Title: Phineas T. Barnum just before the Honk
created on 29 Apr 12

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Comments on this picture (28):
1. chelydra wrote:
 The Greatest Show on Earth almost didn't happen. Bankrupt and hounded by creditors, PT Barnum fell into a deep depression, and to make matters worse, his wife Charity had a nervous breakdown and believed she was dying.
2. chelydra wrote:
 In the summer of 1855, they sought refuge at a farmhouse near the ocean, In his autobiography, he tells the story of how his goofy, eccentric landlord restored his sense of humor and his wife's health. A key turning point was the Honk.
3. chelydra wrote:
 The icing on the cake was a washed-up whale the landlord brought to his attention. PTB had it hauled down to the Long Island Railroad depot, and sent to New York, where it was put on public display. It was so popular the admission fees paid for his four m
4. chelydra wrote:
 ...months of rest and recuperation at the seaside. This proved to be start of a huge turn in Barnum's luck, and his finances as well as his enthusiasm and ambition rocketed upward from that point on.
5. chelydra wrote:
 Corrections: It was more likely the summer of 1856 he spent at the farmhouse, and it took a few more years to sort out the bankruptcy and recover his reputation—but with his fighting spirit and optimism recovered, he was back on track. In the 1860s he w
6. chelydra wrote:
 was able to lend (pr give?) his old landlord's son $10,000 to build a big hotel, which helped bring summer people to the region now known as The Hamptons (a mixed blessing).
7. chelydra wrote:
 You can find out about the Honk in Barnum's own words via Google Books. Do a search for — Barnum Struggles and Triumphs Westhampton — and you'll find yourself on page 412, introducing the tale of the Natural Honk.
8. chelydra wrote:
 That was where I found out how deep-rooted by my family's peculiarities are. Barnum's description of his landlord's oddities sounded quite a lot like all his descendants I've known, even my grandsons six generations later.
9. chelydra wrote:
 Wikipedia has tons more information about Barnum and the origins of the biggest, most successful circus in history, which is still going today.
10. chelydra wrote:
 Clarifications: It was the fresh air, ocean, and peace & quiet, more than my great-great-grandfather, that benefitted Mr & Mrs Barnum. Any my only connection with the hotel Barnum financed was a monstrous century-old asparagus plant still in the ground wh
11. chelydra wrote:
 ...when the hotel's vegetable garden became my grandmother's back yard. Each year it grew up through a some bushes to a height of 12-14 feet. One stalk once fed about twenty guests at a barbeque.
12. Meander wrote:
 This is amazing!
13. Normal wrote:
 Fascinating history!
14. AFSOUTH wrote:
 I voted earlier but wanted to allow time for completion of Barnum story! Excellant work as always!
15. chelydra wrote:
 Thanks! Barnum was a really entertaining author by the way. Wikip says his autobiography was second only to the Bible as a best-seller for many years. "Struggles and Triumphs" is a follow-up memoir. Worth a glance even if you don't think you'd be interest
16. chelydra wrote:
 ...ed.
17. bluemoon wrote:
 wonderful picture and great story..no favs left either
18. scladybug wrote:
 Wonderful pic & incredible story!
19. 56rosie wrote:
 Interesting tale of Barnum and of your own personal connection! how wonderful! the pic is AMAZING! you got MY vote!!
20. 56rosie wrote:
 And...the likeness is incredible..terrific work on his portrait!
21. clorophilla wrote:
 interesting story end terrific portrait!
22. chelydra wrote:
 More thanks! Googling up the Natural Honk story (see note 7 above) takes about ten seconds, by the way. Check it out.
23. Chrissyjoy wrote:
 He sounds a great character! And met Queen Victoria who apparently said she "was amused" by him! What a fantastically interesting history you have! You've certainly shown his character in your picture!
24. kmkagle wrote:
 Terrific picture! Lovely job as always.
25. danila wrote:
 fascinating and interesting..
26. five wrote:
 cool
27. lesley_gene wrote:
 I may be repeating myself, but not only do I enjoy your talent, but also your history lessons!
28. hjjr wrote:
 the magic asparagus patch... and another inspired portrait from our master chelydra



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