|The Juggling Jacksons
This was in the late 1960s. I was still in high school at the time and working in my family's juggling act whenever we had bookings. Since we had moved to East Tennessee and there weren't enough booking agents to keep us working regularly in the area, my father had started his own agency and began booking numerous dates at corporate banquets and parties. One such occasion was a company function in Zebulon.
We had an entire self contained show in which my father would do some stand-up comedy and solo juggling after which my sister would do a magic dance act. For the grand finale we would perform our seven person juggling act which included an extended comedy segment at the end. Our show was a crowd-pleaser that audiences seemed to enjoy a great deal.
Something else that I should mention here is that my father was a very devout Christian. He often studied the Bible and could cite Biblical facts and verses with ease. I think that perhaps somewhere in his aspirations was a desire to be an evangelist or to at least write books based on his study of the Bible.
My father also loved show business and especially juggling and comedy. On stage his exuberance poured out to the delight of the audience. Even I thought he was funny and I never tired of watching his comedy juggling act or listening to the same jokes. But in Zebulon he did something unexpected that I had never seen him do in a show before.
At the beginning of his act on that night he began to make a biblical reference to Zebulon and began talking about the Bible and Jesus. I cringed and wanted to go where no one could see me. I wished I wasn't there. Now I don't recall exactly what he said, I only know he said something that wasn't a usual part of the act.
As it turned out, nobody seemed upset and at the end of the show the audience seemed very satisfied. In retrospect I wish I had listened closely to whatever it was he had said. And now I smile thinking about this. I feel proud that my father was willing to get up there and speak his convictions without shame or any care about what anyone thought.
My father was like that. When I was younger I was often afraid of what people would think. My father seemed fearless. And he filled our lives with fun. In Zebulon he made another memory among the many memories of people I have known, things I have done, and places I have been.