Circus stamps
Circus art is loved all over the world. Professional circus performers were famous in Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome and Byzantium. Since time immemorial, circus artists have performed…

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Emigrant everyday life of Oleg Popov: What made the legendary clown leave the country after 60 years
A year ago, the famous circus performer, who was called the "Sunny clown", Oleg Popov, passed away. He died while on tour in Russia, and for many the news of…

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PIP and Flip: a Duo of sisters with "pinheads" from the circus of freaks
The fate of people born with certain physical disabilities in the twentieth century was deplorable: as a rule, they became objects of ridicule, performing in circuses for the amusement of…

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“King of freaks”: how life was for a man who had three legs

“Being different” is a heavy burden that falls on the shoulders of people with physical disabilities. Society often does not accept them, it is almost impossible for them to find a job and (especially) arrange a personal life. Their usual fate is to perform in a circus for the amusement of the crowd. Frank Lentini was born this way, but he managed to find his calling and become a happy family man. This man was born with three legs, but despite the anomaly, he got joy from every day he lived!

The life of Frank Lentini (birth name Francesco) is a vivid example of how you can overcome any illness and find the strength to enjoy life without giving up in the face of piled – up difficulties. During his life, Frank went through a lot: in infancy, he was abandoned by his parents, he was taken into care by an aunt who did not have children of her own, but also could not bear to live with such a special child.

Frank was the 12th child in an ordinary Sicilian family, he was born with three limbs. This anomaly was formed due to the fact that the 13th twin brother did not disconnect from it. “In memory” of him, the boy received not only an extra leg, but also another deformed foot with one finger (in total, Frank had 16 fingers) and another childbearing organ. The child suffered greatly from the inconvenience caused by” foreign ” organs, but gradually learned to live in his own body.

When the aunt dropped her hands and handed the boy over to the Internet for disabled children, a fateful event happened in his life. Frank had lived with blind babies for a long time, as well as those with no arms or legs at all. The main thing that he realized for himself during the time spent in boarding school is that there are people in the world who live much worse than him.

The motivation to live and enjoy every day was so strong that Frank took up physical training. He learned to run and jump rope on his three legs, fill a soccer ball, and behave as if nothing distinguished him from ordinary people.

When Frank was 8 years old, his parents decided to emigrate to America and took all the children with them. On a boat that sailed across the ocean, Frank’s father received an offer to send his son to the circus. The man did not agree, as he considered such an attitude to his own son unacceptable. To be fair, my father tried to make amends with Frank and gave him the opportunity to get a University education. The guy was gifted, learned four foreign languages,was well-developed. Frank Lentini’s personal life also developed, he married a girl who sincerely loved him, and they had four healthy children.

Lentini joined the circus company many years later, this decision was voluntary. To make his performances lively and interesting, he mastered juggling, learned several acrobatic tricks, was able to ride a Bicycle and skate, and mastered playing musical instruments. On circus posters, he was called “the king of freaks”, but his fellow artists called him simply “the king”, because his performances always made a real furore, and he was a very pleasant and intelligent person. Lentini toured until his death.

 

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