I was hoping to find a few quick entries in my old kid dairies to celebrate the advent of Leap Day. I've kept a diary since 1978, all handwritten until I don't know when, when I finally started typing them out on computer. At some point in time I decided to type, word for word, all of my early diaries into the computer for safekeeping. With my memory sucking as much as it does, my diaries have been a prized possession, even though most of their pages are about me being a dork, but I'm lazy so basically when I want to share something about those early (and late) dork days, I just pull up the computerized versions. Unfortunately I didn't write on many Leap Days in those early years, but here's what I do have.
Note for the 2004 entry: I was the spotlight operator for a circus and also anxiously awaiting news of the birth of my sister's second child.
It is now Feb 29th, the day of leap year. I got an A on a World Cultures test today. Last night, Mom, Dad, and I gathered around the television set to watch (& tape) the grammy awards. Michael Jackson won 8! I added, today, to my scrap book, a picture of him from the Register. P.S. Shena fell and broke her arm badly. She was operated upon today.
So, I’m sitting in the third show on the headset with the ring one par cans off, spots on amber, waiting to cue them to return to white, when suddenly the flaming hoop in the big cage is pitching forward, trailing fire, and going down. One of the cats has knocked the thing, and as it goes over, a tiger is leaping through it, and it comes down right on her. Instinctively I hit the ring lights again, to make sure there’s enough light for Juergen and Judit to see what’s going on. My stagehands are making exclamations in my ears. Maybe I am, too. I see Juergen lurch forward for the staff of the flaming hoop… Judit batting at her hair… the tiger jumping down and around toward the entrance to the shifting cages with smoke coming up from her… another tiger or two leaping around in the cage. A scattering of workers in black shirts converge around the outside of the tiger arena. Juergen gets the hoop uprighted and he and Judit spread out to calm the tigers.
In the funny combination of right light white and spotlight amber, Juergen and Judit very patiently calm the tigers and then coax the poor, surprised cat to make the leap through the hoop. And back to her seat, where Juergen awards her twice with a chunk of meat. With order restored, I see that the routine is going to continue, and I go ahead and switch the ring lights back off. And the show continues from there.
Monday, March 01, 2004, 1:38 PM. On the road to Indy.—Got online this morning to check messages. I let out a little gasp when it finally clicked in. Tim called, “What?” from somewhere behind me, and I tried to get the pictures to load in and finally said, “A Leap Year baby!”