shaken & stirred

welcome to my martini glass


running away with the circus

Or not. Newsday interviews writer Cathy Day about her new collection of linked short stories, "The Circus in Winter." (Very high on the Shaken & Stirred TBR List.)

The author of the debut story collection grew up in Peru, Ind., home to the off-season quarters of the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus. "This was the town," she says, "where the circus went to take off its makeup and just be normal people for a couple of months."

Though the grounds were razed in the 1940s, circus history lives on in Peru. As a kid, Day heard stories of her great-great-uncle's violent death at the trunk of his elephant, Big Charlie. She grew up next door to the world famous trapeze-artist family, the Hodginis. W.W. Wilno, a former human cannonball, lived down the street. And today, every summer, an amateur kids' troupe performs feats of daring in a former livery stable, one of the few circus buildings that remain.

Color me jealous. We rarely even got the no-ring circus when it was traveling, more just the scary, rickety carnivals. And that was a big deal. Maybe I'll do a list of favorite circus books next?

In the meantime, check out this story about a guy who wrote a pre-death notice in his local paper.

Diagnosed in May with liver cancer, Clark, 78, asked The Tribune to publish a notice that invited family and friends to call or visit him to reminisce before he died. His story was published July 10 in The Tribune.

After the story ran, floods of people wrote, called and visited Clark, according to his eldest child of six, Collette Villines, of Compton, Ark.

Oddly social, but I like it. R.I.P.

worm "Southwood Plantation Road," The Mountain Goats

namecheck That Girl I Used to Know Who Was Crazy and Ran Away With the Circus For Real


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