Emmett Kelly showing off

As a teen Emmett Kelly was known to be the neighborhood acrobat.  He would climb telephone poles and trees and proved himself quite fearless...all the while scaring the crap out of his mom.  Something I learned from this book was that Emmett Kelly had his start in the circus as an aerial artist - meaning he was on the trapeze. That seems so far from being a clown that it really surprised me.  He was good at it too!  Of course I suppose the fact that he lived to be a clown speaks to that.  I mean, if you're not good at the trapeze...well...splat.

This is an example of an illustration where it didn't turn out as good as I imagined it would in my wee brain, or even as good as the composition sketch hinted at.  I'm fine with it, but not my favorite.

This illustration is for the Notable Missourian book on Emmett Kelly written by Donald McManus and published by Truman State University Press