Montana Man's Not too Old to Clown Around


Montana is probably best known for its cowboys and cattle, an image that dates back to the late 1800s when Texas longhorns were herded north across the Great Plains.

Floyd Creekmore, 95, the face behind 'Creeky the Clown,' with his many clowning awards and recognitions.

Montana was not generally known for having anything to do with circuses until February, when Floyd “Creeky” Creekmore was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s oldest performing clown.

The Montana native, 95, has spent much of his working life on ranches - a common occupation in the state. But Creekmore’s real love, since childhood, has been making people laugh.

“I was always that way, I guess, the teachers always told me I was anyway," he says. "Barnum and Bailey Circus come through Great Falls and most of the kids would go up to the circus grounds and they could get little jobs and they’d work for a ticket to get into the circus.”

But, as a 12 year old, Creekmore had bigger ambitions.

“I went and found the clowns and I got a lot of pointers from the clowns," he remembers. "And they found out that I was…had an inclination to be a clown…so, they…they really worked with me. That’s how I got really started with getting in there.”

Floyd “Creeky” Creekmore, 95, is recognized as the world’s oldest performing clown by the Guinness Book of World Records.

Creekmore worked on his clowning skills through his teens and into his adult years, but he also moved on with his life - raising a family, running his own ranch and eventually becoming a carpenter. Through it all, the desire to be a clown never left him.

“It was always in my mind," he says. "I would’ve run away with the circus, I think, if I’d had a chance.”

That chance came when Floyd retired in 1981 and joined the Shriner’s International group - a fraternity best known for its work helping children with medical needs. The group's touring circus raises money for that purpose. Membership gave Creekmore, now “Creeky the Clown,” the opportunity to tour the Pacific Northwest and Canada with the Shrine Circus.

Creeky is not Montana’s only claim to circus fame. The Ringling Brothers - founders of one of the country’s longest-running circuses, the self-styled “Greatest Show on Earth” - almost set up camp in the state.

In fact, the very small community of Ringling, Montana, population 12, was named for one of the brothers.

Montana Man's Not too Old to Clown Around

Source: Voice of America