More fact than fiction, sometimes. In her article, "Researching the Circus in Your Family Tree," Gena Philibert Ortega suggests, "As children, we may have wanted to run off an join the circus." Some did and among them, my own father. When my father and mother met, he had just returned from working with the circus — he was 18 years old. Between the time he left and the time he returned, my mother's family had settled into a little West Texas farming community and she had become close friends with his brothers. Although my dad did play the guitar and sing, I doubt he was a circus performer — more likely a roustabout, not likely to be mentioned in the records suggested by this article. My older brother said our dad would never tell the boys about his experiences; my brother thinks he did not want to highlight the adventure lest his boys decide to venture off. So don't be too quick to write off these old tales, they may bear a shred of truth.