Monday, August 8, 2016
Winsome Family History: Summer, 1944
Kiddies, it was seventy-two years ago, in the summer of 1944, that more than a dozen traveling carnivals got together to hold the Carny Games. The Olympics had been canceled, due to some troubles overseas, and so it was decided this would be a good way to fill a void and cash in on an unmet demand. Also, hundreds of athletes were looking for something to do, and so many of them participated, which helped draw even larger crowds. The first weekend did such great business that we took the games on the road, performing in front of thousands of people all over the country. The carnival that I was part of fared really well, winning many events, including juggling, knife-throwing and cat-hurling. I remember that the Barker Sisters alone brought home three gold medals, and our conjoined twins won the three-legged race by more than six seconds. By the end of the summer, two of the athletes had decided to become permanent members of our carnival. We replaced our aging Strong Man with an Olympic weight lifter, and we added a young gymnast to be a second contortionist, thus giving us an unusual double-contortionist act.