Jane Davis retired as a Teacher in Kansas City, KS USD 500 after 32 years of teaching. While she was a teacher she worked out at the local community college and met a lifetime friend at the gym, Lorene Jones. Jane and Lorene were both getting close to retirement and while they were walking or working out, they talked about what they might want to do once they retire.
Jane had always had a fascination with clowns ever since she was a child. She loved reading picture books about clowns. She found the bright colors of the outfits, the shoes and the balloons fascinating. As a child, she never had the opportunity to see a real live clown. She only saw them in her books. So, when the conversation about what to do in retirement came up, she and Lorene decided they would start a clown business. They enrolled in classes at the local technical school and took a beginner’s course and an advanced course. Jane wanted to make sure they were skilled clowns and had professional training.
The first thing they had to do was come up with their Clown Names – Jane became Jolly Jane and Lorene became Buffy. They joined a Clown Association which was called Clown Alley. They met once a month and this helped Jane and Lorene to grow their business. Over the 16 years that they were in business, they did numerous children’s birthday parties. They also volunteered their time by visiting Senior Centers, Churches, and children that had Sickle Cell disease.
One of her most memorable moments involved a little boy at a Community Event in downtown Kansas City, KS. A little boy was so enamored by Jolly Jane that he cried when they had to leave and followed her to her car and asked if he could go with her. This made her realize how much joy she was bringing to children!
The best thing about being Jolly Jane was seeing the kids laugh and smile when she would perform. It also made her feel great to see that the parents and adults would also laugh.
In 2014 Jane and Lorene decided that it was time to retire Jolly Jane and Buffy. Being a clown took a lot of work and energy. Jane misses her days of performing for children but she still gets to see the laughter and joy from children when she gets to substitute teach at the early childhood centers in USD 500. She has been a USD 500 substitute for 17 years. Thanks for all the joy you have brought to many kids in the Kansas City area!