From "The Memoirs, Volume Two" -
Then, too, we started
talking more with the guys at the AIDS Emergency Fund and told them that
we were willing do to anything they might want, like decorations or
publicity or entertainment and to call us up the next time they had an
event. So they said, sure.
Well, we got a call a bit
later, from them, saying come in and talk with them about an idea they
had. OK, we said and went.
Seems they had marched,
well walked, in last year’s big Gay Pride Parade, as the AIDS Emergency
Fund and they all had liked it a lot and they were thinking of walking
again. Then they said, well, you know, they could also do something
like bigger, like well maybe something like, maybe, a float, you know?
A float! A float in the
parade! Of course we could build a float in the parade; we could build
the best float in the whole parade! The best float in the whole World!
So, we formed the Triple-A
/ AIDS Emergency Fund Float Committee and started to work. Well, we
began to think, what is the theme we wanted to express here, what is the
message of our float? To raise money, of course! And came up with the
idea of a giant “Piggy Bank” and drew up plans and started collecting
We decided it should be a
self-moving float, like our previous Santa Maria ship float, and not
pulled by another vehicle, so we burrowed on old pick-up and Ready Set
said we could build it in their shop. The plans showed a big, smiling
pink pig with a big silver coin sticking out the top. We loved it.
The guys at the Fund liked
it too but were a little uncertain. “But, uh, Bill, how are you going
to build it?”
“Why, cardboard, of course!”
Well, they didn’t really
know us or understand our methods, and then these queens didn’t know one
end of a hammer from the other.
Well, in the end they loved
it, of course. We decided the color of the pig should be light blue and
put raised flowers and decorations on it and it looked just great. Set
into the giant silver coin on top, we decided to put an actual Statue of
Liberty, like the coin, and, guess what? Bermuda again got to be the
Statue of Liberty, “My gal!” she said. The coin was all covered with
tin foil and the torch stuck out the top for Bermuda to hang onto. As
always, we built right up to the height limit, set for the overhead
electrical wires of the street cars.
At the staging area before
the parade we were all getting ready and Bermuda was getting in place,
she now all painted with silver make-up, of course, and a tin foil crown
on her head. Everyone was happy and excited.
Just then a couple of
metallic balloons went floating by, obviously lost by some kid, and they
happened to run into one of the electrical wires just inches above
Bermuda’s raised torch. KAPOOW!! An enormous explosion sounded and
everybody screamed. There was even a fire engine that was standing by,
and it came rushing up to inspect the wires! I looked up at Bermuda and
she looked down at me, a look of horror on her face. She was coated in
metal just inches from the wires.
“Don’t worry, Bermuda,” I
called, “we’re below the wires.”
“I hope so,” she said, and
I thought what dedication!
Well, we bounced down the
road and everybody loved Bermuda and called her Miss Liberty and the
float won First Place!
It would be the first of
three first place winners we would build for the AIDS Emergency Fund,
throughout the years, until the Parade Committee finally gave us a
special category and placed us at the head of the parade as Grand
Marshall or such, and wouldn’t let us win any more first place ribbons.
“Give somebody else a chance,” they told us. But that was later, as I
* * *
July 17, 1986
Triple-A Productions, et al.
Bill: (Russell, Matthew, Charlie,
Bermuda, Joy, …)
What can I say? … but THANKS. Without your help, creativity,
friends, etc. we never would have pulled it off. I, along with the
entire Board of Directors of the AIDS Emergency Fund applaud your
contribution to our organization in particular, and the community as
Through all our efforts we were able to clear over $3,000.oo for our
“Piggy Bank”, and after all our expenses. That money will go a long
way in helping us meet our goal of providing emergency assistance
for people with AIDS.
While working with you again would certainly by a pleasure, I’m sure
you share in the hope that next year the AIDS Emergency Fund will
cease to have a prpose.
Again, my warmest thanks. Your generosity is exceeded only by your
creativity and energy. By the way … have you found the blue prints
AIDS Emergency Fund
* * *
...NEXT: BIG GAME