Goodbye for now, Big Mac

big-mac-mccWe say goodbye today to John Macintyre, Jr.  Big Mac passed away over the weekend at the age of 82.  A constant, heavy stream of family, friends and fellow Mummers passed by his open casket last night in Runnemede, New Jersey.  His large, gracious family greeted and talked to every single one. Mr. Macintyre died on Saturday, on Constitution Day.  John loved America.  He was a veteran.  He was a Mummer.20160921_201601

He started parading at 3 years old with his father.  John, Jr. would go on to march in 79 parades and was looking forward to his 80th.  He loved his bean soup after a day on Broad Street. He was best known as the leader of Mac’s Mongoose Mummers and paraded most recently with the Murray Comic Club.  (The Mongoose came from a mountain lake home he had for many years, called Mongoose Meadows. His family and friends still talk about the weekends with Big Mac, with Pop or Pop Pop.) His family plans to be on the street, parading this New Year’s Day. That’s the way John would want it.  Among the items in his casket: golden slippers and a gold umbrella.

With 7 children, 14 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren, Mac’s Mongoose Mummers was truly a family experience on New Year’s Day. But, come to think of it, almost every day. Big Mac was like that all the time. His large, comfortable, made for fun den in their Bellmawr home was a gathering point. It was a celebration of smiling with life. That was John Macintyre, Jr., as big as they come.20160921_201539

Donations may be made in John’s name to the World Wildlife Fund, 1250 Twenty-Fourth Street N.W., P.O. Box 97180, Washington, DC 20090-7180.

Bash for the Barons Sunday

jane-and-john-barons_2016-shThis was the last time that I saw Jane Baron until her funeral. John Baron and Hegeman String Band had just finished a wonderful performance at the 2016 New Year’s Day SugarHouse Casino Mummers Parade. John and Jane approached the broadcast booth to say hi. I snapped the picture with my phone. Jane would pass away from pancreatic cancer a few months later. Tomorrow, on Sunday, September 11th, you and I have a chance to say thank you to Jane for her 20 years of dancing and choreography, her leadership of the dance studio and most importantly, her being an inspirational and great mother to Jaylen and JP.

The Baron Children’s Education Fund has been established to support Jaylen and JP in the memory of their mother as they grow older and pursue their dreams. On Sunday, from 2pm to 6pm please stop by EOM Athletic Association at 144 Moore Street in South Philadelphia for the “Bash for he Barons.” Touche and dj Bill McCay will be providing entertainment and there are other activities for children and adults. Food and drink, too, all for a reasonable price at the door. Much has been discounted or donated so that the proceeds can go to the Education Fund.

Much thanks go to Jeannine McCafferty for orchestrating this fundraiser and to Ed McBride and all at EOM for their kindness. So, whether during the Eagles game or after, stop on by and do what Mummers do best for each other. If you cannot make it, a gofundme account is up and running. If you wish to make a contribution that way to Jaylen and JP, then you can click here:

All the Best to Jaylen and JP, to John and to the late but forever inspiring Jane Baron.wpid-img_20151107_074118510.jpg

Yours in Mummery and Cabrini,



Celebrating Philadelphia as a World Heritage City

About 450 Philadelphians and invited guests from around the world tonight are celebrating  Solidarity Day of the World Heritage Cities, of which Philadelphia is a new member. 

Senator Bob Casey tells the gathered in the Crystal Tea Room that the designation “adds to the luster and brilliance of what this city is.” Chris Matthews speaks later this evening.