Writer finds the joke's on her

It's not every day a reporter is given the opportunity to write about clowns.

Here at Spotlight Newspapers, we cover town board meetings, board of education events and student projects that earn prestigious awards.

We do not typically cover ballooning, how to count like a clown or tricks you can do with a bunny rabbit.

These are not things an ordinary reporter would cover at the Spotlight, but and I think my colleagues would agree I am not ordinary.

When I decided to write about the art of clowning, I knew I would not be able to sit on the sidelines and watch the experts describe how to make a balloon poodle or properly cover a face in white paint. I was destined to get behind the red nose and actually become a clown.

I requested a special session with Fuddi Duddy, aka Paul Kleinberger, of Loudonville.

In the clown world, Kleinberger is like the Julius Caesar, George Washington and Wizard of Oz of clowning. In other words, he is like a clown king, and really knows his stuff.

Kleinberger, a member of the Electric City Clown Alley, was the most recent past president of Clowns of America International, an international coalition of clowns.

Arriving at his house in Loudonville, I was not only greeted by him, but his wife, Miriam "Senorita Soto" Kleinberger, a retired clown and 2000 recipient of the Clown of the Year award, as given by the alley.

In their lovely home, I couldn't help but notice a painted portrait hanging on their wall. It was of a man-clown and woman-clown in wedding attire.

Out of fear of being rude, I decided not to ask about the portrait. I mean, come on, how do you ask someone, upon viewing a portrait of two clowns, "Is that you and your wife?"

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