Tillie on Parade, Ocean Grove and Asbury Park
Independence Day Weekend - 2005
There is no quicker opportunity to find out what people are thinking than at a parade. The bands are playing and the fire truck sirens are blaring, but still, while you're marching down the street, you hear what the spec- tators are saying. Clearly.
Those of us who marched with Save Tillie in the Ocean Grove and Asbury Park parades heard great feedback. Kids all along the parade routes got very excited seeing Tillie coming down the street. We could hear them telling their parents: "Here comes Tillie!" "Look, it's Tillie!" and shouting "Hi Tillie!" We could hear many of the older people saying how much they missing the Palace and saying "thank you" to the Save Tillie crew. And at least six times, people came out of the crowd to ask us where to find the Palace Museum (Palaceamusements.com).
In short, the parades this weekend were a wonderful experience.
Thanks to Ralph McGeehan, who took great photos, we have photos up on the Save Tillie, so you can see our float for yourself. As in years past, the float consisted of an original Palace Ferris wheel carriage, filled with Save Tillie members and their families, and a carousel horse ridden by Tillie. The big addition this year (thank you, Dan Toskaner and Frank Saragnese!) were two bumper cars, looking very much like the bumper car murals from the Palace walls. The bumper cars traveled behind the main float. Our celebrity rider in Asbury Park was none other than former Asbury Park City Councilwoman Kate Mellina, who played a huge role in helping us save the Palace bumper car murals.
When you hear those happy kids responding to Tillie, and the adults lamenting the loss of the Palace, it makes you realize all over again what a mistake Asbury Partners made by insisting on Palace demolition. It also drives home the importance of having saved Tillie and the bumper car murals and all of those internal artifacts. The association between Palace icons and Asbury Park remains very strong and people will be excited once Tillie and the bumper car murals are back on public display at Kingsley and Cookman.
So our thanks for great team work go out to Dan Toskaner, Frank Saragnese, June Lisk, Carl and Kathy Beams, Gregory and Bonnie Raymer, Mary Lynn Purcel, Dan Van Pelt, Ralph McGeehan, Kathy Cherry, Anne Noss, Mark Uzzo, Chris Flynn, Kylene Jenkins, Elizabeth Flynn (our toddler trooper), Kate Mellina, and all the family members, soon-to-be family members, and partners who made these parades such a success.
Bob Crane for the Save Tillie Board