Ann Arbor Juggling Arts Club
Bruce's account of juggling at Maxey

So Larry took James, Noah, and I to Maxey Boys' School (the juvenile detention center where Larry works) to do a juggling demonstration. It was fun, and the kids were an enthusiastic audience; Larry jokes that their usual schedule amounts to a state of sensory deprivation, which could explain their enthusiasm.... Anyway, we may go back sometime, and others would be welcomed to join us. This is the whole story, if you're interested.

James, Noah and I finally met up at East Hall about 20 or 30 minutes before Larry was due to pick us up, having made no plans about what we'd be doing.... We practiced a feed with a snappy finish (just throwing a triple and catching it one knee). Larry showed up and we decided on some sort of plan in the car over. Traffic was terrible, so we got there late. Sigh.

We got introduced to the kids, 20 some of them. I did a quick 3-ball routine (my 10 favorite 3-ball tricks, all in a row), and they went crazy over the behind-the-back and under-the-leg throws; that sensory deprivation effect, I guess. James did 4- and 5-ball tricks, again to great acclaim (this time better-deserved). Our 3-person feed was maybe a little messy, but we kept it going and got some well-appreciated tricks off. Thanks to me, I think, we had to do the snappy ending (the only thing we'd practiced!) twice before we got it right. Noah ran through his numbers club-juggling pyrotechnics flawlessly, bringing the house down. Then we set the kids loose with the juggling stuff. Noah spent a couple minutes teaching the basics to a circle of interested devotees, and James and I wandered around and answered questions.

The rest of the two hours were just sort of a cross between a regular juggling club meeting and a school recess; some of the kids juggled with us, and some of them threw beanbags at each other. In the end everyone seemed to have fun, and the only casualty was a club with a broken dowel. (I'll watch those more carefully another time!) Thanks to Larry's past coaching, and in a few cases some obvious natural talent, some of them were doing really well. I taught a few kids "steals", and Noah got someone started on the 4-ball fountain. One guy learned to kick up a club faster than I've ever seen anyone learn that trick. At the end we showed them our numbers passing (7 and 8 clubs), and then called it a day. The boys made a point of coming up and shaking our hands and thanking us by name for coming. We got a tour of the place; interesting, but about as drab as you might expect. And then we headed back to Ann Arbor for a pleasant dinner at Ashley's.