Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

MC Weekly

July 17, 2013

Up, up and away

Jon and Jenny Cole look back at 2 years in China, where Jon performed as the human cannonball.

(Continued)

“It was like a two-year paid vacation, is what it was,” Jon said.

And over time, the family became celebrities. City billboards advertising Jon as the human cannonball stood all over the country. You’d see his face on huge ads in subway stations or on the sides of buses.

Their two kids, 7-year-old Alivia and 2-year-old Jaxon, also became a huge hit, and ended up doing modeling for different Chinese agencies.

But all good things must come to an end, and Jon and Jenny decided to head back to Peru. It was time their own kids started participating in the Peru circus, just like they did.

The family arrived back in Indiana in February, and Jon and Jenny started working as trainers for this year’s Peru Circus City Festival. Alivia is performing for the first time this year.

“The Peru circus is what got us where we are today,” Jenny said. “For me, it’s a family thing. Alivia is a fourth-generation performer with the circus. We’re the only family that can say that. I didn’t want to take that experience away from her just because we’re working 15 minutes a day in paradise.”

Since then, Jenny landed a part-time job at Edward Jones and Anytime Fitness in Logansport. Jon said he has his application in for a few teaching gigs and other jobs.

For now, Jon said he’s officially retired from the human cannonball business at the ripe old age of 28. But that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t ever get back into it.

“We’re not closed to any ideas at this point, including the circus or ‘cannonball-ism,’” Jenny said. “We’re praying people, so wherever God leads us, that’s where we’ll go.”

And even though the couple said their experience in the Chinese circus was amazing, it still doesn’t touch the unique experience they had performing in Peru as kids.

“The Peru circus changes you,” Jenny said. “You learn so much. You learn how to trust people. It’s a family. Kids have a family here, and they know that. They can count on us and their peers, and that changes you. It’s home.”

Carson Gerber can be reached at 765-854-6739, or at carson.gerber@kokomotribune.com.

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