Friday, January 1, 2010

The Citrus Bowl Parade

When we got to the starting point for the parade, the horses became a bit agitated. They kept turning around and around. I got out of the truck to sketch them several times. Then before you knew it, we were sent to the front of the line to head up the parade route. The pooper scooppers got their bucket and shovel out and followed behind. Immediately, a horse let loose a pile. As the scoopers shoveled, a bicyclist got too close and got hit with some flying poo. She laughed though and the scoopers shouted out an apology.
The parade route was really crowded. The officer's children sitting in the police pickup truck bed with me started throwing candy out to the crowd. Adults and children alike were shouting, "Over here! Throw some over here! The kids were only five or six and didn't have great throwing arms. The candy would land maybe a foot from the truck, and then the spectators would run into the street to retrieve it. I worked on finishing up this sketch for the duration of the parade. The horses and Citrus float were both sketched at the very beginning of the parade. Every inch of the float was covered with orange and yellow citrus. Once we were moving, the float fell far behind. When we turned the corner onto South Street, we lost sight of the floats behind us for good. I just kept picking out individuals in the crown and adding them to my sketch one at a time.
I was surprised when I heard my name being called out. I looked up from my sketchbook and saw Tisse Mallon and Jeff Wirth in the crowd. I gave them my best Cinderella wave and they laughed. Later, when we were rolling past the grand stands where the TV cameras were, I again heard my name and I picked out Mark Baratelli and Brian Feldman who were up high in an overlooking apartment courtyard. As I was waving to them, I saw a huge camera boom that was swinging over the street. I suddenly realized I might be on TV when the parade is aired nationally on New Year's day. Being in a parade is like experiencing eleven seconds worth of fame. Then almost immediately, the parade was over.
As we drove back to the barn, we passed a pristine lake with beautiful white ibis and ducks. I could smell the water and warm air. A cormorant was drying his dark wings. It was a beautiful day for a parade.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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