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.

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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.

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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.”

Soup with a Book Signing Chaser

soup-day-dec-18-2016What delicious soups graced the Mummers Museum today at the annual Golden Ladle Soup contest!  (Thanks to emcee Joe from Mum Radio -left; Michael from Spartans-right).

The winner: Spartans NYB with its Minestrone with kale and pinto beans.  Satin Slipper’s Ham and Bean finished 2nd. Golden Crown’s cheese steak soup finished 3rd (It really tasted like a cheese steak.)  Every soup of of the 12 entries was amazing.

Thank you, too, for all the folks who stuck around or arrived later to purchase the first copies of my book, Philadelphia Mummers.  The Museum has some copies and I will be at Mummersfest on Dec. 30th between 5 and 8 pm.wp-image-879153467jpg.jpg

 

 

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.

Mummers Against Cancer Underway!

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The 11th annual Mummers Against Cancer is well underway at the Woodland SB Clubhouse. Thousands of dollars are being raised to help families battling cancer. Thanks to everyone who donated the food, the music, the Hula dancers and more.  100 percent of the revenue is going to the fight. Mums at Work again.

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Aloha!

Happy Anniversary Murray Comic Club

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The Murray Comic Club celebrates its 80th anniversary tonight and its 18th 1st Prize in a row with a gala at SugarHouse Casino.  500 attendees are here, including past presidents and officers of other clubs. And, of course, big cheers to President Rich Porco and his daughter, Jessica, long time leaders of Murray and standard bearers of Mummery.  As Rich said tonight, “We’re not a club, we’re a family.”

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Murray has been a steady supporter of Easter Seals, our Armed Forces overseas and Philabundance. On New Year’s Day and throughout the year, Murray is number one. Congratulations and thank you, Murray Comic Club.

Talent is in the House

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And I mean on the stage. The Neumann Goretti High School Talent Show is underway in South Philadelphia. Congratulations to all the students.
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The row of judges are busy including my SugarHouse Casino Mummers Parade partner Alicia Vitarelli of 6ABC and PHL17 News at Ten. Thanks to Father Olson and Bruce Robinson for being such good hosts.

Neumann Goretti Talent Night

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That’s the view from my judge’s seat at tonight Neumann Goretti Talent Show. The Parents Association and the kids

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have set a great stage at this historic South Philadelphia high school.

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