The Muse brothers had an incredible career. The story of the two black albino brothers from Roanoke, Virginia is unique even in the bizarre world of freaks and sideshow. They were initially exploited and then later hailed for their unintentional role in civil rights.
Born in the 1890’s the pair were scouted by sideshow agents and kidnapped in 1899 by bounty hunters working in the employ of an unknown sideshow promoter. Black albinos, being extremely rare, would have been an extremely lucrative attraction. They were falsely told that their mother was dead, and that they would never be returning home.
The brothers began to tour. To accentuate their already unusual appearance, their handler had the brothers grow out their hair into long white dreadlocks. In 1922 showman Al G. Barnes began showcasing the brothers in his circus as White Ecuadorian cannibals Eko and Iko. When that gimmick failed to attract crowds the brothers were rechristened the ‘Sheep-Headed Men’ and later, in 1923, the ‘Ambassadors from Mars’.
As the ‘Men from Mars’ the two traveled extensively with the Barnes circus. Unfortunately, while they were being fed, housed and trained in playing the mandolin, they were not being paid.In the mid 1920’s the Muse brothers toured with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. In 1927, while visiting their hometown, their mother finally tracked them down. She fought to free her sons, some 20 years after their disappearance. She threatened to sue and the Muse brothers were freed.
The brothers filed a lawsuit for the wages they earned but were never paid. They initially demanded a lump-sum payment of 100,000. However, as time passed the Muse brothers missed the crowds, the attention and the opportunities sideshow provided. Their lawyer got them a smaller lump-sum payment and a substantial contract with a flat monthly wage. The pair returned to show business in 1928.
During their first season back they played Madison Square Garden and drew over 10,000 spectators during each of their performances. They made spectacular money as their new contract allowed them to sell their own merchandise and keep all the profits for themselves. In the 1930’s they toured Europe, Asia and Australia. They performed for royals and dignitaries including the Queen of England. In 1937 they returned to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for several years and finally ended their career in 1961 with the Clyde Beatty Circus.
The brothers returned to their hometown and lived together in a house they originally purchased for their mother. Neither brother married, though they were well known for their many extravagant courtships.
George Muse died in 1971 and many expected Willie to quickly follow his brother. Those people were wrong as Willie continued to play his mandolin and enjoy the company friends and family until his death on Good Friday of 2001.
He was 108 years old.
- Dad: Relationships are hard.
- Me: Try being in a long distance relationship. Try listening to her cry, but don’t hold her or kiss her, and text her to comfort her, because you’re literally 1,000 miles away and that’s all you can do. Try seeing her over Skype and only Skype, where sometimes the call drops and the quality isn’t great. Or how about planning a trip to go see her? But wait you can’t, because you’re having financial issues. Try explaining it to your friends, try telling them why they can’t meet her. Don’t even think of planning dates, because you’ll be the only one attending them. Try fighting with distance, that s**t isn’t easy because you have distance on top of it. Try sleeping alone every night after hearing I love you and cuddling with a stuffed animal that doesn’t even do the trick because you know it isn’t her. That’s the really hard type of relationship.
- Dad: I think I’m going to cry.
- Me: Me too.
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What’s wrong with you? You’ve just had a fabulous holiday and you should be feeling all serene and enriched, right? Instead you’re sluggish, cranky, maybe even a little weepy, and everything seems washed-out and no-account. Looks like you’ve got a…
6 Ways to Brighten Your Morning
We’ve all had those mornings when the last thing you want to do is crawl out of your warm pile of blankets and face the world. The morning is probably no one’s favorite part of the day (especially if you stayed up the night before to watch The Vampire Diaries or Dance Moms). But this article will give you a few tips and tricks to help you enter your day happy and relaxed!
1. Go to sleep with your blinds or curtains halfway open. That way, the natural light of the rising sun will send a signal to your brain to slow its production of melatonin and bump up its production of adrenaline, a signal that it’s time to wake up. So by the time that pesky alarm goes off, you’ll already be half awake.
2. Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier. This way, you don’t have to jump out of bed and rush through your morning. You can begin your morning by lying in bed, slowly waking up. Stretching. Mentally choosing your outfit for the day. Decide what you are going to have for breakfast. Etc.It’s just as important to prepare yourself mentally as physically for your day.
3. Stretch every extremity for 15 seconds. Try this even before you open your eyes. Lift your arm and begin by stretching each finger, then your hand, then your wrist, then your arm. Then move on to the other arm. Then your toes, feet, ankles, and legs. Finally, end with a neck and back stretch that propels you out of the bed.
4. Read a motivational quote every morning. This can provide a frame for the day, a sort of self-talk that keeps you motivated in the right direction as opposed to the negative thinking of the morning news. This is where your iPhone comes in handy: Inspirational Quotes | APP
5. Take a vitamin. Keep a multivitamin out on the kitchen counter right by the coffeepot so you remember to take one every morning.
6. Spend 5 to 10 minutes each morning listening to music or sitting on the deck or porch just thinking. This allows the creative thinking that takes place during the night to gel and form into a plan of action, grounding you for the day.