A Clownish Commuter

New York City subway in 1958. After missing the Rockaway Express as it left Times Square, Jazzbo the clown waited for the next train.
Transportation in New York City is at once universal and mysterious: a familiar, well-worn labyrinth with an encyclopedia’s worth of idiosyncratic tendencies and tidbits. Next week on City Room, we will be opening the digital floor to questions about anything that moves in the five boroughs, from yachts and helicopters to defunct subway trains and long-lost rail routes. [Ask About Transportation in New York City/ NYT]

I’m always delighted to learn that subway commuters haven’t changed very much over the years. What’s more, perhaps many of them were/ are actually real, and not (as I presumed they were) hallucinations.

You may be happy to know that Jazzbo the Clown (see here) was very real; he’s alive and well and living in Long Island. Apparently his train finally did arrive…eventually. Nowadays, the MTA has the monopoly on clowns…more akin to Pennywise the Clown from Stephen King’s It.

Ed Tester (sans clown make-up) and his wife, Margie, on the occasion of their 60th wedding anniversary, October 4th, 2006.
Photo courtesy of Edmund “Jazzbo” Tester

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