Thursday, June 14, 2012

FROM VIENNA TO BARABOO: The circus is in town

Transitions are not easy for me.  Change disconcerts me.  It takes me a while to settle in the new place.  Strange, isn't it?  For someone who gets bored easily, who craves travel and new places, you would think I can accomodate to whatever life brings my way.  But then - I never said I am not a walking contradiction.  Those are life's paradoxes.

A week ago today I was in Athens, Greece, Europe.  Today I am in Baraboo, Wisconsin, the United States.  (Baraboo?  What is a baraboo?)  It's the circus capital of the USA, the headquarters of the Circus Museum.  We have come with David for the Circus Historical Society Annual Convention, hoping to sell some vintage posters, to find new conservation customers, to network with circus posters collectors from around the world.  There are talks about all things circus, a banquet, a circus performance. 

Two weeks ago today I was in Vienna, Austria, Europe.  Today I am in Baraboo at a circus convention populated by, mostly, white old men.  As I sit in the back of the room while the archivist speaks about his catalog system in the museum's library a sea of bald or white haired heads confronts me.  A few women, a few young men insure the continuity of the organization. 

I am still somewhat jet-lagged and fall asleep early.  Thankfully the bed-and-breakfast where we're staying is in the middle of a huge farm, in the middle of pine trees and red-winged blackbirds: a quiet place under the blue sky.  We are the only guests.  I sleep well; in the morning I walk outside where the sun shines at 7 a.m. and sit to read for a while before breakfast at 8:30.  I can hear the robins above my head, I can see the red flash of the red-winged blackbirds and the swifts' fast flights from the corner of my eye as I read on my Kindle.  David brings me a mug of coffee.  This is nice.  I must say.  It is not Vienna but it is nice.  Calming.  Relaxing.  Soon I will be myself again. 


  1. "Baraboo" has a nice ring to it and it sounds like the circus.

    Stacey gave me "Water for Elephants", a book that is set in the '30's with the Circus travelling on trains. I enjoyed the book and learned quite a bit about the difficult life on the circus train and circus life generally. Is the museum a wothwhile visit?

    White old man aren't so bad...are they? mk

  2. Yes, the museum is awesome. And no, white old men are not bad. It was just very visible to me sitting there.