The Circus
Comes To Town

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The Poca Post announces a new issue celebrating the days past when the circus would come to town.

From about 1890 through the late 1950s the circus would come to town every summer.  Along the Poca River several of the villages would host the circus, and these events were second only to the Fourth of July in excitement and turnout.  However, it was in late July, 1914 that the circus caused one of the most exciting events along the Poca River.  The circus was featuring a hometown boy: Yaeger Pretzel.  Pretzel had grown up in Poca, West Virginia, and was touring with the circus as the "India Rubber Man" (The Poca Post issued a stamp honoring Mr. Pretzel in 2001.)

As it turned out, this was Pretzel's last season before his retirement.  Of course, everyone came out to see Mr. Pretzel do his act.  Since almost every man, woman, and child were at the performance, it went unnoticed that a very large boa constrictor had escaped from its confines in the circus.  When the circus officials noticed that the snake was missing, it was impossible to find.

During the following month, the snake managed to devour, among other things, Homer Sutler's prize pig.  Since this pig had won many blue ribbons and other honors, it was of great value, and was highly esteemed by the citizenry of the Poca this was a great loss.  Moreover, people began to fear for their pets and even their small children.

The snake was never found or seen after the first frost. It was believed that the cold winter brought an end to the creature.  Nevertheless,  its activity during the month of August, 1914 keep the excitement of the circus alive for the people of  Poca, West Virginia.

The stamp was issued on 20 March, 2002 in a pane of 21 stamps with the domination of 89 Poca Units.


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