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High Point Enterprise Newspaper Archives May 24 1972, Page 14

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High Point Enterprise (Newspaper) - May 24, 1972, High Point, North Carolina Hello friends. With a smile and wave the Clown climb president begins his Mission make people laugh and bring a Little Sunshine into their Busy Day. Want to change your Outlook on life walk for a while in the shoes of a Clown. Its the opening of a whole new world a Happy place where youngsters eyes glow adults Are smiling and oldsters become children once again. These Are the experiences belonging exclusively to members of the newly formed High Point Clown club numbering 20 and still growing. A a it a the Fountain of youth a says Jake Harris who at 68 is the clubs oldest member. A a it a unlike any experience one can have a declares Ansel Beck club president. A we Trade the past months for anything a says Bob Stephenson vice president whose wife and four children Are also members. And what is this special magic a a it a a Strong personal satisfaction in knowing that through the giving of yourself you can bring Sunshine into a persons life a explains Pam Maynard Secretary of the club. A nearly everyone can give Money that a easy but when you give of yourself and see the results in the smile of a child that a the High Point Clown club which is Only a few months old is the culmination of a year Long Effort by Veteran Clown Ansel Beck and newcomer Bob Stephenson assisted by several of the adult members to form an organization of persons interested in this Type of entertainment. The charter explains As its what Biti feet. A Young shopper seems to be thinking As she accepts a Lollipop from the Clown. Her mom rendered speechless by that bad Case of frizzled proves that a clowns Appeal is not limited to the Little folks. Purpose a to contribute to the Community of High Point our time and talents As clowns to entertain and amuse All Ages. To promote among members a spirit of Fellowship and to donate our time for the betterment and entertainment of club members have performed for students at the kindergarten for the handicapped youth parties the Shriner so wheelchair Ball game and service station openings. They be conducted Clown clinics and at easter they circulated through the downtown area giving out balloons. In Exchange for their services the clowns receive a donation from the sponsoring Agency which goes into the club Treasury. This is used to Purchase props make up and also for Community charities where needed. The club is interested in appearing for groups in the High Point area and in surrounding cities and communities. Don t get the idea that these clowns Are a Bunch of itinerant standing around with nothing to do. The group includes a real estate broker a furniture store owner an insurance agent City of High Point employees housewives and students. The club is soliciting memberships from people of All getting in Isnit As easy As buying a suit and flashing a big smile. It takes Talent and character. The membership is open to people regardless of race or religion but they must display Good moral character show a sincere interest in clowning willing to Trade Long hours for a lot of fun and preferably should be an Active member of the Church or synagogue of his Choice. Interested persons May get application Blanks from the president or vice president. When completed they will be processed by the membership committee. Students in the club Are required to maintain an above average Scholastic level. Periodic checks Are made during the year to assure that the Scholastic requirements Are being met. When he becomes a member the Clown will be asked to furnish his own suit and even his own transportation to Many of the events. Why go to this much trouble when there a no Money involved its Bard to explain. Picture if you can a Kin size Chicken sitting of a desk discussing the real meaning of easter or a group of Little old ladies wearing funny hats being led by a Clown in a choral recitation of a Mary had a Little imagine for a moment that you Are hurrying Down the sidewalk troubled by the Many things you still have to do when suddenly there appears before you a mangy haired Clown in an Over sized coat with a smile from ear to ear. With an eager rated Bow he presents you a balloon. That just has to change your Day. Even More fun than being a Spectator is being a participant according to conversation with Clown club members. Otherwise Why would a Man spend 15 years As a part time Clown and say its More fun every Day ask Ansel Beck. He decided one july fourth to dress As a Clown and attend the Celebration at the City Lake. The reception he had was sufficient to Hook him on clowning for life. He began appearing in Christmas parades and at various events in the area even enlisting the Aid of his Young son who has been his clowning companion for seven years. The vice president Bob Stephenson was bitten by the clowning Bug five years ago in his native Portsmouth a. He applied to be a Clown with the shrines but was put on a lengthy waiting list. Now he his wife Margaret and their four Small children Chip Holly Dawn and Christian Are clowns. Bob and his three oldest youngsters made their debut in the Christmas Parade on thanksgiving Day. Also with them was Jake Harris who borrowed Margaret a costume. A that was a memorable experience a says Bob. A it was fantasy a watching the reactions of the crowd especially the Little ones. Jake was having a Ball he was patting the Heads of the youngsters and shaking their hands. When Holly got tired. Jake just swept her up and Beld her in one Arm while he Shook hands with the other. A after the Parade we went to Jakes store to change clothes. I asked him How he liked being a Clown. He turned to me with tears streaming Down his face and said a i Haven to had that much fun in 40 a Bob has jumped into the clowning Circle with both feet Reading histories on the circus and clowning and using this knowledge to present programs with his family for youth groups such As cub scouts and brownies. On Friday they will be guests at k amp k Nursery in Archdale. A we always enjoy pleasing the youngsters but a real Surprise to me has been the Way the oldsters receive us a he said. A during the wheelchair Ball game earlier this month we circulated through the crowd giving balloons to All the youngsters. It was nearing the end of the game and i noticed we had several balloons left. I walked Over to a group of older women and gave Ach one a balloon. They laughed just like children. A this is our Reward. To watch the reaction of others to generate a smile or laugh that a the most Gratifying experience one can when asked if having his family with him is a hindrance at times Bob replied a on the contrary. They Are quite Good As clowns each one of them. Also although the children Are the magic of youth. Is contagious according to club members. The charming smile of this Little girl would melt the heart of any Clown. Jake Harris the clubs senior member Calls clowning a the Fountain of too Young to realize it now i feel that by doing this Type thing together the experience is invaluable in cementing the family Secretary Pam Maynard received her first clowning experience in Houston Texas where she worked for a Community Center. When she accepted a position Here As a Leader in the City a recreation department she brought her Clown suits and a Chicken outfit with her. She read in the action line an item concerning the organizing of a Clown club and she knew this was the Opportunity she had wanted. The treasurer Jake Harris Calls the club a Miracle cure. A any person past 65 who wants to reach Down and embrace youth can do just that in a Clown suit a he says. A they can hold the youngster s hand watch him smile and might even steal a Little hug. This is the secret of staying Young. A a they la find ifs the happiest part of their lives. If la cure any mental or physical problem you classing himself As a a Showoff most of my life a Jake went with Ansel and Bob to Greensboro to talk with the clowns of Ringling Brothers circus. A you know those clowns taught us a very valuable lesson. They told us that silence is Golden. By remaining quiet they said a Clown lets others participate and kids love a silent Clown. A and they re right. Even those who done to have magnetic voices can attract the smiles and laughter of youngsters by simple actions such As rolling their eyes smiling or extending a hand. A you know people Are Jake continued. 4 they always want to be someone else and clowning is no different. Everywhere you look people Are frying to be anyone beside themselves. A look at the youngsters today. They have Long hair and beards Why someone from biblical times or from the Shakespeare Era could come Here now and no one would even recognize him. Head look just like everybody the Challenge of clowning was explained by Stephenson in a quote which he found in the newspaper. A the other Day i read an obituary of a 75-year-old Man who had been a Clown for 50 years. He was asked Early this year to comment on his lifetime of clowning he replied a if you find yourself Able to make people laugh its god s gift do it from the Bottom of your heart. A Story by Judy royals staff photos by Mark Austi invites others to join new world Clown club discovers a whole Littlest Clown. Christian Stephenson youngest member of the High Point Clown club watches Dwight Teer apply make up prior to his presentation. Christian will observe his second birthday in August Mission accomplished. Even a Little Clown feels a sense of Pride on being chosen to sit with a Fine looking Clown like or. Teer in his red White and blues. The local club solicits memberships from adults and youngsters staying both age groups provide excellent ideas for entertaining. Debut at last. The ultimate in clowning comes when the show begins. Making his debut Christian and his mom Margaret Stephenson stroll before the fans during a pause in activities at the Shriner so wheelchair Ball game

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