One year of waiting
is a LONG time.
When I watched the York St. Patrick’s Day
Parade ’04 I said to myself, “I’ve got to get the Pogo Squad in this next year.”
I contacted the city and parade council and they
said that it would be okay if The Pogo Squad bounced and to register the following year.
Over the next few months I went to England and
took a slight hiatus from thinking about the parade. When I came back I contacted Nick McClintock, knowing that he lived not
too far from York and asked him if he wanted to come down, meet The Pogo Squad, and bounce in the parade.
He said that he would like to and we left it
One month before the parade things really started
For the first time in my life I attempted to
come up with a routine plan for 12 people. Some of the other Pogo Squad members helped me out and we worked out a pretty nice
We made flyers, a banner, T-shirts. We painted,
stickered, taped, and sprayed our pogo sticks so they stood proud in white and green. We talked about filming the parade and
met to work on the routine. Then, not too long before the parade, Fred Gryzbowksi, a pogoer who I knew only by video, contacted
me and said that he would like to come down for the parade.
At first we didn’t think that him coming
would work, but in the end his being there added a pizzazz that we would never have acquired without his presence.
And so, March 12, 2005, the day I’d been
waiting for for an entire year, kicked off.
Nick and Fred came to my door and the rest of
The Squad trickled in one by one until all 12 of us were ready.
We drilled the routine, met Scott, hung out,
and took off.
Driving into the city we encountered throngs
of people. In groups we found our way to our starting point, ¾ of the way into the line of performers. Together, marching,
singing, playing, driving, and hopping we would make York St. Patrick’s Day Parade ’05 happen.
After a good long while we were off.
It took us awhile to get used to constantly moving
forward and trying to adhere to the relentless shouting of “NoFooterGoBackwardsJumpHighDoAFlipPogoIsGaySpinDoThatAgainYeahBounce!”
We eventually got everything down to a science.
Stopping now and again to do the routine.
The people LOVED it.
The real highlight of the day was fast approaching.
A gigantic square where York’s two largest
streets intersect. The parade judges scrutinize from high on their platform, marking down who deserves what prize and which
group will get the biggest prize of all…being named the Best Of Parade and receiving $350.
We entered the square and the crowd closed in
around us, sealing where we came from and closing off where we were going to. The only way we could get out was to perform.
And so we did.
We performed our best routine of the entire day.
The little guys went, the slightly larger guys went, and then the big guys were up. No Foot Peg Grab. ULBS. Leapfrog. Reverse
180 Leapfrog. Tuck Reverse. Tuck Reverse Backwards.
They didn’t stop cheering till we were
far down the street.
At the end of the parade we collapsed. Trudging
over to the sidewalk we all sat down and allowed our parents and friends to come congratulate us.
Eventually we made our way back to the square,
got our adrenaline back and tried some crazy tricks behind the crowds. I landed a Super Rad Peg Tap. Fred got an ULBS to Frame
Stall. Nick did a Tuck Reverse off a ledge. And Scott did a standing Backflip off the same ledge.
Finally the parade was over and so we waited.
After a good 90 minutes the judges said they
were ready to announce.
With growing excitement we crowed around the
judging stand to listen to the results.
Our group category was “Group” and
so when they announced that we stood hushed.
“3rd place goes to…not
“2nd place goes to!!…not
“And 1st place goes to!!!…not…us.”
We remained quite. We were so sure that we were
going to get something. And then the judges spoke again.
“And now…the judges choice. Best
Of Parade…THE POGO SQUAD!”
Pandemonium ensued. Fred did some crazy dancing.
Nick pumped the air. I simply stood there, so amazed that the one thing that I had imagined for 365 days had actually just
And the rest…well…the rest isn’t
that exciting. Nick and Fred had to leave…we all went to our separate homes and collapsed, relishing in a job well done.
Over the next
couple of weeks I got numerous offers to do more shows, more parades.
The St. Patrick’s
Day Parade jump-started The Pogo Squad into the world of performing.
What can I say, it…was…awesome.