Cheyenne Frontier Days Parades Are A Dream Come True For Local Clown
Matthew Graham has loved the Cheyenne Frontier Days Parade since he was a child. At an early age, the boy born with Fragile X Syndrome wanted to be a clown. Now 23, Matthew is living his childhood dream as an honorary member of the Korein Shrine Clowns.
"Matthew's been coming to these (CFD Parades) his entire life," his father Jeff Graham said. "His favorite part of the parade was always the clowns. For him to be in the parades now, it's something he looks forward to every year."
Five years ago, Matthew met Hinky The Clown, aka Tim Forbis. Forbis was adopted into the fraternity of Shriner clowns by his friends at the Cheyenne Masonic Lodge over a decade ago. He now leads the troop of 16 clowns who perform at events around the region, including the annual Shrine Circus, the Holiday Parade, and all of the Cheyenne Frontier Days Parades. After they became friends, Forbis invited Matthew to clown around with Loonie, Buttons, Daffodil and the crew.
While Matthew helps carry on the Shriner's tradition, a local legend recently hung up his red nose and retired after 70 years. Lee Everling joined the Korein Shrine Clowns in his 20's and is still going strong in his 90's. This is the first Cheyenne Frontier Days Parade he's missed since the Truman administration. To honor his decades of community service, the clowns kept the picture of Everling on their parade trailer.