Is That a Sexy Banana In Your Pocket? Master Float-Maker Giving Away His Creations.

Categories: Local News
Dave Thomas of East West Productions ("We're the Best, Forget the Rest") got into building parade floats because someone wouldn't let him join in a parade. He was studying martial arts and wanted to march with his class in the city's Chinese New Year Parade.
Too late to grab this banana.
When the parade rebuffed his advances, he and his fellow students donned gold masks and joined anyway. They kept the tradition up for a few years, and finally the parade capitulated. They didn't just invite him to participate, they asked him to make them some parade accouterments and he's been in the parade industry "hardcore" for 20 years ever since.

trees new years etc 080.jpg
Dave Thomas' magnificent warehouse.
The largely self-taught builder crafts the floats from massive pieces of Styrofoam and fiberglass and paper mache, among other materials, and surmises that he has made floats for just about every parade in San Francisco. He stores the fruits of his labor in a warehouse at Pier 27 and the interior looks like something from a Hollywood backlot. Towering Buddhas commingle with piles of giant sea horses. A replica of the Castro Theater has a marque that reads: "We Are Family. Starring Bevan, Fiona, Sophie, Family Builders, Culture Shock."

At this point you're probably thinking, "How do I get my hands on one of these?!?!" Well, the answer is keep your eye on the Craigslist free ads. Thomas is running out of room to keep all his creations and has started unloading some of the items that aren't "pulling their weight." Recently, he gave away a set of Greek columns and a sexy banana lady with fruit covering her nether regions.

Thomas isn't sure what people are doing with the items they haul away.

"The banana lady has a husband, I guess.," he said. "What did the guy do with it? I'd love to know. Is it in his living room? His bedroom? His garden?" (We would like to think that the sexy banana lady was adopted by a man with a pocket enormous enough to accommodate the double-entendre of the century.)

Thomas once gave away an elaborate dragon that was turned into a topiary with a door and interior room.

If you weren't the person lucky enough to land Banana Lady, Thomas says not to fear. He'll be posting more items on Craigslist, including plywood and Styrofoam for penny-pinching artists and builders.

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