Joyful examples of the Wow factor began at the 2012 Show of Shows with Greater Kensington String Band and remained high through all 16 performances, punctuated by the show of 2012 Champion Woodland String Band. Wowed were thousands of fans who gathered inside Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City this weekend to hear and see the men and women of the Philadelphia Mummers String Band Association in the annual Show of Shows. I guarantee you those thousands are still smiling.
Greater Kensington, Trilby, Polish American, Broomall, Uptown, Greater Overbrook, Durning, Duffy, Aqua, Avalon, Hegeman, Fralinger, Ferko, South Philadelphia, Quaker City and 2012 Winner Woodland entertained with their New Year’s themes and more.
The Show of Shows is a more up close and personal view of the String Bands. This year it was also the farewell performance of former 1st Prize winning Captain, Mark Danielewicz, of Polish American String Band. Mark is stepping down after 10 years as Captain. In an emotional moment, his father, Ray Danielewicz, himself a former Captain with P.A., announced his son’s final moments as Captain. Ray had introduced his son a decade ago when Mark’s time as Captain began.
It was great seeing Fralinger String Band Captain Thomas D’Amore, who has a rather impressive percentage of 1st Place Captain finishes with just a few years at the helm. Fralinger also has 4 members going into the Philadelphia Mummers String Band Association Hall of Fame.
Congratulations go to all of this year’s Hall of Fame inductees: John Wernega, Bill Garton, Warren Rivell, and Anthony Tenuto, plus, Jim Browne, Jack Dailey, John Jordan, and Ed Lynch,.
The Show of Shows is a chance for the bands to celebrate family. It’s common for little kids to take part in the performances, especially at the end, or by taking flowers to the Captain. A good example of that is when Catherine, age 2 and a half, took flowers out to her dad, Duffy String Band Captain Ted Kudrick.
Another beautiful moment in the show was when Woodland String Band stopped to recognize one of the greatest, most dedicated Mummers of all time, Mr. Dave Anderson, Jr. Dave started Mumming when he was 3 and has been a member of Woodland for 58 years. He served in many positions, including Captain. He was very surprised and moved by the recognition at the Show of Shows. Dave Anderson, the Heart and Soul of Woodland String Band.
Now, as important as all the above is, I must add, that in addition to serving as the emcee of the Show of Shows, I was asked to take part in a portion of the Durning String Band’s theme, “We’re Wheelie Motorvated.” I was allowed to drive the race car dubbed “Speed Highsmith.” It’s the yellow car. I won the race despite going in circles and in the wrong direction. I officially deny that there was any favoritism in the results. Thank you, Durning.
Long live the pursuit of happiness.
Posted on February 26, 2012 by stevehighsmith