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Archive for Sunday, May 3, 1998

THE ART TOUGEAU II PARADE HAD EVERYTHING FROM PURPLE CARS AND PINK ELEPHANTS TO A BANANA MAN SATURDAY AFTERNOON.

May 3, 1998

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You can't argue with the logic of Ric Propst, whose car in the Art Tougeau II parade Saturday in downtown Lawrence was truly the only ``art'' car.

``I wanted to make an art car, so I used the most famous Art there is,'' said Propst, who airbrushed 17 images of Art Linkletter on his 1967 Morris Minor.

Propst displayed a fax from Linkletter himself, granting the use of his likeness for the parade.

``This is the only authorized Art car here,'' said Propst, a Kansas City artist who runs a leather and jewelry shop. He won the ``Drop Dead Gorgeous'' award for his entry.

Although original, Propst's entry couldn't touch the bizarre behavior of the Banana Bike Brigade's menagerie, which earned the St. Louis group the ``Beyond Astonishing'' award.

``We're a wild bunch of bananas,'' said Uriel Starbuck, the self-proclaimed ``Commodoro'' of the group.

The brigade, started almost five years ago in St. Louis, can be seen at parades and parties across the country, raising money for children's organizations. The group sent more than 30 bikes to the Bosnian city of Mostar last year.

Members of the brigade used discarded carpet pads, foam, burlap and other materials to make the pink elephant, ``clothes horse,'' giraffe, dinosaur and hot dog bikes they rode in Saturday's parade.

Blasting music and shooting people with water guns along the parade route, the group certainly wasn't shy.

Jean Ann Pike surveyed her purple glitter El Camino minutes before the parade started. The palms of her hand were covered with the sparkly stuff.

``I was slapping glitter on it this morning. You're never finished with something like this,'' said Pike, who put about 30 pounds of glitter on the car.

Pike and several other ``glitter car'' drivers got the glitter from the Social Service League Store, 905 R.I. Ninety-five 80-pound barrels of glitter are in storage at the thrift store, the odd result of an investment gone bad.

Pike said the thrift store was contacted by a woman whose mother tried to ``corner'' the Kansas City glitter market about 20 years ago. The barrels sat in the basement of her family's veterinary practice in Kansas City until Social Service League volunteers carted them to Lawrence.

Almost two dozen different groups and individuals entered cars, scooters, bikes, golf carts and other vehicles in the second annual parade.

Other winners were:

  • T.J. Jones, 18, and his brother, Nick Luna, 14, who received the ``So Cool it Hurts'' award for their low-rider bikes.
  • Central Junior High School students, whose brightly painted Checker Aerobus stretch limousine -- part of the Van Go arts program -- won the ``Insanely Artful'' award.
  • Cottonwood Inc. clients, who decorated a van with cutouts of food and movie posters with the help of the Lawrence Arts Center, won the ``Killer Good Award.''
  • The ``aerocar,'' a mini-BMW fitted with a rotating propeller, owned by Dave Major of Benton, won the ``Over the Top Exquisite'' award.

-- Chris Koger's phone message number is 832-7126. His e-mail address is ckoger@ljworld.com.

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