The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

Here’s to the Clowns

On January 6th, 2014, posted in: Uncategorized by

I went to a clown’s memorial service recently. That’s not a degrading statement. Nor is it my opinion of someone’s character. Nope, this guy was a real-life clown. I have never known a guy with a job description as “clown” before. Oh, I’ve known plenty of clowns, but a real one – never.

I know the daughter of the deceased, and went to pay my respects to her and the surviving family. My guess is growing up as the daughter of a clown would have had its benefits – great seats at the circus, perfect placement at parades and plenty of makeup lying around. And now, after his death, there will be a whole lifetime of laughs echoing in the recesses of her memory.

This guy was apparently at the pinnacle of clowning around. On display was a portrait presented to him years before his death picturing him in his complete clown wardrobe. It was beautiful and captured the essence of who he was as a clown – a tramp. A tramp, by definition, is a vagrant, bum, hobo or vagabond – a sad-faced sort whose torn and tattered oversized clothing is perfect for hiding a bicycle horn that when pulled out and pressed into action allows for a perfectly timed honk to bring giggles and joy to kids and parents alike.

Countless clowns came forward to eulogize and honor the tramp with heartwarming stories of his exploits as a premiere player in his chosen trade. The stories were funny and charming – all of which cited the joy he brought to thousands of kids, not the least of which were his very own grandkids.

Their testimonies about “Paw-paw” were the best. Those grandkids who made their way to the microphone told stories of joy, laughter and much more than the occasional belly laugh, guffaw, or perfectly-timed horn blast. Nope, these were kids that knew someone much more than a clown – they knew a great man who was the world’s greatest “Paw-paw.”

I learned that there is such a thing as a clown’s prayer. Sort of sounds like most any other prayer in that there is a request to have perfectly-timed words and gestures that make someone else’s life a little more peaceful and joy-filled. It was a prayer that seeks guidance and direction in making the world in which we live a better place.

In listening to each word of the “clown’s” prayer, I realized that it is also the prayer for credit unions, bosses, fathers, mothers and neighbors – quite frankly, all of us. WOW…being a successful clown starts with being a good person who treats others with love and joy and THEN ends with makeup, silly clothes, a wig and big shoes.

The memorial service ended with a toast. A toast that included each of us in attendance putting on another key element to being a great clown – a bright red nose. Only then, did we raise our glass. It was a first for me.

Here’s to the world of clowns. May they always be there doing what they do best – making the world a better place. And may each of us who don’t adorn a bright red nose, makeup, funny shoes and silly clothes do the exact same thing. It’s time for all of us to start clowning around.

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