Smiley The Clown With
Five-Year-Old Terah James
Fifty-one year old Eli Mena decided to give up his
profession as a licensed physiotherapist in Boston and become Smiley The
Clown 15 years ago after his six year old son, his wife and his father were killed in an
air crash. Smiley recalls of his son, "He was the love of my life."Performing
for children's hospitals at first, today Smiley is in big demand, and he loves his work.
Smiley words it this way, "Just imagine how many kids I can touch, not only the
children, I touch the parents. I love them."
busy schedule, Smiley estimates he entertains 20,000 to 30,000 children a week. Smiley has
been performing at Ports-O-Call for the last two and a half years and can always be found
in the annual Christmas Parade. He also states that he had an opportunity to perform in
London across the street from Buckingham Palace but decided to stay here. As for
performing at the Balboa Fun Zone, Smiley says, " When I came here the management
liked me and I started Memorial Day." Smiley points out, "I have five other
clowns that work for me at other locations." On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays
smiley performs at the Treasure Island Plaza in Las Vegas. On Thursdays Smiley flies to
San Juan Puerto Rico where he has been performing on the beach for the Sheridan Hotel for
a year and a half.
||Smiley is so
popular in Puerto Rico that the Sheridan pays for all of his air and ground transportation
and housing while he is there. Smiley says, "I own the second highest mountain there
and I'm building a house.
what he likes about Balboa, Smiley says, " You don't have the rowdiness or
drugs, It's safe. You don't have to worry about drug dealers or getting robbed. The
people here are all friendly, they're civilized.
Smiley notes, the reason cannibals don't eat clowns
is because they taste funny.
Smiley can be found on weekends at the Balboa Fun
Zone. He can be reached at (213) 220-7623.