Senior Comp Students Step into Circus History

Students in Tucker Winter's Senior Composition class met this week with LaVahn Hoh, UVA Professor of Emeritus, Circus History.  LaVahn talked with the students about the History of the Circus with an emphasis on Depression Era circus trains in the 1930s as part of their introduction to the novel, Water for Elephants, by Sarah Gruen. He and his wife, M.F. Hoh, regaled the students for a full hour with his stories from his many years of teaching at the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey clown college. He talked about the time he was able to ride an elephant in the Spec parade, and about his good friend who was the human cannonball. He addressed his views on Cirque du Soleil and talked a bit about animal rights and the circus. LaVahn shared tons of old photographs during this wonderful class. He also gave everyone in the class an old circus program to keep, which the kids really loved.