Wednesday, July 04, 2007

A Quilt for Barnum Bill

Two months ago I wrote about a party that our friend Bill had held -- he had taken about 100 of his closest friends to the Ringling Circus while it was in Philadelphia. Bill is pictured here with the star of the show. Bill is the one holding the glass.
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A couple of weeks after the party, I wrote about a secret project I'd begun, in lieu of cleaning the sewing studio. Today is when it is revealed!
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You see, the circus party of this past May wasn't the first such event. A few years back, Bill had held a similar party. At that time, we went to the Circus in Trenton, New Jersey, and after the show, Bill had arranged for us to have champagne and dessert in the elephant barn.
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It was an experience I'll never forget. With the approval and supervision of the elephant trainers, we were able to get up close and personal with these amazing animals, touching their skin, finding out how interesting the end of the trunk is, as we fed them. I'd like to say we even looked them in the eye, but it was more the other way around -- the elephants watched us very intently. Bill just stood there reveling in our delight. Elephants are his favorite animal and he wanted us to understand why.
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He told a story about having been taken the the circus as a very young boy, about four years old, I believe, dressed in a little white sailor suit. And being picked up by an elephant. That must have started the whole thing.
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After that circus party, I found some great fabric that just proclaimed "Bill." There was a toile print of antique circus scenes. There was a splendid batik-ish elephant print, but not very much of it, in precisely the same color as the toile. There was a grey-black batik that reminded me of the elephant's hide. I folded it all up and waited to see what else I could find, as it seemed one more thing would be needed.
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The pictures of the elephants turned up this May, right after the party, around the time I was supposed to clean the studio. They were just right. (You can click on the picture to see all of the fabrics better.) I drafted a plan and showed it to Joe. He approved with one addition: "Personalize it," he said. "Put Bill's name right on it." And so I did. Bill's coming to dinner tonight. Guess what he's taking home with him.

5 comments:

Carol said...

Very fun...he's going to love it! Happy 4th!

Tanya said...

I'm sure Bill's going to be thrilled! That elephant print is great!!

Ms. Jan said...

What a fabulous "thanks" for all the memories he has given you.

Carole said...

What a fabulous idea! I love the quilt! I'm sure he's going to love it! Thanks for sharing!

swooze said...

What a thoughtful gift! I am sure he loves it!