TURNS SIDESHOW FREAK
After Twin Injuries and Unwanted Careers,
Medium Comes Home to Settle Down
From The New New Jersey News, September 12, 1928
(Part Two—Click here to read Part One)
By 1918 the crowds had vanished and the Bettystown Badgers were just an ordinary team of pigskin passers. Meanwhile Monty Medium had been all but forgotten. Though able to walk and talk, the concussion had rendered him unaware of anything in the present moment. At only 19 years of age and with neither sense of past or present, the ex-football star now spoke exclusively in a series of proclamations that stated what would be happening in the next moment. But whereas at Bettystown this ability had catapulted the young Medium to stardom, he now became less of a sensation and more of a curiosity. After two years of being the idol of the football field and pawn of the gambling syndicate, Monty Medium was abandoned, only to roped into the sideshow circuit.
Decrepit carnies carted Montrose from town to town along with other “oddities of nature.” For five cents onlookers entered into sideshow booths, circus tents and vaudeville houses, lured in by painted signs for “Freak Forecasts Future” or “Seer Savant.” Barely aware of his own name and with no memory of the past, Monty Medium’s stage show was completely at the whim of his exploiters who never gave Medium a dime, leaving him in limbo for another two years. Until his future wife walked into his life.
“When I found him, he was living like an injured housepet,” says Marsha McMedium (no blood relation—“McMedium” is her family name). As something of a psychic herself, she made a habit of frequenting sideshows and circuses to meet others who share her skills. When she found Monty Medium one day performing on Coney Island’s Boardwalk, she found his situation deplorable. “He was underfed and not being paid for his gifts, so I used my knowledge of notary negotiations to nullify all carny contracts. I even got them to pay me to take Monty off their hands.
”Ms. McMedium soon helped rehabilitate Mr. Medium and within the year the two were married and took a break from touring to start a family. “We have two daughters and a son,” says Marsha. “They travel with us everywhere and are honing their own gifts of mediumship. Look forward to their stage debut soon.”
Last year the Mediums returned to Warren County. Many of Monty’s old teammates still reside in the area, and on Saturdays they still pass the ball around for fun. Rumor has it that the ex-footballer-cum-spiritualist has taken up the practice of yoga, passed on to him by contortionists from his sideshow days. Locals also report that they’ve seen Monty Medium step out to collect the morning papers, wearing his old uniform and leather football helmet, ready for action.