We had a great time last week in Romeo, Michigan. There were large and enthusiastic crowds for the Kelly Miller Circus. We also had numerous friends come out to visit for the day. Michigan has always been a special place for me during our tour. It was in this state that I first entered the arena with tigers in intervals to learn how to present them. The following year, I presented my the act in my first shows for the public.
Big cat enthusiasts Mary Ann and Joe Howell come out every year on or around Mary Ann's birthday. They have been present at the beginning stages of each big step in my tiger career. They have always been very supportive and are enthusiastic audience members, to say the least. Mary Ann sent this nice message and image last year.
"Ryan, I am attaching a picture of the Kelly Miller Circus poster and Shonti's paw print hanging in our tiger guest room, where they fit in beautifully. Thank you so much! Yes, that is Wade's Ringling poster hanging next to them." //Mary Ann Howell
Also visiting in Romeo this year was "family friend" Rick Chrzanowski. I didn't realize Rick had been friends with Natalie since her time on Franzen Bros. Circus in the 1990s. Rick brought out a lot of good grub and hung out on the lot all day. He reminded me it was in Romeo where we first met in 2009. I had soda cans lined up on a ringcurb, practicing with a lunge whip.
Rick had brought some watermelons for the elephants but asked how the tigers would react to them. I have never given the girls any. They were a bit unsure at first but figured out pretty quickly how to "kill" the melons. The tiger compound smelled nice for the rest of the day as well.
Kelly Miller Circus