When I was a kid I LOVED clowns. The Wonder Book of Clowns was one of my favorite children’s books, and I always loved going to the circus to see the clowns put on a show. There was a clown named Flippo who had an afternoon television show in Columbus, Ohio, where I grew up. He would tell jokes, do magic tricks and generally clown around, and then he’d present old movies or comedy programs like Abbot and Costello, the Three Stooges and silly things like that. Once, when I was eight or nine years old, I got a real thrill when I heard that Flippo would be making a special appearance at our local church! On the special night I got dressed up to meet my favorite clown, and my dad shot this picture with me, Flippo, and my brother David. What a treat! Today, many people find clowns to be scary, but what can I say–when I was a kid I loved monsters and pirates, too.