I'm reading Charles Wilkins' The Circus at the Edge of the Earth*, which came out in 1998 and is the author's chronicle of the time he spent with the Great Wallenda Circus on a remote Canadian route. Anyway, this morning, I reached this paragraph about elephant trainer/handler Bobby Gibbs. I think you'll see why I felt I needed to share it here:
The ten-minute run to Zellers covered the first of many miles I would travel with him over the next month, and as we wheeled along May Street and Memorial Avenue, he revealed, among other things, that he read a book a day, that he sent twenty letters a week (I have received as many as four from him in a single delivery), and that, as a personal mission, he had journeyed every inch of the route of the Lewis and Clark expedition sent west to the Pacific from St. Louis by Thomas Jefferson in 1804. He had once, he reported consumed fifty White Castle hamburgers in a glutton contest in St. Paul, Minnesota. His musical cravings, he allowed, ran to gospel quartets and bandstand tuba, a taste he acquired from the writer and tuba player Daniel Pinkwater, who, for a number of months during the mid-1970s, worked as Bob's ring assistant and groom.
Needless to say if Daniel Pinkwater** wasn't already a personal hero (he is), this would have made him one.
*I might be playing with that circus idea I referenced in passing. Yes, I might.
**It has to be him, right? There can only be one Daniel Pinkwater, writer and tuba player. Or am I wrong?