When the Barnum and Bailey Circus came to town, their railcars were shunted onto a siding below the embankment parallel to Wellington Avenue, behind the old foundry. As young kids, we would go there to watch animals and equipment being unloaded and dreamed of someday maybe joining the circus. When I was fourteen, I went there early one morning and stood in a line of other kids hoping to be hired as day laborers. I was put on the watering gang and repeatedly carried a full bucket in each hand to the elephants and other exotic animals—not jungle cats which were kept in the cage cars and attended to by their handlers. I also got the opportunity to pick up a lot of shit with a manure fork, dump it into a wheelbarrow and take it to the bushes at the bottom of the embankment and deposit it there in piles that remained long after the circus left town.
The most exciting day was when I went again early in the morning after torrential rain the night before, and there was a huge puddle that looked about 2 feet deep. Just enough depth to cover the knees of the three naked women who were bathing there.