How the clowns said goodbye to Ringling Brothers circus.

May 21, 2017, was the final curtain call for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Dogged by animal rights issues and facing declining ticket sales, the 146-year-old circus gave its last performance.

Photographer Julie Jacobson was able to go behind the curtains at the circus' final few shows, capturing what the last few weeks as a clown or performer looks like. Looking through the photos — as the one thing binding them together comes to an end — feels like stealing a glimpse into a high school yearbook on the very last day of school.


The circus' clowns enjoyed their final few group breakfasts together.

Beth Walters and Stephen Craig chat over Clown Alley's final breakfast. Photo by Julie Jacobson/AP.

They called themselves "Clown Alley," both the name of their private backstage area and their ad hoc family.

Clown Alley takes a break between acts. Photo by Julie Jacobson/AP.

Brian Wright got people to sign his "clown bible."

"Dream big!" someone wrote. Photo by Julie Jacobson/AP.

Over the last four years, he's gathered jokes, memories, and thoughts into the book.

Nick Lambert wanted to leave a little something behind.

The cabinet in Lambert's room, complete with graffiti. Photo by Julie Jacobson/AP.

Inside one of the cabinet doors, past clowns have been surreptitiously adding their names and years, like the graffiti on a high school desk. Lambert planned to add his name to the list.

Concessions manager Jeannie Hamilton waved goodbye to people from the train.

Hamilton helps a customer in Providence, Rhode Island. Her room on the train may not have been much bigger than her concession stand. Photo by Julie Jacobson/AP.

The circus' train was long and slow, which meant plenty of opportunities.

A man waves as the circus' train chugs along. Circus trains move pretty slow. He may have been there a while. Photo by Julie Jacobson/AP.

High-wire performer Anna Lebedeva trained hard to make that last performance after giving birth to her son.

High-wire performer Anna Lebedeva stands next to her son's stroller. Photo by Julie Jacobson/AP.

For tiger trainer Taba Maluenda, the last performance was also a chance to say goodbye to the animals he'd worked with for years.

Maluenda performs with a tiger during a show in Providence. Photo from AP Photo/Julie Jacobson.

The big cats that made up Maluenda's show are destined for a center that specializes in tigers.

Life is full of these bittersweet endings, even in the circus.

Boss clown Sandor Eke carries his 2-year-old son, Michael, on his shoulders as they walk toward what will be one of Ringling Bros.' last performances. Photo by Julie Jacobson/AP.

Everyone can relate to a moment when you know a chapter in your life is coming to an end. For many of the performers, this may mark the end of their circus career.

That said, that doesn't mean people should despair about the art form. As American studies professor Janet M. Davis of the University of Texas points out, Ringling Bros., with its gigantic scope and railroad caravan, represents only one specific type of circus.

"Many small one-ring shows are thriving," says Davis. "And the rise of youth circuses across the country marks a field of vitality and growth."

So while Ringling Bros. might be gone, hopefully it won't be too long before the circus comes to town again.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

Vanna White appeared on "The Price Is Right" in 1980.

Vanna White has been a household name in the United States for decades, which is kind of hilarious when you consider how she gained her fame and fortune. Since 1982, the former model and actress has made millions walking back and forth turning letters (and later simply touching them—yay technology) on the game show "Wheel of Fortune."

That's it. Walking back and forth in a pretty evening gown, flipping letters and clapping for contestants. More on that job in a minute…

As a member of Gen X, television game shows like "Wheel of Fortune" and "The Price is Right" send me straight back to my childhood. Watching this clip from 1980 of Vanna White competing on "The Price is Right" two years before she started turning letters on "Wheel of Fortune" is like stepping into a time machine. Bob Barker's voice, the theme music, the sound effects—I swear I'm home from school sick, lying on the ugly flowered couch with my mom checking my forehead and bringing me Tang.

This video has it all: the early '80s hairstyles, a fresh-faced Vanna White and Bob Barker's casual sexism that would never in a million years fly today.

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