Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Cirque du Howard

We here at Columbia Talk central are huge fans of Cirque du Soleil, and never miss a show when the circus is in town. (Kooza is in Baltimore for a three-week run)

So we loved this story in the Sun. Turns out one of the show's jugglers got his start here in Howard. Anthony Gatto learned from father and went on to appear on the Tonight Show and set several Guiness Book records for number of objects and duration.

The elder Gatto was a retired vaudevillian who decided to impress his three stepchildren with a few juggling tricks from his old act as he supervised them at his tobacco shop on U.S. 40.

Under his dad's tutelage in 1976, the 3-year-old often launched brightly colored balls into the air from behind the counter at Pipes and Things in the old Chatham Mall, though he wasn't tall enough to peer over it.

Anthony, who said he broke more than a few Meerschaum pipes while practicing, had unwittingly embarked on his career at an age when many children are struggling with potty training.

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