Well tomorrow is Thanksgiving……one of my favorite holidays. Clearly one of the most famous parades in the world will begin their march from uptown to downtown delighting the faces of millions of children and even a few adults at the same time.
For years I had the honor and the privilege to having but one job in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade…….to get those huge balloons from start to finish. Leaving my house at 3:30 am and driving to New York where there was an incredible electricity of excitement behind the scenes. Thousands of volunteers and tens of thousands of man hours to make a complexity of activity flow seamlessly for the parade watchers both along the route and at home on their televisions.
We all trained for some time with those giant balloons. A Pilot, 2 co-Pilots, a Captain, 2 co-Captains, 2 vehicles with a crew of 4 on each, two NYC Police Officers and even up to 70+ handlers all for just one balloon. Getting ready in our white or black jumpsuits there are many high-fives and biddings of ‘Good Flight’ as we all make our way uptown to the upper East Side. “Good Flight” is where the team works together for a successful trip through the entire parade route until the balloons are put away for next year.
The timing is crucial, and we are all connected via headsets as communication is key. Wind velocity with gusts are measured throughout and especially at every open cross street, obstacles are constantly being avoided (Street lamps have all been turned away to help), and away we go. Launched……and all of those faces. It is a feeling of huge success when our job is completed and the balloons are all packed away. Hours and hours of preparation—for a two-hour march.
It is all of those incredibly smiling faces that make it all worth it. From fingers pointing to gasps, the faces of the children are just amazing. One giant team to benefit all those kids. I guess when you think about it—-not too unlike our wonderful diabetes community. One big giant team to benefit so many. There is so much to be thankful for during this holiday, my list is long and my heart is full. Thank you to all of you who do so much to make this world a better place.
And on Friday, the diabetes community will all be back it again…..trying to make a difference because that is what we do. Back at it. “Good Flight” to all, and a most joyous and peaceful Thanksgiving to everyone.
I am a DiabetesDad.
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