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Williamston couple's second act after science? Funny business

Linda Triemer
Posted at 6:00 AM, Dec 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-27 06:01:15-05

WILLIAMSTON, Mich. — Richard and Linda Triemer were scientists before they retired. After retirement, the Williamston couple traded in their serious hats for more funny business.

Richard was always interested in magic.

“When I was about seven, my grandfather worked for a novelty store and he brought home a magic trick,” he said.

Richard Triemer
Richard Triemer was a plant biology professor and became a magician after retiring.

In fact, it ran in his family.

“My great uncle Willy was the great Waldo out of Chicago back in the 1920s,” Richard said.

He took a different career path.

“I got a doctorate in plant biology and got hired at Rutgers University and spent most of my career there as a professor until in 2002 I came to MSU to be chair of plant biology," he said.

But always took a little magic with him and became Professor Magic.

“I did magic shows for my classes, I did magic shows for my faculty, I did magic shows for my own retirement party,” he said.

In 1988, Richard met Linda.

“My career was very serious and Rich brought fun into my life,” Linda Triemer said.

Linda was an environmental scientist who wore many hats during her career like working for Exxon during the Valdez oil spill in 1989.

“I got thrown into, from academic science into real world science,” Linda said

The Magic Princess
Linda and Richard tried performing magic tricks together before Linda decided it wasn't for her.

She wanted to be a magician like her husband, but that didn't work out.

“One day was born the magic princess," Richard said. “It took a while and finally she decided, 'Okay, this isn’t going to work for me.'”

So, Linda did her own thing.

“Balloons to me were a joy, they just were a joy in a very, very serious career,” Linda said.

Linda drew a little inspiration from her mom.

“I think I grew into what she taught me how to be just from how silly she would be at times,” Linda said.

She revived a childhood nickname.

“I was Klinker, my older sister was DoDo, my younger sister was Bubee and the next one was Diddledee,” Linda said.

Add a wig, and her character Klinker the Clown was born.

“It had no wrapping on it, it had no label, it had no price tag on it, but I saw it and i thought that's my wig,” Linda said.

Klinker the Clown
Linda found her own character when she became Klinker the Clown.

After learning the ropes of clowning, Linda started competing.

“For the World Clown Association you’re not only competing in your makeup, your outfit, but you also have to do a funny bit," Linda said.

She won the silver medal in parade-ability and the top award for all around clown in 2019.

“When they announced the all around clown, I got the gold medal in that and I literally was flabbergasted,” Linda said.

World Clown Association
Linda at the World Clown Association in 2019.

She realized in that moment she became an inspiration to many aspiring clowns and could perform in front of big crowds.

“I realized I have idols in the clown world and it’s like oh my gosh," Linda said. "I just never ever expected it.”

Now Richard and Linda have both traded in their serious hats.

“I don’t need any more seriousness," Linda said. "I really want to use this part of me that has been bringing fun to people."

For a little magic and a lot of fun.

“Hopefully for 45 minutes I’ve taken them out of their world and whatever problems they’ve had during the day, during their lifetime, and for a half hour or an hour they’re having fun,” Richard said.

Linda and Richard are back performing in person for parties and events. For more information, visit their website More Than Magical.

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