Friday, January 21, 2011

My Father, The Clown

Growing up, my Dad had many different jobs and businesses, most of them quite successful. Some that I can remember are: Dohnut shop manager, painting business, balloon factory worker, carpet cleaning business, head chef at a retirement community, drywall & remodeling business, janitor, and of course... the clown.

Yes, my Father was a clown, Howdy the Clown, actually. My Dad was a great clown and took his clowning very seriously. Though I was not aware of it previously, there are schools for clowning, and my Father attended clown classes and eventually received certification. Dad had a family friend custom sew his costume and he was always adding wacky accessories to the mix just to make it more fun for the kids.

Once, Dad thought it would be cool if Howdy the Clown had a sidekick. It was agreed that I would be Howdy's right hand man. Being a shy kid of probably about 12, I'm still not sure how my Dad convinced me to do this. I am certain that I picked out a clown name, but sadly I cannot for the life of me remember what it was. A costume was quickly thrown together for me and Dad spent hours writing little skits that we would perform. At home we would tirelessly practice these skits for the big birthday party coming up. I remember one where I do something to make Howdy pissed off, like stealing his horn or something. Howdy then chases me around the room with a bucket of "water" and finally catches up with me right in front of the audience, I duck at just the right moment and a bucket of confetti gets sprayed over the kids.

Time has faded the memories of my feelings about that time. Was I mortified to do a clown show with my Dad or was I disappointed that there was only one? I don't see my Father much anymore and I'm not entirely sure if Howdy has hung op his rubber nose for good or not. I think that next time I talk to him though I'll tell him I'm proud of him. Now that I'm a grown man, I know what courage it takes for a man with a family to follow a dream.

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