Okay then, I make a story for you now.
Yah, I speak her like a "chimp," but after a few
days at the European Juggler's Convention even a Boston boy
begins to talk like this!
what was it like? Crowded, very, very crowded. More than 1
,800 "chuckelers" from 'bout 19 countries showed
up at the Dousberg Sports Center outside of Maastricht for
the 12th annual European convention. There at the door to
greet them are happy organizers, amazed as people just keep
pouring in. All smiles for chief guy Lee Hayes and his
helpers Bouke van Tongeren, David Marchant, Rien Hilhorst,
Herman Peeren, Pieter Post and Vera Dalm.
Just sign your name and address here and give a few
guilders. We give you a slick program and a funny little
badge-puzzle that you can drive yourself crazy with. We'll
see how coordinated you jugglers really are!
Who sleeps at a juggling convention?! OK, at night you can
pitch a tent a little ways up the hill. Maastricht is known
as "the balcony of Europe" because it's squeezed
into a tiny peninsula between Belgium and Germany. The
campers woke up to a good view of both countries from their
the day, most communed inside two connected gymnasium
buildings. With so many people there, the inside of the
juggling hall smelled like... like the inside of a juggling
hall! (Do I have a gift for simile, or what?)
want to talk crowded? So many people were smoking in the bar
at the gym that it was like trying to walk through the
Phillip Morris incinerator! It was a nice place for smoking
(until the "no smoking inside" signs went up) and
for watching videos (running constantly, thanks to
Karl-Heinz Ziethen and others) and for drinking a beer with
your friends before you juggled some more.
registration fee was cheap, but there were many more ways to
get rid of your spare guilders, or pounds, or francs, or
deutschmarks or even dollars! The vendors took any money,
and even credit cards! You want to know how much juggling
has grown in Europe? Just look at how many vendors were at
Maastricht. You had to be a mighty skinny person to squeeze
through the crowds at their tables! Still got some change?
Sign up for a subscription to Kaskade magazine (Our fifth
anniversary! Yea!) or Oz Juggle, the new Australian juggling
can't expect organization at juggling conventions, but fun
is mandatory. Some people get some workshops together and
hold them if anyone shows up. Renegades give new meaning to
Club Renegade by floating a stage in the world's largest
outdoor swimming pool and the crowd counts how many
performers end up wet! Many, many! One night we go to town
for the big fire show in a small church square and get the
official welcome from local politicians. Long-winded ones
get heckled. No respect. Don't deserve it! They leave, drums
beat, jugglers do fire and we have more fun.
day we all go to town for the big parade. Traffic stops,
ordinary people look at us like we're not ordinary, and we
all end up about an hour later in the big Vrijthof square
playing games. Lee Hayes keeps on the loudspeaker telling
everyone to move back so games people can have room, but the
gravity pulling them together is too great. Nobody's too
strict about boundaries or rules anyway! Yum, Chocolate
clubs for winners! Whee, Biggest Toss Up in the World! Long
train of unicyclists weaving through, fire spitters,
impromptu shows springing up everywhere. Then people go
across the street to Het Generaalshuis for some real culture
-- big impressive exhibition of Ziethen's posters and
memorabilia. Whew! Those guys back then, they really knew
how to juggle!