"I've been working on the Downey Rose Parade Float for over 42 years. About 15 years ago we did a float called 'Fast Food Revelation.' It was kind of a replica of the original McDonald's restaurant on Florence Avenue and it happened to win the Founder's Trophy. I'm kind of happy about that one because I had a lot to do with that one. I was the guy that was in charge of decoration that year. I and a team of six other people made sure the decoration got done in time. Luckily, we didn't have any glitches in the decorations that year.
"Another year, we were doing a transformer design that had the float morph into another formation. We did this by having the left and right halves of the float fold open to reveal another design inside. But the two halves were part of the new design. The inside of the two halves had some heavy canvas that had to be covered with some living stuff that would move with the canvas. We couldn't find anything that worked well enough. It just didn't look right.
"In the city of Downey, I fight for historical preservation. I like to see old buildings, old houses restored and respected. I feel that if those walls could talk they would have great stories to tell us. I think it is a real tragedy that people don't see that in older buildings. I was the phone call that got the city to stop the owner of the Harvey's/Johnie's Broiler from illegally demolishing the building. It is now the Bob's Big Boy Broiler. My dad told me stories about Harvey's Broiler. He said the line used to be around the block to get into the parking lot. It was a carhop service. There were traffic cops on Firestone to direct the traffic going through. He said that at one time they even put a 15-minute time limit on parking in the lot to get food. So, if you think about all the people, all the lives, all the stories that have gone through those doors, it would be a travesty to tear it down. There have been voices, discussions inside. If those walls could tell you those discussions, those stories, we'd be a lot better off."