Added Art Car Parade Bonus (Of A Sort): Dave Ward's Socks

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If you're going to Saturday's Art Car Parade, here's one tricked-out vehicle you'll probably see: an assisted living center bus festooned with over 2,000 socks.

Titled "Sock it to Me," the entry is the work of some dedicated seniors from the Hampton at Tanglewood center, including a 103-year-old sock-artisan named Gertrude, according to Life Enrichment Coordinator Tracy Ahrens.

"We did this back in 2004, and their entry was Bingo Frenzy -- it was adorable," Ahrens told Hair Balls. "But they just kind of wanted to do something different. And they thought, 'everyone's got old socks in their drawer.'"

They certainly do: 50 socks came from an A&M dorm (we're sure they smelled April fresh), and off the feet of Mayor Bill White and KTRK's Dave Ward, Ahrens said. About half the states in the country were represented, with the nastiest sock -- an old Hanes model, split in two -- coming from Florida.

"We're not going to say who it's from," Ahrens said.

The idea came up during one of the monthly breakfast outings some of the residents go to, although Ahrens wasn't sure who specifically came up with it. But she said the creative spirit is in keeping with the residents, who prefer not to just idle away the days in a rocking chair. For one thing, they have a freakin' kazoo orchestra that has performed the national anthem at an Aeros game, and at other events.   

So if you're there when the sockmobile cruises by, be sheer to give a cheer...just don't get too close, unless you really want to smell Dave Ward's feet.

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Contributor Craig Malisow covers crooks, quacks, animal abusers, elected officials, and other assorted people for the Houston Press.
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