Growing up in the Circus: Sarasota native tells all

Join Sarasota native, Sarah Wheeler Chapman, on April 15 at the Brown Bag Book Luncheon at the Historical Society of Sarasota County.

Chapman is the author of two books. Simply Sarah, her cookbook, is a light-hearted story done in a circus format with anecdotes of her circus family and their travels. It blends photos and 180 yummy recipes.

balancing act sarah wheeler chapmanChapman’s memoir, Balancing Act Memoir of a Florida Youth,  describes her five-acre home on Worrington Street and the Trail, her marriage to Danny Chapman, and her notable family: sister a beauty queen; aging dad who operated the Off Shore Bar on Bay Road; drop-dead gorgeous brother; strange mom; and herself, the quiet one busy with church, 4-H, and getting molested on Turtle Beach, at a time (1960), when kids were good.

Sarah kept secrets well…until she published her memoir in 2014. Determination and a keen sense of balance piloted her through her teens, the circus, parenting, and furthering her education. She shares insights from Ringling Circus, Clown College, and the perils of aerial work. The circus provides a backdrop to the deep topic of the memoir—abuse.

Don’t miss this chance to meet Sarah Wheeler Chapman at the last Brown Bag Book Lunch this season on April 15. No reservations needed. See you at 11:30 in the Crocker Memorial Church, and remember to pack a lunch! Beverages provided by the Historical Society. BBBLs are free to members and $5 for guests. Both of Chapman’s books will be available for purchase and autographing at the luncheon.

5 thoughts on “Growing up in the Circus: Sarasota native tells all

  1. hello im looking for any and all pics from1959-1961 sailor circus trapeze act my father was in it and would live to find out more on his past please help if you have anything i will give you my number to call.


    • Hi John, I suggest you contact the Sarasota County Department of Historical Resources for help in exploring the archives there.

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