The indoor coliseum at the fairgrounds had been converted into a banquet facility to host hundreds of circus personalities who participated in or attended the event.
Prior to the event, many couples and groups dressed to the t’s in gowns and tuxedos. When the doors opened, they made their way inside and found a place to sit at the many round tables with formal place settings. Once everyone was seated, the wait-staff served dinner.
Imitating the many famous televised awards ceremonies, this one was no different. Once the ceremony portion of this event began, legions of speakers and attractive personalities made their way up to the podium to share anecdotes about circus history and to announce the winners of each category, followed by those performers who added their rhetoric between spurts of applause.
I was seated with Tino Wallenda and his family. I had mentally prepared a brief statement for when my time came at the microphone. The owner of the Clyde Beatty Cole Bros Circus, John Pugh, who I had worked for two decades ago, was part of the duo that arrived on stage to announce the winner of the category Domestic Animal Acts.
John was short. He had to stretch to speak into the microphone. When he announced my name as the winner of the category, I rose from my seat with the Wallendas and made my way up to the stage.
As I climbed the stairs, John tried to be funny and suggest that I stop before I got to the top where I would dwarf him. His lovely assistant placed my award – a handsome medal on a neck ribbon like Olympic winners get – over my bowed head. John gave me a handshake. Then I made it up to the top of the platform. I had a brief statement prepared in my head.
“I want to thank my heavenly Father,” I began, “who made all this possible.”
“And for this wonderful horse that I have been blessed with.”
I let that sink in for a moment and then added, “and John Herriott for all his encouragement and the patient help given me.”
While I made my way back to my table, I received congratulatory gestures from many people who applauded as I went past.
My heart acknowledged a tremendous truth as I savored all that happened to get me to this place. Although life contains tragic challenges, when I move into harmony with an unseen influence and allow that power to work in my life, amazing things happen.