Leaving you wanting more

By: 
Shane Sellers

Wyoming PBS aired a new feature on the American Experience series Monday night.  

If you don’t know, American Experience is an award-winning series that artfully tells the story of characters and events that shaped America’s history. The show has been on TV almost 30 years. The episodes are fascinating, history as entertainment. Monday night was Part 1 of The Circus.  

We find it ironic that The Circus finds it’s way to the PBS stage the same week we pulled the plug on the final chapter of our Newcastle Legacy Series.  

We launched the Legacy Series to commemorate significant events in Weston County history. In retrospect, the Series sort of mirrored the premise behind American Experience – history as entertainment.  

It was a circus-like atmosphere that met our Lynching of Diamond Slim. Our hometown Independence Day parade was a-buzz with Big Top frenzy. Just like Circus Day, the crowd surged the ring — in our case the stage — to soak-in Patrick Henry and Teddy Roosevelt performances, and we promised one more Legacy Series re-enactment before folding our tent on the season.  

The Battle of Lightning Creek tells the story of Sheriff Billy Miller; he, who infamously let Diamond Slim fall into the hands of a lunch mob, then himself fell in a gunfight with poachers.  

We advertised Lightning Creek as ‘shoot-em-up’ for October 7.  A scheduling conflict invoked a delay to Oct 27.  The pause proved to be the lead domino in a chain of coalescing circumstances that ultimately chased Lightning Creek off the calendar. This year’s Newcastle Legacy Series goes to winter quarters as a two-ring circus.  

So here we stand, glancing backward while looking ahead. The Legacy Series returns next year, probably with Diamond Slim and President Roosevelt, and maybe a couple of other Newcastle notables. There’s also an Upton episode we’d like to produce.  

And we’ll be back why?  

For the enthusiasm and the applause, of course. But mostly for what the Legacy Series does for our collective community spirit.  This summer we found out we like circus crowds, the smell of the grease paint and the roar of the crowd. We like seeing proud, happy faces, too.  

And that brings us back to The Circus. P.T. Barnum is the acknowledged master of American showmanship and promotion. Some recognize Barnum as the father of the traveling circus, the entertainment medium that captured the heart and imagination of our country in the late 1800’s.  

We’re no Phineas Taylor Barnum, and we don’t run a circus. We do, however, provide history as entertainment, and for amateur producers such as we are, there is much for us to consider in a simple adage to which Barnum heartily subscribed.   

“Always leave them wanting more,” P.T. Barnum said.  

We’re inclined to follow that sage advice.  

We had our run this summer.  In attendance and enthusiasm, our audiences exceeded our expectations. Why should we exhaust our repertoire? Satisfied, you might not return for Season Two of the Newcastle Legacy Series.  

Nay, let us all renew our vigor for the re-telling of the stories that kept Weston County wild just a little bit longer. Let us find newer, more exciting ways to inspire pride in this corner of Wyoming we call home. Let us learn and plan, plot and scheme, gather and grow.  

Yep, that’s the ticket.  Leave the audience wanting more.  

It only gets better that way.

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