More than 60 volunteers from the “West Winger” 10-1 section worked 355 hours over the past six months to create a float honoring our country for Robson Ranch’s annual July 4th parade. Named “The Betsy Ross,” this year’s float is a soaring American eagle with a wingspan of approximately 20 feet, sitting on a patriotically-themed 18-foot trailer with the words “United We Stand” prominently displayed. The Betsy Ross has an honor guard of numerous West Winger golf carts.
A successful test run of the float was held on June 22 where volunteers gathered to ensure that everything worked as planned, as well as to pose for a group photo and admire the final product. Vic Norton and Darrell Supak contributed photography from the day.
Mary Morse reflected on her West Texas roots by designing the eagle, complete with cowboy boots. Mike Slusher, the master builder, contributed his expertise to form the eagle’s body and wings, using industrial pulleys and air hydraulics to make Betsy Ross’ wings move up and down. Mike also added his touch to the float by painting the boots the colors of the Texas state flag and gold, spinning spurs. Professional artist, Janelle Lindley, painted the float’s individual features. Janet Slusher organized the efforts, including shifts for stuffing over 12,000 plastic tablecloth squares into chicken wire to form the feathers of the eagle.
The residents of Section 10-1 named their section “The West Wingers” as a tribute to their streets that are mostly named after birds, with a logo designed by neighbor, John Heath. Besides the many volunteer hours, the funding for the project came from neighborhood donations. This year’s float, built upon last year’s effort, is a larger, more complex symbolic representation of the neighborhood’s respect for our nation, the American flag, and our U.S. military veterans.