A Cowboy’s Faith: Family entertaining is labor of love

buchmanhead“It’s just one great big happy family.”

And, it’s sure a lot more than “just a dog and pony show.”

Certainly, one could think about “running off and joining the circus.”

When the circus came to town, we were there early to make sure we had one of the best seats under the big top.

A stride down the midway, featuring pony rides reminiscent of those Tiny Elsea had when we were a kid, got the adrenalin flowing as circus music intermingled with popcorn and cotton candy aroma.

Most in the nearly filled bleachers were kids, with old folks like us being scant in the crowd. But few, if anybody, had a bigger smile, clapped louder, and had a more enjoyable evening than us.

Although we’ve not been to many circuses, we went to one by Grandpa’s farm when we were quite small, and maybe a couple of others later on, but there has always been a fascination for the atmosphere.

Inspirations were from childhood stories about P.T. Barnum, renowned circus entrepreneur, and then his amazing life of entertainment.

Now, the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus, of Hugo, Okla., visits 240 towns in eight months, with two shows every stop.

There were lions, a tiger, unicyclists, aerial acts, balancing stunts, Puffy and Judy the clowns, plus, of course, little white dogs doing tricks.

Highlight for us was Miss Paulina and her “proud prancing ponies,” although they were black, one was a draft and the other a miniature.

Come to find out, many of the performers really are family: husbands, wives, children, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins.

However, most important to it all, yet oblivious to many, were the assistants always at bid- and-call, making sure props were in place.

Immediately, when the show concluded, pace picked up even more, the tent was down, everything packed, and the 40-member circus team on the road for two performances the next day in another community.

Obviously, it’s a labor of love for a big happy family living the life of the circus.

Reminds us of Galatians 2: 20: “The life you see me living is lived by faith.” Likewise, Genesis 34:16: “We make ourselves at home among you, and become one big, happy family.” Importantly, Job 25:6: “God is sovereign; everything fits and works in his plan.”


Frank_BuchmanFrank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.

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