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From Photographer

Dave Yoder

In most cases these accounts are edited versions of a spoken interview. They have not been researched and may differ from the printed article.

Photograph by Steve


ZipUSA: 46970

Field Notes From Photographer
Dave Yoder
Best Worst Quirkiest
    It was a pleasure just to be there to photograph this improbable circus event that takes place in the cornfields of Indiana. The kids were amazing. I was surrounded by a lot of positive energy from these very welcoming people. They invited me to their Fourth of July barbecues and gave me access to whatever was going on with the circus and the families involved.
    It was fascinating to see how all these factors—the family involvement, the huge number of volunteers, the enthusiasm of the kids—came together to make this circus happen.

    I was in Peru during the tail end of the practices and then for the performances. At the same time the locals were suffering through the worst heat wave they could remember. Temperatures were in the high 90s, compounded by high humidity. It was difficult to work in that kind of heat.
    The circus kids do two road trips to try out their acts and prepare for the main performances at home. On one trip it was so unbelievably hot and muggy that a bunch of the kids got sick. I even got sick. On top of that, when everyone climbed into the bus after the performance, the bus wouldn't start. We were pretty miserable.

    To try to battle the heat, volunteers erected these gigantic fans in the building where the kids practice; it was too expensive to run air conditioning except during shows. Throughout the course of my shooting, one girl named Betsy Astrup had a great time teasing me about one thing or another. She took every opportunity to give me playful grief.
    One day during practice she was walking across the room with a Styrofoam plate of corn chips when she crossed the path of one of those big fans.  Gravity seemed to reverse itself just on those corn chips. Like something from a cartoon, they flew off the plate in the opposite direction. Finally, I had a good laugh at Betsy's expense.

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