My Life Under the Big Top

Lamenting the end of the Big Circuses

The author in 1970 at the Shrine Circus with her grandfather (left) and a Detroit Shrine Clown (right).

I grew up in the suburbs of Detroit in a close-knit extended family. My mother’s father — my grandfather Percy — was a Mason and a Shriner. He was also an esteemed photographer who was the unofficial photojournalist of the Detroit Shriners and the annual Shrine Circus. With my Papa Percy, some of my happiest childhood memories were spent at the Detroit Shrine Circus.

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