Being the nephew of the top clown in Barnum and Bailey’s Gold Unit circus is a lot to live up to, but then Paul “Garbanzo” Hudert has found his own name in show business. Paul holds the unique title of first American to be an official Jester of an English castle. Seeing his uncle perform made him realize this career path was even a possibility.
Starting out, Paul and his college buddies piled in a car and traveled from gig to gig. Paul would be out for 6 months, then 8 months, to a point where he’d ask, “Why am I paying rent?”
There was the added difficulty of not having the opportunity to cook, which Paul deeply enjoys. “When you’re on the road, and you can’t find the thing you want… Like, ‘What you do mean you don’t have fresh basil? We’re on Earth right?’... So I decided to grow my own.” This was the beginning of his green endeavors, starting with two tubs of herbs he kept with him on his travels.
In the way his uncle gave him the concept to jester, his mother gave him the concept of farming. Now, Paul’s gardening has accelerated from a couple of herbs to an entire greenhouse. He moved into what he and his wife call “Awesometown,” a beautiful old home in the woods of Richmond, Virginia. Now, when he’s on the road, his wife takes care of the greenhouse. He says, laughing, “You come back, and, of course, everything is bigger. I don’t know if it’s more fun than sitting there everyday, going like, ‘GROW!’”
His greenhouse has a history to it as well. It belonged to a woman named “Miss Emily.” She grew an abundance of orchids, which she would bring out to decorate the neighborhood parties. Paul confesses he isn’t much of an orchid grower, but the one orchid he did bring into the house, which was dying, instantly sprung back to life. He says he’s glad that he and his wife are able to continue the tradition that Miss Emily had started of growing life in this same greenhouse.
Surprisingly, despite having an entire greenhouse devoted to delicious food, he still can’t get enough basil. “We went through our entire stock we saved for winter. I guess we like it.”
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