Meeting New Clown Friends

9 February 2013

Today was an amazing day.  I heard back from Leah who is Tango clown.  She and her husband Ed (Lomax clown) invited me for a cuppa.  They came over within ½ hour and took me to coffee and cake.  We had a good talk about clowning and the world.  I have a very positive attitude about life and really feel in my hear t love is the answer.  Ed is an ex Vietnam Vet and sees street life in a less positive light, feeling that people on the street were not willing to work or going for the money.  Whilst I felt for me elements of truth in what he said I also felt that young people have no real role models (only 10% boys have their fathers as role models) and I believe that many battle drugs and alcohol addictions.  I think life is not so easy these days with broken homes, expectations for success, the nature of success and materialism and a deep unhappiness pervading life.  I worked in 400 companies and found very few happy people.  Ed said he honoured my beliefs but didn’t see it the same way so we agreed happily to agree to disagree.  I don’t expect Ed to have my view as his life experience is different and he doesn’t expect me to come on board with his ideas, but we can both have our ideas and respect the other.  I enjoyed our candid conversations.  Leah is a lovely talented person who is into needlework making quilts.  She is a talented face painting clown and Ed is LowMax clown who is into magic and balloons.  They both have a clown school teaching clowning and the history of clowning.  It goes back since the dawn of human history.  It is in every culture.   We went back to their house and Leah gave me some Clowning Around magazines, one had them on the cover and even some lovely soda with their pictures on it.  They have been married for 37 years and watch a match in heaven, two clowns.  They say they are still on their first date, I was blown away by such love.

They then kindly took me to the zoo as they had a free pass and I got to see rhino’s, panda’s, zebra’s, giraffe’s, monkey’s, orang-utans and even a cheetah playing with a dog.  It is considered one of the best zoos in the world.  I also saw a kangaroo and kookaburra.  The latter was quite big. 

They then decided to take me to dinner to meet Loosey Remarkable and her husband Whistle Stop clown.  He was a very tall guy and apparently does balloons.  Both couples clown and are in their 60’s and 70’s.  I was very impressed.  They do their clowning for charity to give back to society.  They had encountered clown phobias and just keep away.  I always say to people who fear clowns ‘it is not clowns you are afraid of it is your thought about them’.  I look at Hollywood and see that clowns have been turned into negative characters which of course is not the true clown.

They told me they join a clown alley which apparently came from the circus where clowns ended up doing their makeup in the alley.  So they create groups and encourage clowns to get together and learn from each other, keeping the artform alive. In Australia there isn’t that spirit sadly and often I find myself alone.  So I don’t have that solidarity.  The same applies for those in peace education, no real solidarity.

I learned that masons have clowns as part of their order to develop men and bring in humour.  They believe in charity work.  It was interesting.

We talked about the 1960’s where Diane (Loosey) had travelled to Japan in a boat at 16 years.  She said they were very lovely to a large group of US teenagers.  She explained that it was around the time of Eisenhower and that life had changed so much.  She remembers the hippy movement but she missed out as she was a bit older and working.  She said it was a time of freedom and expression.  Ed himself had been in Vietnam and the other clown also had been in the armed services.  San Diego has many ex service men and women.  When I asked Diane what had changed the most she said electronics, meaning technology.  She wasn’t that keen on it.  She was a live wire and I felt an amazing person in her own right.  So we will meet up for a day out next week.

My new friends kindly took me home and will take me to a jugglejam in LA tomorrow which  I am excited about.

I even went to a clown shop today and bought a clown nose and glue.  It cost $29 which was a lot but I will use the nose and be able to juggle, the other noses haven’t worked for me.

I came home tonight to find free passes to the zoo again, maritime museum and other attractions.  I just felt gratitude to my Rotary hosts Bell Anne and her husband Bob.   My last week will be great and if I get to do peace education in schools nothing will bring more joy.  I had a few flat days as it seemed like it wasn’t going to work out here but I can feel my energy lifting.

I am excited.