“I’ll see you down the road!” (Circus good-bye) – as seen on the Jack’s Winning Words blog. Jack explained that this phrase was often used by circus people in the heyday of traveling circuses. Jack went on to expound a bit on the fact that circus people are just like anyone else and to talk about the fact that traveling circuses often have a chaplain with them to serve the religious needs of the troop’s members.
Several years ago my wife and I visited Circus World in Baraboo, Wisconsin. Circus World in Baraboo is one of Wisconsin Dells greatest attractions for Family Fun, Magic Shows, Circus Animals and more! That is if you visit it during the summer, while they are putting on daily shows. We happened to visit during the off-season, but it was still a fascinating place, with a huge collection of historic circus memorabilia. Baraboo, Wisconsin is where the traveling circuses of the early 20th Century used to winter over and has the world’s largest collection of circus wagons from the era when the entire circus (animals and all) traveled about in large, ornate wagons.
Eventually those wagons were loaded onto trains for transport over long distances; however, the wagons were off-loaded at the edge of the town in which the circus was playing and used in a parade through the streets of the town as a promotion for the upcoming performances. There was usually a big calliope wagon leading the parade and many of the wagons may have been pulled by elephants. The circus parade was quite an event in those cities and towns.
But, getting back to the quote for today; “I’ll see you down the road” was more than just the typical good-bye phrase, “I’ll see you later.” Contained within it is the acknowledgement of the common lifestyle shared by the circus troop of living on the road. It also had the positive connotation that this was really not good bye, because I fully expect to see you again. It might not have been unusual for certain acts to join or leave the troop, depending upon the size of the booking for the next town. There were also circuses that had both three-ring shows and single-ring shows, again depending upon the size of the expected audiences in the town.
In our modern lifestyle this good-bye might be appropriate for those who are ardent campers or RV’ers. Those people tend to see each other in different camp settings as they travel around. Some groups, like the Tin Can Tourists that focus upon vintage travel trailer living are very organized and hold rallies and events to celebrate their hobby and lifestyle. Tin Can Tourists have one of those events out at Camp Dearborn every summer. I’m sure that the phrase, “I’ll see you down the road”, would be a very appropriate good-bye for members of that group.
I suppose one can also make the case that life is a journey and the phrase, “I’ll see you down the road”, is an appropriate way to say, “See you later.” It makes one sound sophisticated or, at least somehow, more worldly. Try it and see what reaction you get from those that you meet. As we head into the new week, I’ll see you down the road with more posts.