By Jim Callicott
Angela Ivy considers herself as poetry in motion. Others consider her as perpetual motion. Regardless, the lady has never met a stranger. She has been known to talk with street signs if no one else was around.
No stranger to the Seymour area either, she was a frequent visitor to the region until moving here about six months ago from Florida. Between the visits and moving, she lived in Hawaii for 4 years, working as an airline stewardess for a major carrier. She claims the favorite part of her job was going through the pat-down lines.
“Next to Hawaii, I love this part of the world,” she said. “But Hawaii is an island. You can only go so far. It’s the only state with an interstate highway system that doesn’t go to another state.”
“Call it a hobby or a passion but I love to go to the shows in Sevierville and Pigeon Forge. I have seen every theater presentation there. My favorite, and the one I keep going back to, is Cirque de Chine. The talent of those kids is totally amazing.”
When asked about her favorite part of the show, Angela replied, “The juggler in the tight black costume.”
That happens to be Mr. Hou Lai Yong from the Henan area in China. He has 13 years experience as an acrobat and his specialty is Jar Juggling. If you consider spinning a 17 pound jar on the top of your head and tossing it 15 feet in the air and catching it on the back of your neck all in a day’s work, then you have an idea of his performance. He is actually good enough at Jar Juggling that he won a gold medal in an international competition.
Hou Lai Yong was in Sevierville in 2007, during the first year of Chinese acrobats in East Tennessee. He spent 2008 and 2009 in Branson and was happy to return to the Smokies this year.
Hou Lai Yong performs several different acrobatic acts but says Jar Juggling and Hoop Diving were his favorite. But now, he says, at the ripe old age of 24, he is too old for the demands of hoop diving.
Retirement is not in the picture yet. Hou Lai Yong says he will perform as long as his body will let him. After acrobats, he wants to become a booking agent and book acrobats, singers and performers world wide. Angela said he should be very successful in that field but to remind him that juggling the books was not an acrobatic act.
Blondes have more fun
By Jim Callicott