KNOXVILLE - As part of our week dedicated to unusual hobbies, we found one Knoxville man who has been doing his for the better part of 60 years. His hobby even has it's own museum!
Howard Tibbals' life really is a circus!
When you walk into the Tibbal's home it's very colorful and pops of the circus are everywhere. Then you meet Howard and he is also dressed in bright colors, but despite his eclectic surroundings, Howard is low key.
His hobby, however, is not.
"My wife and I have been married for 26 years and she got tired of trying to figure me out," says Howard.
Howard is obsessed with the circus.
"Howard got introduced to the circus as a young boy. It's something his daddy did with him. And he just never grew up," says his wife Janice Tibbals.
He loves everything about it, but the one thing that intrigues him the most...
"i was fascinated by the movement!" says Howard. "It traveled on 100 railroad cars and set up in a new town everyday. That constant movement."
When he was 19 he started collecting pictures and creating miniature trains and animals and clowns and performers. He collected so many that now The Howard Brothers Circus has it's own building named for Howard at the Ringling Circus Museum in Sarasota, Florida.
The 3,700 square feet are filled with hundreds of creations that are exact replicas of the circuses of our past.
"Howard is the most brilliant genius I've met in my life. Really. He has an unbelievable memory for detail," says Janice. When he's building, he's not satisfied to make it just look perfect, it has to be as perfect as is humanly possible."
Howard Tibbals' life's work is not under the big top, but instead overlooking a fantastic miniature circus world!
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