Brenda Walden has been a clown for more than 2 decades. It’s a profession that runs in the family.
“My mother-in-law and my sister-in law are both clowns,” Brenda “Zilly the Clown” Walden says.
But this week her job requests have changed, forcing her to trade her curly yellow hair and makeup, for a little face paint and an apron with “Face Painter” embellished on the front.
“They asked me to come not as a clown,” Walden says, “because they were afraid I might scare the children.”
This shift in perception of clowns, comes on the heels of a surge of Bozo’s behaving badly. Local police aren’t laughing.
“The schools, and law enforcement aren’t clowning around when it comes to this matter,” Captain David Croft of the Central Point Police Department says.
In Central Point, Michael Richard was arrested for trespassing and disorderly conduct in connection with a clown reported on several school campuses. But what the widely circulated picture doesn’t show is a gun. Police say Richard was holding one in other pictures that have since been removed.
“Some people may think it’s a prank or a joke,” Captain Croft says, “but when you have photos of a gun linked to something at the school then it becomes a serious issue.”
And while that case is now in the hands of the District Attorney, Brenda isn’t waiting for a conviction to ask that this nonsense ends.
“I’m not a scary clown at all,” Walden says, “and I wanna keep it that way.”