Wally Barnes
Born: Muncie, Indiana, 1950

Wally Barnes was the oldest child of Emily and Ed Barnes, who lived in Muncie, Indiana. Muncie was the perfect place to raise a family. Ed was a pharmacist at the local drugstore, and Emily was a second grade teacher at Muncie Elementary. Wally was bright, well behaved, and outgoing. He did very well in school, played Little League, and was a Boy Scout. His sister Bernese, had the same wonderful temperament. She was a Brownie and then a Girl Scout. Every year she was the top seller of Girl Scout cookies in her troop. Life for the Barnes family was normal and serene. They were a close family and every summer they went on family vacations to see various places and points of interest around the country. They piled into the family station wagon, staying at motels in such exotic places as, Chicago, Cleveland, and Niagara Falls.

When Wally was in high school he was the star quarterback of the football team. When college scouts from Indiana University came to see him play, they offered him a full scholarship. He attended IU for two years, majoring in business, and did quite well until IU played Purdue. Wally was tackled to the ground and sustained a very serious head injury, forcing him to drop out of college and move back home to Muncie.

Moving back was very hard for Wally. He took a number of aimless jobs, but could not handle his dreams being shattered. He fell into a deep depression and remained secluded in his room, spending most days watching meaningless televison surrounded by his football and bowling trophies. It appeared that Wally’s life would remain stuck in Muncie, Indiana.

One summer, The G.E. Circus came to town, and Ed and Emily thought it would be good for Wally to get out of the house. They took Wally to the circus and were astonished by his reaction. It was as though a miracle had happened. He laughed at the clowns, was amazed and mystified by the side show acts, was totally in awe of the Death Defying Rouseau family -- it was as if the door to life had reopened. Wally decided right then and there that he would join the circus and become a clown. Wally married Marie the Camel Rider. They remain happy and content living in their trailer, traveling to towns and cities, bringing joy to audiences.

Darleene Carter
Little Girl at Circus
Born: Blueback, Kentucky, 1996

Darleene Carter was always a very precocious child. She is the only child of Annie and Wes Carter, and lives in a trailer Park community outside Blueback, Kentucky, with her mother and grandparents. The Carter’s divorced when Darleene was three years old. Wes worked in the mining industry, and Annie was a waitress at the local diner. Life in Blueback was pretty dull. When Annie saw a poster for the G.E. Circus, she jumped at the chance to get tickets.

Darleene was in awe of everything she saw that day. She especially loved the glamorous ladies in their glittering costumes with their feather head-dresses, riding bareback on the horses and elephants. She snuck into the side show tent when her mother wasn’t looking to see Dickie the Bird Boy, Baby Gloria The Gator Girl and The Amazing Mamelle Sisters. Darleene found them fascinating, but very sad. She rode on every ride, consumed two bags of popcorn, two hot dogs, cotton candy, and made her mother buy her balloons and souvenirs. It was a glorious day -- one she will remember for the rest of her life.