I spent my first 8 years trailing after Mama, and Mama trailing after any man that smiled at her. She saw to it that I had, not only shoes, but dance lessons.
We finally settled into a typical lifestyle, when Mama married a trapeze artist in the Barnum & Bailey circus. My step-daddy was nice enough, but I got on much better with my 14 aunts, uncles, & cousins. My uncle Dom was the best. When I turned 12 my step daddy started to be a little too nice, and way too close. The day that Uncle Dom dropped him into the center ring in Toledo, Mama and I left to pursue other interests.
By then show-biz was in my blood, and not able to showcase my dancing, (child stars were out of fashion then)I was soon traveling north America as a rodeo clown. My lucky break came on my 16th birthday.....running late for the rodeo, I jumped into my barrel in nothing but my dainties, and wouldn't you know it?! Old Diablo, (the biggest, meanest bull in Texas)charged and broke the barrel right off me.
The crowd went wild! - and I had found my calling. I became a fan dancer on the vaudeville circuit and never looked back.