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Friday, January 8, 2010

Is That a Sexy Banana In Your Pocket? Master Float-Maker Giving Away His Creations.

Posted By on Fri, Jan 8, 2010 at 11:15 AM

Dave Thomas of East West Productions ("We're the Best, Forget the

Rest") got into building parade floats because someone wouldn't let him

join in a parade. He was studying martial arts and wanted to march with

his class in the city's Chinese New Year Parade.

click to enlarge Too late to grab this banana.
  • Too late to grab this banana.
When the parade rebuffed his advances, he and his fellow students donned gold masks and joined anyway. They kept the tradition up for a few years, and finally the parade capitulated. They didn't just invite him to participate, they asked him to make them some parade accouterments and he's been in the parade industry "hardcore" for 20 years ever since.

click to enlarge Dave Thomas' magnificent warehouse.
  • Dave Thomas' magnificent warehouse.
The largely self-taught builder crafts the floats from massive pieces

of Styrofoam and fiberglass and paper mache, among other materials, and

surmises that he has made floats for just about every parade in San

Francisco. He stores the fruits of his labor in a warehouse at Pier 27

and the interior looks like something from a Hollywood backlot.

Towering Buddhas commingle with piles of giant sea horses. A replica of

the Castro Theater has a marque that reads: "We Are Family. Starring

Bevan, Fiona, Sophie, Family Builders, Culture Shock."

At this point you're probably thinking, "How do I get my hands on one

of these?!?!" Well, the answer is keep your eye on the Craigslist free

ads. Thomas is running out of room to keep all his creations and has

started unloading some of the items that aren't "pulling their weight."

Recently, he gave away a set of Greek columns and a sexy banana lady

with fruit covering her nether regions.

Thomas isn't sure what people are doing with the items they haul away.

"The banana lady has a husband, I guess.," he said. "What did the guy

do with it? I'd love to know. Is it in his living room? His bedroom?

His garden?" (We would like to think that the sexy banana lady was

adopted by a man with a pocket enormous enough to accommodate the double-entendre of the century.)

Thomas once gave away an elaborate dragon that was turned into a topiary with a door and interior room.

If you weren't the person lucky enough to land Banana Lady, Thomas says

not to fear. He'll be posting more items on Craigslist, including

plywood and Styrofoam for penny-pinching artists and builders.

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Andy Wright


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