'John Wesley Gann took his daughter, Emma Elizabeth to see the circus. It was such an unforgetable day that for her entire lifetime she kept as a momento, the circus glass. Story told by her grandaughter, Emma Sommermeyer-Kelly.'
The circus glass, I can see it now, the way she held it in her hand, a cherished object from her childhood held the memory of the day the circus came to Angelina County, Texas in 1905.
She would say, "My father took me to the circus when I was a little girl. It was a wonderful day. There were elephants, and lions, and so much more. I will never forget going to the circus."
As she talked She would look at the circus glass. It was only an inch and a half tall, about as big around as a quarter, and was the color and bumpy shape of an icecube. And inside that tiny glass was an entire circus. It made her smile as she looked into it. One of the best treasures the circus glass held was that on that day her father choose her alone to take to the circus. That made her feel very special. The circus glass also held the sights of the colorful circus tent; the smells of the concessions; the magic of the circus performers; and the surprise of all of the exotic animals.
"For days afterwards, all I could think of was the circus," she said. "There was a clean new empty packing box on the porch, and for me, it was an invitation. It made a perfect drawing board, and I became totally absorbed in drawing elephants, and lions, and bears, and monkies, and all of the animals that I remembered from the circus. It was quite a big job, I guess, because I fell sound asleep inside the packing box. After a while, my mother noticed that she had not seen me playing, so began to look for me. Unable to locate me, she panicked. She aroused the whole family to begin a search for me. Before too long, my brother Johnny found me, sound asleep in the big packing box. Johnny was laughing, but my parents were upset. I wanted to show them my drawings of the circus, but I was ordered into the house. My memory of the circus was strong; so strong that I had to draw it. I had never drawn anything before, but I was able to make the animals look real. This was the beginning of a my love of drawing, and painting, and other art forms that would last throughout my lifetime," as did the keepsake circus glass.
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