Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Circus in my Hometown

This is one of my favorite old photos from my own collection. It shows a train car being unloaded from a Circus Train on a siding on John Street in my home town of Anderson Indiana. The photo was taken by my grandfather in the 1930s and it is one of the first that I chose to restore.
I used to walk this street going to and from school everyday and I remember the remnants of this siding but: its all gone now. It brings back a lot of memories. The vein that carried Anderson's life-blood were the train lines; not for the circus so much, but for the small industry and General Motors factories that made this town someplace on a map. I remember the circus train unloading every year when the circus broke for winter and Anderson was its home. I remember once riding on a steam engine while it shuffled cars onto the siding, courtesy of my father who worked for the railroad at that time. That may have been the last time that I saw a steam locomotive in use, at work.
Last Thanksgiving I was driving around the old town marveling at everything that has changed and everything that hasn't, when I saw a little person, a mildy disproportionant man, walking with a hold on the hand of his young child. I hadn't thought about it for decades, I guess, but when I was growing up there were always little people around town and I never see them in the places that I've lived since then. I realize now that it is a lasting impression on a town that a circus used to call home.

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