Circus tradition continues for area second graders

Six second-grade classes of Tyrone Elementary students and chaperons were guests of the Tyrone Shrine Club at the Jaffa Shrine Circus in Altoona last Wednesday.
Local Shriner Robert Keatley remembers the annual trips to the Circus dating back to the 1930s when he was in the elementary grades. Back then, students walked to the Tyrone Rail Station where they boarded the train for the trip to Altoona.
\”When we arrived there, we walked down over the hill to the Jaffa Mosque, and then returned home the same way,\” he said.
Students continued to ride the train to the circus for quite a number of years before bus transportation was used.
After a trip to the circus at the Jaffa Mosque last week, second graders at Tyrone Elementary School learned of the Walter L. Main Circus train wreck near here some 113 years ago.
Presenters were Susie O\’Brien and her grandson Adam Zook, also a second grader. Adam is proud to be a descendant of this historical event that occurred on his great-great-great-grandfather\’s family farm in Vail in 1893. Mrs. O\’Brien, who has been presenting the program for the past several years, had in her display animal bones and a variety of other items found after the wreck.
Second graders also drew freehand a likeness of the famous clown \”Grandma\” from the local Adam Forepaugh/Barry Lubin Tent 2 of State College and Altoona areas.
A winner from each of the six second grade classes was recipient of a circus T-shirt from the organization. The contest is sponsored each year, continuing the education of local history, by the Tyrone Area Historical Society and the Circus Fans of America Tent 2.