From the King family…

Word has come of the death of Joseph King.

Joseph James King Sept 23, 1953 – Aug 5, 2017.


May you rest in peace, Joe. Thanks to all who supported him in the final weeks of his life.

Hit the Right Notes for Joe King

The talented King family is one of the awesome families of Mummery and no one loves music more than Joseph King. 5262 
(Joe is the second banjo player in, in his first year with Garden State String Band.)
Through entertaining, being a Mummer for 53 years, owning a music store and individually working with musicians, Joe has helped countless people enjoy making music. Now, Joe King is battling cancer. This comes after we lost Robert King last October.5276
(That’s Joe on the left, then Daddy King, then Robert and Ronnie.  I thank Rita King for these photos.)
Mummers are gathering on July 23rd to give Joe a boost in his fight against cancer.  Come on down to South Philadelphia String Band on Porter Street on Sunday, July 23, from 4pm to 8pm for the Benefit for a Friend. The donation $30 dollars.  If you want to send a check, send  it the address below:
 
Lauren Salvato
for Joe King
228 Watkins Street
Philadelphia, PA 19148.
 
There will also be a raffle and auction items.  If you have an item to donate for the auction, email Charlene Radcliffe-Madden at Cmadden0913@outlook.com
 
52615258On Sunday, July 23, you get a chance to have a great time and do a great thing for the one and only Joe King.
South Philadelphia String Band’s clubhouse is located at 2820 W. Porter Street. 

A Legend Always to Remember

MUMMERS_JOHN_LUCASWe have said until we meet again to John A. Lucas.  John passed away last Monday at the age of 84.  Mourners came this weekend from across Mummery to Murphy-Ruffenach Brian W. Donnelly Funeral Home at 3rd and Wolf and to St. Gabriel Roman Catholic Church at 29th and Dickinson to pay their respects to one of the legends of Philadelphia Mummery…20170512_204520

…and to support Joann, Lora, Heather, Jimmy and Jessica, Dan and Ralph and all the Lucas, Romanofski, Rullo, Wolfinger and Tursi families.  Expressions of sorrow extended as well to the even larger Golden Sunrise Fancy Club family, especially Debbie and Matt Glovacz, and Jack Cohen, and Rusty and Sheryl Martz, and to the Clevemore Fancy Brigade family led by the Tursi’s.  John over his career was a staple in both clubs.  He led Golden Sunrise as Captain from 1972 to 1990 and again from ’94 to ’97.  He made a cameo farewell in 2010.

John Lucas

John will be remembered as a pillar of the Mummers tradition.  In the Fancy Brigades and the Fancies, he was a creative genius in back piece design and construction.

john lucas and jacky bambam

He was a large cog in the machinery of traditional Mummery; a big man who made a big difference.  His creations could weigh more than 200 pounds.

MUMMERS_JOHN_LUCAS_3His back pieces, suits and presentations,whether as a Captain, or whether making a fantastic vision come alive in a Handsome Costume for someone else, were wonders to see.  He painstakingly cared for each one.  He was particular about everything, down to the age and quality of a plume.IMG_1787

This attention to detail extended to another hobby.  I can remember being in his basement, where walls were lined with trains.  So many trains were carefully on display in one room that you could barely walk.  Though he had recently sold much of his collection, he still worked to repair those others collected.  It’s been said that if you like trains, you not only appreciate the design, the power, even the romance of locomotives and the cars they pull, but that you’ve got a healthy dose of kid still inside you.  That’s probably true of Mummery, too.Fancy Div Banquet 2011 002

John and his wife, Palma, were married for 59 years and they were one of the royal couples of Mummery.  Palma is very appreciative of the well wishes, the food and everything so many people have done to help her and the family in this time.20170512_205454

John Lucas will always strut higher than most in the history of Mummery.   Mummery has lost a legend and many have lost a friend.  But, a family has also lost in one man: a husband, an uncle, a cousin, a dad, a grandfather and a great-grandfather.20170512_204859

John Lucas was special.  One of the most moving things Palma Lucas said to me Friday night remains strongly with me.  She said, “Not a day went by that Johnny didn’t make me laugh.”

Celebrating Philadelphia

In my role at Cabrini University, attending the World Trade Centers Day celebration at the National Constitution Center. Citizens Bank CEO Dan Fitzpatrick is being honored with the 2017 Global Business Leadership Award. As Bill Sasso said in his introduction, Dan combines good citizenship with good business. Tonight, great local companies and educational institutions on hand to celebrate great leaders and the local jobs fueled by smart trade abroad.#WTCPHILA

Awesome: The Under21Band

20170423_122448One of the cool things to watch at this weekend’s String Band Champion serenade in South Philadelphia will be the Under21Band of the String Band Association. These young people, up to about 60 members on the street , are future leaders in Mummery. They’re also darn good.20170423_123826The band members often have long-standing family ties to Mummery and to more than a dozen string bands.  For example, Foley Anastasi, of Duffy.  They rehearse inside the club house of Woodland String Band (WSB).  Another member is Aidan Moran who is grandson of WSB’s Dave Anderson, a String Band Hall of Fame. The baton keeps being  passed.

20170423_123215Michael Roney, above, playing the bass horn, and his sister, Aubrey, wearing red and seated to the right, are grandkids of Bob Lightfoot, a Hall of Famer from Greater Kensington String Band. Their great mom, Karin, accompanies them to the rehearsals. The horn that Michael is playing Bob played back in 1990. I mentioned that the Under21Band sounds amazing. They are awesome.

20170423_123553A.J. Ford is their music director.  A. J. was rehearsing a passage and after they played it a couple of times, he said, “See the difference when you play confidently.  It makes all the difference.”  Music and life lessons, all in one rehearsal.

20170423_123542As Mummer legends look on, both a purpose of Mummery and its future play before them.

Peace, Love and Laurel House

20170422_213502Dancing capped a groovy evening of togetherness and fundraising to prevent domestic violence and help the victims of violence in Montgomery County.  It was the annual Laurel House Gala, held at Green Valley.  It was a 1960’s theme night.  Through education, outreach, a hotline, counseling, safe haven, advocacy and more, Laurel House is a critical component in the drive to defeat domestic violence.  My thanks to both Jackie’s and Alice, also Mary and Colleen, Stacey and the entire gala committee.  You put on a great, effective evening.  Leaders from Cabrini University, which has a focus on domestic violence, also were on hand.  I might add that in my belief that Mummers are everywhere, I want to recognize the very talented Greg Phelan (at the microphone), a member of the band American Deluxe, who were awesome.  Greg is with Fralinger and formerly of Greater Kensington String Band.20170422_213447

JBB and me

The Alice Cooper of Mummery and me celebrating with the Philadelphia Mummers  String Band Association.