For us, that night was close but no cigar!
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Last week I took a short sojourn with a group of friends, and one of our stops was the boardwalk at Seaside Heights, NJ. Whenever I hear the sound of a calliope, it always sends me back to the World of Mirth. It was a traveling carnival that stopped a couple of years in the city in the days of my youth. We always got excited, because although the setup grounds were on Riverside Street, all the animals, rides and inhabitants would be parked along Bishop Street for a few days leading up to the show. It was exciting to walk down a neighborhood street and hear the large animals in the trucks and see the rides folded up but ready to provide plenty of fun and screams. The woods and area at the end of the street however were off limits. This was where the workers and the performers stayed in their wagons and tents. One night five of us guys headed down to check out the goings on and to see if we might find the 'home' of the hoochie-coochie girls or exotic dancers. We had this hair-brained idea that they might want to show a few teenage boys their wares. The night was short. We were met at the gate by a couple of seedy characters who just laughed at our request. They said we could get to see 'it' at the show the next night. How much did we see? Not much. Unable to come up with the separate admission to the exotic dancer tent, we had to be satisfied with standing out back, listening to the music and seeing the ladies enter and exit. It must have been a good show, because there were plenty of outbursts of screams and clapping.