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.”