On Sunday, January 19, I’ll have the honor of being inducted into the Circus Ring of Fame at St Armand’s Circle in Sarasota, Florida. Just as the Hollywood Walk of Fame honors Hollywood greats with a star-laden path, we in the circus world celebrate our very own Marilyn Monroes, James Deans, and Bette Midlers with a ring of bronze wagon wheel plaques. These plaques offer visitors a comprehensive “who’s who” of the circus world. Everyone from trapeze artists to veterinarians to composers to ringmasters – anyone who’s made a valuable and lasting contribution to circus arts and circus history is honored there. Needless to say, I am humbled and delighted to be included among such luminaries.
Two clowns (both fellow inductees of the Circus Ring of Fame) with whom I’ve had the immense pleasure to work alongside for many memorable years, will be there to introduce me: Barry “Grandma” Lubin and Bello Nock. “Grandma” the Clown was a staple of the Big Apple Circus for over 25 seasons, and he is still beloved and celebrated by audiences all over the world.
Bello Nock, who’s performed with Big Apple Circus and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, among others, is another world-famous entertainer.
I am happy enough being able to count these two talented men among my friends, and the fact that they will be there to celebrate my induction is merely the delicious icing on an already-delicious cake.
Joining me as this year’s Ring of Fame inductees are: trapeze artist Pinito del Oro, circus owner/animal trainer Ian Garden Sr., and the Theron Family of high-energy bicyclists. I look forward to writing about this ceremony in next week’s blog post.
Oh, and, PS – Happy New Year!!!