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The Backlot Association float this year was tinged with sadness, as it honored the contributions of Frank Schweingruber, stalwart of float-building and design for the Backlot. He helped build and design 37 floats, and after he died a few months ago, the Backlot float committee decided to honor him in this year’s presentation. A scientist by profession, he was the “mastermind of the tall lead parts” of the traditionally multifaceted Backlot float, said Nancy Stermer, one of his neighbors and chair of the Backlot float committee.Beginning with the tornado whirling up a house, the float was composed of both vintage and new parts, through the bigwheels that did no turning, to the end, where Oscar the Grouch and the Cat in the Hat pointed to a portrait of Mr. Schweingruber by local artist Peter Hoppock and the words, “Thanks, Frank.” Near a more-than-life-sized baseball were the words, “Still praying for the Cubs.