touch. I gave my reserved seat ticket to a lady who was spinning on the web above my head a few minutes later. You can’t smell the elephants from the second tier of the coliseum.
As the rain continued, the lowest areas bordering the grounds were covered with about 14 inches of water, more in some places. This morning the elephants were trumpeting as they rolled and played in the water, spraying each other, and having a great time. I wish I had a video.
Stay tuned for the story of the time I rode the elephant.