No longer a spectacle but still beloved by many, Ringling Bros. takes a final bow

When Lawrence Records was a child in the 1960s he attended a special Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus performance at the Providence Auditorium.

It left a lasting impression.

“When I saw elephants at the circus, I said, ‘Someday I’m going to own an elephant,’ ” Records said. “I started saving 25-cent pieces, and by the time I was 20, I had an elephant.” In fact, Records bought two elephants, which he trained and cared for at his home in North Kingstown.

Records now lives in Dudley, Mass., where he has an animal-show business called Records and Burpee. He and his wife, Alexandra Burpee, care for about 140 animals (but no elephants) on a private, 28-acre farm.

Records is one of the millions of fans who attended the renowned circus as it performed in Providence over the last century. He, along with countless other loyal fans, will sadly bid “adieu” to the show next month, as Ringling Bros. will close for good after 146 years.

Read the full story at Providence Business News here.

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