Throwback Thursday – So Many Marchers

Reviewing Stand [But I want to be in the parade too!] by Frank Borth | Montauk Library Archives
Frank Borth dedicated this cartoon to Dr. Gavino Mapula, who practiced at the Montauk Medical Center for more than two decades. So many patients visited the doctor to have fishhooks removed that he had a collection of extracted ones on display in his office.


Dr. Mapula marched at the head of the 1995 Montauk St. Patrick’s Day Parade, whose organizers, the Friends of Erin, observed that he was “the first Filipino Grand Marshal.” They chose him because he was also“the first full-time doctor to move into the professional building,” they say on their website.

Gavino Mapula Grand Marshal in 1995 | Montauk Friends of Erin
Frank Borth, Grand Marshal 1990. | Montauk Friends of Erin

Frank Borth himself had been Grand Marshal in 1990, having the distinction, according to the Friends, of being “the first artist to be Grand Marshal.” Borth was a commercial artist who created (among other things) a comic book character named Spider Widow who’d unleash black widows upon her enemies. In the 1940s he and his wife, Barbara Borth, moved to Montauk, where they became active in the community. Frank Borth designed posters for events like the MVA’s Greenery Scenery party and a horse show to raise money for the Montauk Library, as well as inking a locally set comic strip featuring Cap’n Ayup and Zinker, the captain’s wader-wearing sidekick.

Recreational Fish by Frank Borth | Montauk Library Archives

It’s Ayup (whom Borth commonly drew in a captain’s hat and smoking a pipe) and Zinker who star in the St. Patrick’s Day comic strip. Note the banner’s tribute to the Friends of Erin, describing them as “Friends of the March in March.”

This March, the parade – the Friends’ 61st one – will be held on the 24thSteve Dolan – better known as Puck, who recently retired after 38 years of bartending at the Montauket – will lead the procession as the 2024 Grand Marshal. Have a great time if you’re lucky enough to attend, whether you’re marching for the crowds, spectating from the sides, or helping to fill the reviewing stand along with the other judges and dignitaries.

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