Duluth News Tribune, July 2, 1904. Circus wild man was not a job that usually came with a retirement plan, though it’s possible that Mr. Graham was driven to his desperate act by nostalgia for the big top, the camaraderie of the road, the merry sound of the steam calliope, and all that sort of thing.
As the poet said:
Damn everything but the circus!
…damn everything that is grim, dull,
motionless, unrisking, inward turning,
damn everything that won’t get into the
circle, that won’t enjoy, that won’t throw
its heart into the tension, surprise, fear
and delight of the circus, the round
world, the full existence…
— e.e. cummings