The End Of The Greatest Show On Earth. ... (Part One)

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A girl writes about attending the final show of the historic circus, The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, with her family, and the emotions she feels as she sees history come to a close.

Submitted: May 22, 2017

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Submitted: May 22, 2017



I knew this day was coming for months; yet it doesn't make it easy .... the Greatest Show on Earth, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, will soon be but a memory.  I am sure everyone is feeling a wide range of emotions as the performers backstage get ready for their "last hurrah", and as the audience looks forward to an exiting show full of pageantry, magic, wonder, and fun for all ages.

We are in Uniondale, New York, where we snagged tickets for the final performance of the circus; we are looking forward to it, yet there is a sense of grief and overwhelming sadness in the air, which does not make any sense in an environment such as this.

I have always loved the trapeze artists, and also the acrobats as well as the clowns; I also love the ringmaster, Johnathon Lee Iverson, who is a talented performer in his own right, with a big, booming voice and a beautiful talent for singing.  I have been to quite a few Ringlling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus performances in the past and each one has proven to be more memorable than the last; wonder how this one is going to top it.  But knowing the circus, they will probably manage, somehow.

I am here with my family: my parents, my little brothers and sisters, and my big brother, as well as our grandpa and grandma and cousins; we are making it a total family affair.  We are armed with souvenirs and food: sodas, popcorn, hot dogs, hamburgers, you name it .... and we have it.  

It is about ten minutes to show time; it's the last time we can hear the murmur of people around us, as we wait for the moment of the last show to begin.  I just wonder what the performers are feeling: how sad they must be, knowing that they will be going elsewhere, perhaps to join another circus down the road, or maybe get into another form in the entertainment business, perhaps in TV shows or movies, and the animals will probably go to zoos or maybe to an animal sanctuary, where they will be loved and cared for for the rest of their days.  At least, that is what we are hoping will happen.

I am trying my hardest not to cry; but I can't help it.  I think about that after tonight, the circus will be history; then where will people go to see top circus entertainment?  While there are other circuses (the Shriner's Circus, the Carson Brothers Circus, Cirque du Soleil, and others), none will ever top the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus.  The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey was truly the king of circuses, and they definitely earned the title of "The Greatest Show On Earth"!

*To be continued!*


© Copyright 2018 Karen Lynn. All rights reserved.

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