Stilts, Statues, Mimes, and Buskers

Jul 30, 2018 | 0 comments


Living Statue, Paris

I am an unabashed fan of street entertainers.  It doesn’t matter if they are living statues in Paris, musicians in Seattle, or mimes at Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco.  Wherever I am that they are, they get my undivided attention and some of my hard-earned money.  I am full of admiration – for their talents, their hutzpah, and their plain old hard work.

On A Cobbled Street in Centralia

On Saturday, as we were headed for lunch at the Olympic Club in Centralia, we passed by a most unusual couple.  She was on stilts – the kind that orchardists use to pick apples — and he was walking beside her with his arm extended upward, assisting her balance along on her precarious footing.

It never occurred to us that they were street entertainers on their way to get ready for a day’s work.  Not until we saw them later in full regalia – she in a lovely black and white frock and he in the whiteface makeup of a mime and carrying his juggling pins.  “May we take your picture,” we asked.  She said, “Yes, of course.”  He simply smiled and nodded.  They were not only eye-catching but absolutely exuded friendly enjoyment.

Transformation: Stilt Woman and Mime Man

We were on our way back to our car; they were headed for the antiques street fair that we had just left.  It wasn’t until we were part way home that I realized I hadn’t offered them any money for which I am very sorry, indeed.  I guess I was dumbstruck by the idea of such an unusual sight in Centralia.

Buskers in Seattle

I don’t think I should have been.  Street entertainment has been around for hundreds and hundreds of years – especially stilt walking.  In the city of Namur, Belgium, two teams of locals dressed in red suits with white trim vie each year for the Golden Stilt, the highest honor (perhaps the only honor) in the sport of stilt jousting.  The contest has been held annually in that city for more than six hundred years!  Wow!  I had no idea!


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