|Making a Mardi Gras float...|
I don't have any recollection about doing this in Catholic school, but the first four years of my education was at a public school and every year around "Carnival Time" (That's what we called it in back then!) we'd create Mardi Gras floats out of shoe boxes. Mom would sacrifice one of her boxes to staple the top of the box vertically to the bottom container that held the shoes. Lots of glue, tempera paint, colored crepe paper, usually the Mardi Gras colors of green, purple and gold, and old beads from last year's booty, help create the beginning of some sort of concept.
Even as a kid, I never was enamored with all that fake royalty, glitter, masks and such, but okay, the top of the box had to have revelers to help make a concise float concept. One year, the solution was to taking my plastic, olive drab soldiers, and paint them in the colors of Mardi Gras. I used mostly the soldiers who were throwing hand grenades, ( you remember that pose!) and have them throwing something into the adoring crowd. Another year, Trigger, Bullet, farm animals and a roping Roy Rogers graced the top of my float. I tried to glue my Nelly Belle jeep to the deck of the float, but it never would stay atop of the deck and would just roll off the float.
One year, I designed the float with those colored plastic, (Wasn't everything plastic back then?) four engined airplanes which I believe I received from the throws of the prior year. I used cotton balls to create the clouds which "floated" in front of a painted blue vertical background. Back then, we kids were seriously into the environment recycling all kinds of junk to enhance our special entry. We'd glue Life Savers, doilies, pins, MandM's, moss, sticks and stones, colored buttons stolen from granny's button jar, and Scrabble chips to misspell Marty Graw!
I wonder if any New Orleans mother ever got their shoe boxes back on Ash Wednesday or ever even wanted them back!
Copyright 2017/ Ben Bensen III