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Oh, SmAlbany!

Daily posts and occasional longer essays about politics, culture, and life in the Capital Region...updated M-F, midmorning


"I write this not as a booster of Albany, which I am, nor an apologist for the city, which I sometimes am, but rather as a person whose imagination has become fused with a single place, and in that place finds all the elements that a man ever needs..." -W. Kennedy, from O Albany!

Cranberry the clown

Clownin' around: Anyone who, like me, went to grade school in the greater SmAlbany area in last 25 years surely remembers Cranberry the Clown, who was featured in a Times Union cover story yesterday. I must have seen her act at least once a year when I was a kid, usually on stage in the elementary school cafeteria, but occaisonally at a birthday party or a little league parade day.

Of course, I never had any inkling of the difficulties that forced Cranberry - who's real name is Jan Potter - to start her career as a clown:
Potter's two sons cried with her on the couch the day they helped her move into an apartment. It was the late 1970s, and she had divorced. Her boys were living with their father, and she was living alone for the first time. Her neat suburban home with its own little pottery studio was gone. Now, she had a tiny, low-rent apartment in downtown Albany, where she sat and wondered what to do next. It was a dismal place. She was at a dismal point. She was determined to make it full time [as a clown], but livings weren't made on weekend birthday parties. She spent her days calling fire departments and fraternal clubs, trying to get work at their holiday events. And she stayed in that apartment for 11 years to make this clown dream work and to one day buy a "clowndominium," a nice house in the suburbs earned by sculpting balloons and drawing little ones to the front row of her magic shows.
That's impressive. Good for you, Cranberry.

P.S. I was definitely a Cranberry supporter in my younger days, but in the realm of school assmeblies I was always partial to magician Jim Snack, who is apparently now - and I'm not making this up - a motivational speaker who does magic as part of his talk.

P.P.S. This TU article is a classic example of how their Life/Leisure/Special Interest section sometimes tends toward bad writing by way of trying too hard. The article is simultaneously excesively long and short on factual information. It's also written in a strange style - i can only describe it as "detached" or "dream-like" - that seems to demand a new paragraph almost every sentence. It also fails in its attempt to weave flashbacks into the prose. It's like the story itself was not deemed good enough, so the writer was told to get creative with the structure of the article. Wierd. Effort: B+, achievement: C-.

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At 7:39 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said:

Nothing scarier than a clow. I'm just sayin'!    



At 7:39 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said:

Um, actually, I meant to write "clown." :-(    



At 1:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said:

Oh, for god's sake! Would you find something to write about besides the f***ing Times Union?    



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