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My Recollection of My Collection of Clowns

Updated on July 21, 2016
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Was It A Fascination With Funny Faces Or Something Much Deeper

Do you collect things? Maybe you have a collection of baseball cards that you collected as a kid, or bottle caps, or for some kids, like my older sister, she liked to collect butterflies in a photo book.

I think who collects a certain type of memorabilia depends on that person’s interests and personality. However, I had always believed my collection of clowns started on purely a whim, and for some reason; I took on an unexplained fascination with it. Well, until today. Until right now this moment when I sat down and thought about my past hobby, and actually saw a new outlook on it. I think I understand the pull to my hobby of collecting those sad faces. I say sad, because, they were my favorite ones to collect. I had a few of the smiley faces, but sadness, well; it was what I was drawn to.

My childhood collection, started from the age of ten or eleven and continued up into my twenties. Then with no explanation, I packed my clowns away and later sold them off. Now, as I sit here, I suddenly feel this eye-opening realization that when you travel through this life, if you really know yourself and pay attention to the things you have been through, you will eventually see the purpose of the things that you had no reason for doing at the time in your youth and even through all your years. It will dawn on you at the right moment as to why you may have had an interest in a particular thing. It will all make sense. My clown collection started on, what I thought, was a little girl grabbing a liking to clowns by choice, on a whim. However, I feel now, at this moment, that my colorful collection meant something more to me; more than just a cute collection of clowns.

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Red Skelton's Freddie the Freeloader Christmas Dinner

Part 2

Part 3 A Clown Belongs To Everybody

Part 4

Part 5 The End

The Initial Inspiration For My Collection of Clowns; Red Skelton's Freddie The Freeloader

I remember the first clown that fascinated me. Some of you may remember “The Red Skelton Show” and how Mr. Skelton put on skits with his different characters. One of those characters was “Freddie the Freeloader” the clown, of course. Mr. Skelton’s show ran from (1951-1971) and so, I was not even around yet for this show to strike my interest. Actually, I was born within three months after the show went off the air. However, luckily I caught a few shows in syndication around the early eighties. The truth is, I don’t even remember much about them except laughing at Mr. Skelton a little.

Then he made an HBO Christmas Special in 1981 starring his character “Freddie the Freeloader” and I felt so enthralled with this character. Seemingly he was a hobo, not really a clown, but was mistaken for one. He had such inspirational messages, and I can remember feeling great about how this character didn’t have much, but he cared for everyone and everything. This clown made me, a deeply shy child, a very lonely child, a child who had lived through bullies and sadness at this time in her life, feel better.

It’s funny what we remember that we didn’t realize was happening at a certain time during our lives. I’m realizing why I started my clown collection just today as I’m writing about it and remembering, and I’m wondering to myself, how I didn’t recognize this before?

Anyway, after that, I can remember picking up my first clown and purchasing it. It was in a hospital gift shop, and we were there to visit a great aunt of mine. I remember so clearly walking by the gift shop window and that little porcelain clown caught my eye. Coincidentally, it looked like “Freddie the Freeloader” a bit, but this one had a sad face. I asked my mom if I could buy it with my allowance, she agreed and so my collection began. I really wish I would have kept just that one as a special memory, but I didn’t. I hope someone still has it in their collection. Who knows, maybe a little shy ten-year-old.

I now would like to thank Mr. Red Skelton wherever he is up in that great big sky, for inspiring me and teaching me an important thing. Something I hope I still have today. I would like to thank him for showing me how to have compassion for others and also the beauty of sadness.

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Dedication To The People Who Make Us Laugh

I would now like to share, as I always do, a poem dedicated to Mr. Skelton and all the clowns that took the time to travel around and make kids smile; who made everyone's day a little bit better in one way or the other.

I would also like to acknowledge some of my favorite comedians that didn't actually dress up like clowns, but to me were clowns in their own right for making all of us smile a little bigger and laugh a little louder.

Robin Williams, Jim Carrey, Charlie Chaplin, and Jerry Lewis Thanks! :)

I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy, because they know what it's like to feel absolutely worthless and they don't want anyone else to feel like that.

~Robin Williams

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Did you have a collection of something growing up?

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A Clown's Life

© 2016 Missy Smith

Dust off my lips, it’s time

to smile again. My mindset

and mood find its glow within.


Happiness is a choice of

illusion, just as sadness

can be packed up and

eluded.


Today, my choice is to laugh,

to grab hold of hope, and to

see beauty without visiting a

past.


Then dust back on the red

and white, and this time

I will draw it on upright.


Smile, dream, and be seen.

Pull a giggle out of a loving

Child’s face. Then look over

at the appreciation radiating

in a mother’s face.


Tip my hat and twirl my

tie, trip and fall to

end the show.


Then finally as bellies

hurt from all the laughter,

I’ll dust my play away and

rest up for another day.

Frank Sinatra's Version

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    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 13 months ago from Shelton

      clowns as a child were so special to me.. I use to go to the Wind Circus and watch them almost every Sunday.. they were fascinating .. Never thought they were real people.. I always thought they were just make-up and clumsy apparitions.. Lol this was a wonderful hub and the poem was absolutely fitting... Frank

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 13 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Missy....You created another wonderful page....great memories & a special poem about "clowns." I've been hearing lately from adults who admit to being very frightened by clowns as kids.....in fact, one of them is my eldest son. I was surprised. I assume at one time there was a clown or two who had scary make-up or maybe got too close & scared these people. When we're little, it doesn't take much to scare us!

      Hey Missy~~I think I may have had a "collection of clowns" at some period in my life....Yeah. When I was young & single and I dated a number of them!....also known as LOSERS!! LOL I trashed that collection, believe me!....Love, Paula

    • Missy Smith profile image
      Author

      Missy Smith 13 months ago from Florida

      I'm so glad, Frank. It seems we had something in common with our childhoods. They were quite fascinating weren't they? As children it does seem strange to think of them as real people. Thanks Frank! :)

    • Missy Smith profile image
      Author

      Missy Smith 13 months ago from Florida

      Hey Paula, I'm not going to lie; this one was hard for me to put into words. I wanted to explain my childhood hobby in a certain way, and how I look back now and see clearly why I picked that hobby.

      It's still really fascinating to my own self when I realized through my memories today that it was because I was touched by their ability to make people happy, and they made me, a loner child, happy. That's why I started my collection. I'm sure of that now. I hope others can grasp what I was trying to convey.

      The poem was written out through a vision of seeing a clown take on and off their face make-up, and putting all their worries aside and going out to make people happy. I hope I made that clear as well with the poem.

      You are so funny! Yes, I think I have collected those types of clowns myself, and I'm glad I threw them out. lol

      Thanks Paula! :)

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 13 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Another wonderful hub, Missy. It is amazing what our memory can suddenly come up with that we hadn't really thought of before. I remember Red Skelton well.....I remember watching his show as a young child and thinking his name was Red Skeleton. A very funny man and one of my favourite comedians. I used to collect various bubble gum cards (though I never chewed the gum..gave it away) and later on bank notes and coins from around the world. Nice poem too.

    • Missy Smith profile image
      Author

      Missy Smith 13 months ago from Florida

      Hey John, and thanks for expressing your enjoyment in reading this hub.

      I wanted this hub to be reminiscent of childhood memories in, of course, a simplistic way.

      Red Skelton was really empathetic to human conditions, no matter what those were. I think he showed that side of himself well in his Christmas special I posted.

      I remember bazooka gum with the little comic strip wrappers the gum was wrapped up in. I wouldn't chew that gum either. Lol

      Great comment. Thanks!

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 13 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Interesting hub with beautiful reflections of your childhood hobby. Clowns are really great people. They entertain others hiding their own sad feelings. The great movie, "Mera Naam Joker" is a great example for that. It portrays the life of a circus boy entertaining people with his funny feats whereas his real life was full of sadness and depression.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Confession time: clowns have always freaked me out. Having said that, I love your reflections, so if I don't look at the pictures of clowns, I can totally enjoy this fine piece of writing.

    • shprd74 profile image

      Hari Prasad S 13 months ago from Bangalore

      Amazing. Childhood is some much fun. Recalling it is no easy task. As a child I liked the mime types. They were so expressive, like Charlie chaplin or off late Mr.bean. I love them. They would have made us cry and laugh instaneously. Though we grow old and would have felt seen it all, I see that as we age, we develop a sense of 'seen it all' and would stop being amazed, that's when everything starts feel boring.

      A sense of awe is so much missing like it is in children. In fact we do act amazed for our children, but as they grow, we start acting familiar and then they too feel familiar about everything and hence stop being amazed.

      A small poem I just got inspired while writing the above comments.

      Amazed,

      by the flower and its color,

      bees and their buzz,

      6 yr old, asked,

      "What it is mother, that makes me wonder?",

      She said, "nature."

      What about nature? He asked,

      "Nature never gets familiar,

      It rejuvinates from the soil.

      Always encourages to flower.

      Before it can wither.!!"

      "What about me mother?" He asked

      "You are my nature, dear". She said.

      - hari

    • Missy Smith profile image
      Author

      Missy Smith 13 months ago from Florida

      I love that poem, Hari. Beautiful! You should post that one on your page. :)

      Yes, I believe I totally get what you are saying, and it is sad, it really is. I think that's why a lot of psychologists and psychiatrists try and talk to people about their inner child still being with them, because most depression cases stem from boredom with life and loneliness I think.

      Thanks again, Hari. I loved your comment and poem. :)

    • Missy Smith profile image
      Author

      Missy Smith 13 months ago from Florida

      Oh my goodness, Bill, I cannot imagine you being scared of anything. However, I must thank you for the little giggle that came from me when I read that. My son is actually terrified of clowns, but I don't know why. I don't remember any scary clown things we've seen.

      Thank you, Bill :)

    • Missy Smith profile image
      Author

      Missy Smith 13 months ago from Florida

      Yes, Venkat, I believe that most clowns have wonderful spirit and souls. Their sole purpose is to make people happy.

      I have never heard of that movie you mention. I should look it up. Thank you again for reading this hub and poem. ~Missy

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 13 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      "Mera Naam Joker" is a very old film in Hindi, perhaps of the 1960s. It was Raj Kapoor's most popular movie.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 13 months ago from The Caribbean

      Great share about your clown collection and what clowns meant to you. At the root of it is our need to laugh which you handled so well in your poem. Good read.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 13 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      This brings back memories of the circus for me.

    • Missy Smith profile image
      Author

      Missy Smith 13 months ago from Florida

      Thank you, MsDora. It was a special part of my life, and I think I just come to realize just how much as I wrote this hub. Thanks again!

    • Missy Smith profile image
      Author

      Missy Smith 13 months ago from Florida

      Yes, Deb, clowns are the thing all of us think of when we think about the circus. They are the center of the show after all. What would a circus be without the clowns? Not as fun! :)

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