It was in January 1962 that Barnsley P. Wentworth III told his father that he was not going to be a doctor: he was going to be a clown. Without hesitation, his father replied, “Then you will never achieve anything. Consider yourself a failure.” That was the moment when Barnsley P. Wentworth III fell from his father’s grace, changed his name to Juggles, and became a clown. It was his greatest joy. It was his greatest passion. And he never made more than $ 50 per job.
It was a hot July afternoon and Juggles was driving back to his hotel after working all day at a county fair, when he took a wrong turn into a trailer park and saw the mailbox full of balloons, the business card of a child’s birthday party. . He sat there for a moment, looked at his watch, shook his head, sighed, and grinned from ear to ear as he put his rubber nose back on and jumped out of the car. He saw a small red head peeking through the flower curtain followed by piercing squeals as the door slammed open and the children ran toward him like excited puppies looking for food. He would never forget that sound or the look of amazement on the mother’s face when she whispered thank you and began to believe again. Or the sheer adoration on the birthday boy’s face when Juggles signed his cast and solemnly vowed never to wash his arm again as he hugged Juggles’ striped leg and that moment was etched in his memory as he whispered thank you and began to believe again.
Juggles never stopped being a clown. Every day. It was still her dream and it was still her passion. Even when his hair fell out and he was too weak to touch his nose, even from his bed, when the little fans he had left had to come to him. It was in March 1998 that Juggles died, sporting a large red nose and a satisfied smile. He never made more than $ 50 per job.
How do you measure success?