SHOW BUSINESS: The Balloon Man

When Jean Abel Gros (pronounced grow) first saw the famed pre-Christmas parade of Manhattan's R. H. Macy & Co., Inc. 13 years ago, he got an idea. A showman with a small boy's taste for shows, Jean Gros, 54, had spent years building up a marionette road-show business. He had lost it all staging a grand opera with puppets (75 singers were hidden behind the curtain). He decided that if he could get huge balloon figures like Macy's, and somehow design them to fit under trolley wires, he could stage such parades on any Main Street in the U.S.


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