Some days I wonder if I’ll ever run out of stories. I guess that’ll happen if I’m ever unable to remember days past!
It was back in about 1978 or so. Robbie and I had been married for a short while and were very active in our church in Pasadena, working with our “College and Career” group. They were lively, and a lot of fun to be around. And they loved being involved in what was going on at our church.
It was early fall, and plans were being made for the big, annual “Fall Festival” that would take place in our church gym in October as an alternative to “Trick or Treat.” Booths would be set up all around the facility, each booth offering an activity for the area children to participate in and get a piece of candy after doing so. It was always a big night for our church and neighborhood.
Our group decided it would be fun for us all to dress up as clowns and entertain the kids who were waiting in line for their turn at the booths. And, for some reason, they decided it would be fun for ME to be a “magic” clown. I’d always had an interest in the art of illusions, but never really did much as far as learning how to do much of it. Now I’d have to. I went and bought a few small tricks that I could perform that night, and practiced ‘til I could do them without flaw… for the most part, anyway.
One of our group members had done some clowning herself and spent some time teaching me to juggle a bit and make balloon animals. I chose “Uh-Oh” as my clown name, knowing it was a fairly recognized phrase among children. Come festival night, I was quite pleased with my new-found ability to pull off a clowning gig. We had a blast.
Shortly after that night, a friend and fellow co-worker asked if I’d consider clowning for their little girl’s birthday party. He even said he’d PAY me to do it! (Now THIS is getting REAL exciting!) I accepted the job.
The day of the party, I spent a while getting all the make-up in place before donning the big, red nose and the blue “fro” wig that added about six inches to my height. I packed my “magic suitcase” (including the juggling balls) and my guitar and headed off to “work.”
When I made my entrance that day and said, in a rather larger voice, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” the kids began to scream, cry and run. It wasn’t what I expected. It wasn’t good.
We finally got the kids settled down and I was able to do my show.
The next day at work, Wayne said to me, “Man, you don’t understand. You’re big anyway, and with that wig you’re like 6’8.” When you walk into a room with that painted face.. hollering’ ‘Happy Birthday'… it’s REALLY scary!”
I adjusted my entrance from that point on.
Life’s an adventure. I’m livin’ it up!!!
Randy McLelland, a.k.a. Randy Mac, is senior pastor of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship Church on FM 202. He has played the role of Grandpa in "The Promise" and, through his “Livin' It Up” ministries, is a motivational speaker and Christian entertainer.