The Complete Guide to Reading Tarot Cards
You're About to Learn Exactly How To Know Who You Can Trust, Remove Negative Thinking... And...Easily See Where Your Life is Heading!
The Complete Guide to Reading Tarot Cards

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Meet the world's strongest clown State fair comes to the

"All you little kids who want a clown nose can some see me after the show," Buffo said, looking out at a sea of laughing young faces. "You just better have your cash up front!"
Buffo's joke in many ways set the tone for the attendees of this event. They may have been at a state fair, but they were still in edgy New Jersey.
The Jersey version of the state fair, which goes on until July 9, is not unlike others around the country. There are hot sausage and lemonade stands, Ferris wheels, pig races, petting zoos, acrobats, lions, tigers, and soon-to-be Fourth of July fireworks. But one of the things that make New Jersey so unique is the quirky people that it attracts. The state fair is no different. Mike Phillips is a Weehawken native who now lives in Rochelle Park. He has been working the classic test-your-strength event where fairgoers can slam a sledgehammer down on fixed point in order to hopefully ring a bell twenty feet up in the air. The results are both predictable and amusing for him.
"Some big muscle guy came up here and got a 32 out of a possible 150 point score," he said. "His friends were really ragging on him. It was pretty humiliating."
A visit to a tarot card reader can either be humiliating or exhilarating, depending upon your level of belief in the supernatural. Sandra Ristick has been reading palms "forever", growing up in a Gypsy family that immigrated to New Jersey from Romania over 30 years ago. "I tell people how long they are going to live and things like that," she said. "People seem to accept what I say. I guess that's what life brings."
Life brought Frieda Tobin and her husband Maurice up the New Jersey Turnpike from Willingboro in south Jersey to the Meadowlands for the fair. "We came to see the fair for the first time this year," she said. Her husband, a state employee, saw the fair advertised on his pay stub. "It mentioned that if you went online to get tickets, you could get some good hotel deals," he said. "So here we are. It's a great deal, and it's a good way to spend quality time with my little girls."
His little girls Matrice, 4, and Tierra, 7, agreed. "We love it!" they said in chorus before they ran on to another ride.
In order to truly take a ride on the wild side at the state fair, a trip to watch the Mohawk-wearing Buffo in action is absolutely mandatory. Buffo knows that he is a clown on the edge.
"That's right I'm the world's strongest clown," he said. "There's not much competition. The rest are just a bunch of sissy clowns. I've been kicked out of all of the clown organizations as a result."
Buffo, whose real name is Tommy Toman, has been before bright lights before. He was a professional baseball player in the organizations of his hometown Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago White Sox, and the Houston Astros. After Toman finished a baseball career that included marrying his high school algebra teacher at home plate, he taught blind and deaf students for seven years, obtaining a masters degree in special education. During that time, Toman performed by chance at a school event and found his true calling. Buffo has now been a clown for 27 years. He performs around 500 shows a year, and has taken his act as far as the White House three times. "They told me there that I was so much better than all those clowns that just make balloons."
In his act, Buffo does whatever it takes to make the crowd happy. He will tear telephone books in half. He will juggle bowling balls. He will lie down on a bed of nails. He will walk with lit matches stuck between the toes of his bare feet. But for Buffo, the best part of the job is when he can take some of life's pain away.
"Sometimes parents come up to me after the show and tell me that they just got their kid out of the hospital," he said. "They say that I took them all to some place where they didn't have to worry about anything. This is a great job."
Buffo acknowledges that the New York/New Jersey area can be a tough crowd. After the last show of the day, a group of teenage fairgoers arrived to question Buffo's true strength. "We'll bust you up," they claimed.


Post a Comment

<< Home