Happy Mu…Mu..Mummers Day!

20171231_145939Happy New Year and on this January 1st enjoy the great folk tradition and expression of people artistry and freedom, of family and friend togetherness, and respects to those who have left us.  All that and more is the 2018 SugarHouse Casino Mummers Parade.

It will be very cold.  It hasn’t been this cold for many years and precautions are urged.  But, most Mummers will handle it, dressing in layers, covering what can be covered, protecting instruments and carrying on a tradition dating back generations for many, or a relatively new experience that is both fun and personal.

received_1893955057285254(1)Mummery is fun, but it is personal.  Clubs will wear buttons or badges for those who have left us, or march with signs or props bearing their images, names or initials.  20171231_145957Some are well known to all Mummery like John Lucas or Bill Speziale.  Others are known well to the clubs.  In Mummery, each is equally important.

We also this day celebrate the ritual of noticing when someone or some club has been marching for 50, 60, 75, or 72 years(Bill Doyle).  We will also end the outdoor parade with an emotional moment involving Duffy String Band who lost Captain Ted Kudrick in October. 20171026_000642Now, 11 year old Jake and all the band will perform for Ted, and because it’s what Mummers do.  And, it’s a day fans of the Mummers, on the street or watching at home, reconnect.

FB_IMG_1514780587556(1)It’s a day we notice when Mummers raise money for cancer, or autism awareness, or our Armed Forces, or individuals like Gabby, a Mummer through and through. It’s about the children like Keegan, of Riverfront Mummers.  Does that little guy got it or what?received_10214874444484083

Thank you to our Police, Firefighters and Medical personnel, Streets crews, and City Officials that help make this possible in this day and age.

So today, try to be warm whether on the street or in front of your tv, and from Golden Sunrise, from Oregon to Froggy Carr, Goodtimers, Landi and Murray, 16 String Bands from Greater Overbrook to Duffy, and all the great Fancy Brigades in the Convention Center, please enjoy New Year’s Day and the best of the Philadelphia Mummers tradition.  It is about fun, but it’s also about a whole lot more.

We may now strut around the room.


Gearing Up for the Big Parade!

Mummers are warming up the night here at Liberte Lounge at the Sofitel on 17th St! And guest bartending is underway to raise money to support Foster Children. Yeah, Mums!

20 Years

Congratulations to the winners tonight of the 20th annual Delaware Valley HR awards.  I am honored again to be an emcee of this event at the Crystal Tea Room, recognizing the best of Human Resources in the Philadelphia region.

Sats Celebrate Half a Century

20171111_201610Saturnalian New Years Association celebrated 50 years in Mummery this weekend in a fun and beautiful gathering at SugarHouse Casino.  It was extraordinary going through the decades with images of the past performances and remarks by former captains like John Griffith, Dave Moscinski and John Zakrewski, and current captain, Jack Hatty, Jr. One fun fact among many with Saturnalian: It took first prize in its very first parade in the late 1960’s.  The Sats honored the living and departed members of the club and also celebrated the contributions of women members to the Fancy Brigade.20171111_214651 Josephine Thompson, a 12 year member of the Sats, led that recognition.  I am also grateful to the club for its welcoming of me to the event.  20171112_210822Saturnalian has a successful history and is again a brigade on the rise.  Here’s to the Richie Ski and all the gang going from last year’s “Gangs of New York” performance at the Pennsylvania Convention Center to a fun circus theme in the works this coming New Year’s Day.  It will be a great night for the club from 1811 S. 2nd Street.

SATS Ready to Celebrate

Captain Jack Hatty, Jr., and Dan Rudolph earlier in the week as members of the Saturnalian Fancy Brigade rehearsed at EOM in South Philadelphia. Tonight, the brigade will celebrate its 50th year. Looking forward to the event at SugarHouse.

When All Seemed Good

Still can’t believe it. Roy was a good man.

Until We Meet Again,Ted

We said goodbye to the Old Man.  Teddy Kudrick was laid to rest, but not until countless friends, loved ones and fans gathered in Media, Delaware County Tuesday night and Wednesday to pay their last respects to this father, husband, friend, showman, leader and hard-working American.20171025_092213

Ted Kudrick worked as an engineer on a tug boat and was Captain of Duffy String Band. A top hat he wore on New Years Day and at parades around the region graced a room where mourners gathered in Media, Delaware County to say farewell.  We kidded Teddy in recent years about being the “Old Man.”  His dad, Henry Kunzig was the original Old Man of the Duffy String Band family, but Teddy had gone on to earn the nickname.   He paraded for half a century, was inducted in 2005 into the Philadelphia Mummers String Band Association Hall of Fame, and was Captain for 32 years at the time of his passing.  He deserved the respect that was meant by “Old Man”, but Teddy was not old.  He was just 52 when he died last week.

Duffy has always been a favorite band of many Mummers.  It’s been a leader in opening up the parade to women and remains one of the most accessible and pleasing bands of Mummery.  They haven’t always placed high in the competition, but they always have heart.  They love the tradition of a people parade, and care more about making people smile.

20171025_092150 Teddy had a smile, one that never left him from the time he was a baby.

Throughout Fishtown, Wallingford, Port Richmond, South Philadelphia, and throughout the region, hearts go out to his wife, Colleen, and to their children, Jake and Kathryn, and to sisters, Cheryl and Peg, and brother, Michael, and all Ted’s family.  His son, Jake, had paraded with his Dad for ten years.  When you saw them at rehearsal on a parking lot on a cold day, or in full costume in front of tv cameras and fan-filled grandstands, you got a glimpse of the Mummery that many never see. The down to earth bonds of a father and son, joyfully spending time together.  We will always remember Ted, the “Old Man,” forever young with his son.20171026_000642.jpg