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.

Last...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!