Click here to read Marie D. Jones' take on With It.
This groundbreaking work based on the author's time living the carnival life is stupendous. Step right up to the podium and have a good read, folks, the one the only thrilling tale of “carny” life. Make your acquaintance with a world filled with people and a language that until now has been carefully reserved for those “in the know.”
Barbara Bamberger Scott reels out chapter after chapter with enticing titles - “Chapter 1: In Which We Shake Hands with the Crawfish Kid, Sell Tacos from a Mailbox, Learn Al Al’s Balloon Gaff and Vow to Get With It” and “Chapter 5: Blanks, Wherein We Ponder the Question, “If You Do Free Engraving, Would You Help Me Bury My Pappy?” If the title doesn’t get you hooked, read further and live for a time inside the carnival world where, with breath held, you too will be waiting to hit the “Big Spot” and wondering if the “joint” next to yours will be the next to “screw”. Luckily for all of us who have never had a “gaff”, the author informs the reader what each carnival slang word means. The words and their descriptions are almost as fascinating as the stories collected in this book.
With husband, wife and their young child all working and living together in a tiny trailer for a summer running a few game booths and engraving jewelry, life couldn’t get much more lively. Not a day or night goes by without a new initiation into the carny world. Withstanding intense heat, freezing rain, long and curvy mountain roads with trailers and buses that are passable as automobiles at their best moments, food from the cookhouse, free to all the people who work the show, that seems to consist mainly of overcooked fast food and thick coffee, their unique coworkers and the nightly brawls interspersed with their daily desperation for making just another dime or two, this young family truly earns the right to call themselves “carnies”.