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Monday, April 13, 2009

The Circus People

Circo Imperial

We lived in a village called 24 de Febrero, in Sonora, Mexico. It was springtime I think. We had brought down a pick-up camper down and it was set up in our yard. We used it for an extra bedroom, when we needed one. It was Petra's bedroom most of the time we lived there.

One day, a man came by wanting to buy our camper. He really wanted it, but I did not want to sell it. We always needed to use it, because we had people living with us a lot. When he left, he said to let him know if I changed my mind, then he handed me some free tickets to the Circus he was in.

We did not go to the Circus, but we went down where they were camped to meet them. We were welcomed with open arms and invited into one of their trailers to visit. The family that invited us had been in the circus for 3 generations. They did not really want to do it anymore, especially the wife, but they said they had no where else to go. The husband had been "blinded by an "accident". Now his job was to announce through his loud speaker to all the surrounding villages. He had a beautiful voice and we heard many of his songs.

We were invited to come to the next village for a meal. We ended up going and met a lot of the people who worked at the circus. Circo Imperial had an old circus tent, old trailers and old vehicles. The women set up camp and some had washing machines. They "borrowed" the electricity at each village straight from the power line. I wonder if any of them ever got electrocuted. They had no outhouses, only the bushes. They have to move camp to a new location every 5 days, 7 days a week. I cannot even imagine how hard that must be. They teach their own children and all of them could read, except one boy we met. I think he had a learning disability.

One girl I met was about 19. She had run away from home and joined the circus a few years before. She had a boyfriend in the circus and hoped they would marry someday.

The circus consisted of 1 pony, 1 monkey and I think they had an anteater. They had dancing and did some tricks.

They kept asking why we didn't go to their show and my husband said because the woman didn't have clothing on in the dancing. He meant not very much. So, one lady said, oh we have clothes on, let me show you pictures. She showed us the pictures and they had clothes, but not very much. We had a lot of boys and didn't want to put them in front of that.

Even though we didn't go to their show, we became friends and for 2 or 3 other years they would stop by and see us when they came to our village. One time, Petra (our daughter) had all the circus children come to our house and she made play dough with them. She really has a heart for children. Another time, one family showed up and stayed for a couple of hours and played his guitar and sang gospel songs.

Since, we have moved to a village farther away from the freeway, so we have not seen them as much. We would watch the villages by the freeway for "Circo Imperial" each time we drove either North or South, but haven't seen them. I wonder if their circus finally shut down.

I used to know many of their names, but it's been so long since I've seen them I feel bad I can't remember anymore.

I painted a picture of one of their trailers and table outside. I think it's in Mexico in a box somewhere.

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