Booking it to St. James

September 13, 2009

Josh Bickel, a fellow grad student at the Missouri School of Journalism edited a book with the images of last year’s Missouri Photo Workshop for his professional project. Last weekend, the big day finally arrived: Coinciding with the St. James’ 76th annual Grape and Fall Festival, the book was finally published.

So, together with Rita Reed, who is a native of St. James, Josh, Calin Ilea and David Kennedy, we headed down to St. James on Friday to build a float and participate in the Fall Festival parade. Thanks to the meticulous planning and preparation by Josh, Rita, Calin and David, the float was built within a couple of hours and it looked amazing. Obviously, the jury thought the same and awarded us the First Place in the Organization/Club entry category…

Calin and Josh prepare the frame for the huge book that goes on top of the float.

Calin proudly presents his Mickey Mouse sweater.

Josh tries out the M8 – good try, but bad subject…
Photograph by Josh Bickel

It just doesn’t get better…
Photograph by Josh Bickel

Josh is warming up for his role during the parade. With the motto of the parade being “Pedal to the Medal,” he’s going to “pull” the float on Rita’s old bike – wearing Spandex!

Unwinding in the motel room after a day’s work is done.

Josh attempts a self-portrait in the motel mirror.
Photograph by Josh Bickel

Our float looked really, really great – except for Josh in Spandex.

The float gets the finishing touches before the judges arrive.

I don’t know what Phoebe is doing here…

Receiving the first price for our float really made Rita’s day.

Josh tries to gather momentum – once the float was moving, his job became a lot easier.

The only thing I remember from shooting this picture (and the next) was that all of a sudden I was surrounded by photographers who photographed me – seriously, have you never lied down on the ground to take a picture?!?

Even you, Calin!

Notice the camera being held up in the air in the background. This must have been the most-photographed parade/float in human history. At least in St. James.

I don’t know whether it’s the physical exhaustion or the embarassment of knowing that the whole world will see him in Spandex that causes this look on Josh’s face.

Of course, the book in question rode along on the float.

We had local support for throwing candies and waving to the crowd.

Hundreds of thousands of people attended the parade to see our float. They came in from as far as Alaska and Hawaii.

David Kennedy has a patriotic fit.

After the parade, Josh sat until the early morning hours and signed copies of the book for the thousands of people who lined up for miles and miles to get hold of a copy.

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