Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Carnival Series ~ Chapter V: The people, the life and what I learned

I have never felt more like part of a family at my place of employment than working for the Reithoffer show.  Even as just a vendor, renting space with the show, they care about you, they treat you as one of their own.  People are helpful, making sure you have a hot meal to eat, a place to get a shower and know the tricks of the trade.  You will be the butt of a few jokes from time to time, but all joking aside, they look out for their own.  I met some real people while I traveled up and down the coast.  I met earthy folks taking a spin with the show while traveling between Rainbow gatherings, I met people running from their pasts with lots of interesting stories, I met some folks who enjoyed the party life and knew where to get whatever you wanted at nearly every location. I met people like myself, just having a good time, getting the experience of a lifetime.  Some people are meant for the road, like being free and not tied to any earthly possessions.  Some have no where else to turn.  Some do it because they were born into it.  Some do it because there is a lot of money to be made. 

For me, it was a great time, I met lots of interesting people, I got to ride all the rides to my hearts content, without paying a dime.  I ate all the cotton candy, popcorn, corn dogs, candy apples to keep me full for the rest of my life.  I was able to travel down the east coast and see parts of the country I might not have seen otherwise.  I had the experience of living without strings attached or responsibility, I was able to just be me and have a good time.  It was lots of hard work, everyday, and at times a struggle, but I don't regret it.  And now I embrace it as part of what shaped who I am today.   Next time you go to the fair, remember that carnie you are making fun of or passing judgement on, remember they are just like you and I.  Human.  If it wasn't for them, you wouldn't be walking down that midway, enjoying the food, riding rides, enjoying the scene.

Would I ever go back on the road again with the show in the future?  No.  I like my home in one place, friends and family close by.  Would I do it over again if I could go back and change that part of my life?  Absolutely, I would have chosen to do it again.  How many of you can say you held a baby tiger?  Rode rides every day for eight months out of a year?  Held hundreds of dollars in your hands every day?  I got to play games nearly every day, talk to new people every day and travel down the coast.  More importantly, I realized what was important in life to me - family, roots, home, friends.

Read about the beginning of my travels:
Chapter I: How it all started.....

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