Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Circus comes to club kids

Step right up! See the Greatest Show on Earth! Two hundred kids from our six Boys & Girls Clubs and lots of staff members got a little taste of the circus Wednesday when Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Ringmaster Johnathan Iverson presented 200 tickets for the Saturday morning circus performance at Tulsa’s BOK Center.

Kids from all six Boys & Girls Clubs packed the gym of the North Mabee Boys & Girls Club and raptly listened to Johnathan’s inspirational story. He is the first African American Ringmaster in Barnum & Baileys long history. Johnathan stands six feet, five 
inches tall and his Ringmaster’s stovepipe hat gives him about a foot more. “How’d you get so tall?” one boy asked. “I ate my vegetables and did what my mom told me,” Johnathan said. Good answer! I got the impression he is asked that a lot.  

Johnathan brought along his friend Billy, the Ambassador of Laughter from Clown Alley, who led the kids in stretching and strengthening exercises. He also taught them to balance a peacock feather on their chins and juggle scarves. Billy said they will put on three shows on Saturday and by late Saturday night he will have walked nine miles. You have to be fit to be in the big ring!

The only kid with a beard in the audience was Captain Jay Spalding, who donned a clown nose and participated in all the exercises. He wasn’t the only adult having fun. I wrangled a couple of tickets out of Johnathan and took my son Robby to the circus Saturday morning. He’s 25, but we’re both kids at heart.

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