End of (summer) Days

As we enter the last couple of weekends of the unofficial summer season, a reminder that the weather is supposed to be great this Sunday when the Phillies play the Padres.  And if you go, and if you buy a 50-50 raffle ticket, half the raffle’s proceeds goes to the nonprofit CADEkids.CADEkidsheader

So, make it a Sunday to get some sun, see the young Phillies and make a difference.

Get In the Game 2015!


Philadelphia Phillies players and managers, led by Carlos Ruiz, joined with some media members and scores of supporters of Philadelphia Futures tonight at the new South Bowl on Oregon Avenue. The proceeds will help hundreds of young people and programs to make college a reality. Way to go Philadelphia Futures, and my team of strikers.



Mummers to the rescue again this weekend in South Philadelphia.  Woodland String Band held its annual  American Red Cross Blood Drive at Anderson Hall.  The band has been doing this for years. 

Amy Saves a Life

The need for blood can be acute in the Philadelphia region.  Woodland members give their time on a beautiful Saturday to save lives.   For example, Amy Dingler stepped up to the plate and gave an arm. 

Loomis Leads

Tom Loomis provided the leadership. Okay, he brought the doughnuts. 

A couple of blocks away at Burke Playground, Megan West, Jen Cohen and friends held the first annual “Save the Mummers and Mutts” event.  The folks at TreeTops Animal Rescue have been finding homes for puppies neglected in the South.  Laurie, Beth and Andrea deserve thanks for their great efforts to help the pooches.

It was a riot watching the dogs.  They were given a free run during the event inside the rink.  It was like watching the “Puppy Bowl,” you know that event that runs the day of the Super Bowl.

You can fund out more about the ongoing effort by checking out treetopsrescue.org.  The dogs do not bark with a southern accent.

Also on hand while I was there, members of the Quaker City String Band.  QC provided the sound track for the festive afternoon of people and puppies.

QC Present & Future

Speaking of champions, it was interesting to see the results of the Phillies poll I posted last week.  The question was which team most fits the description “Golden Era,” the 1950, 1980 or 2010 Phils?  With about 3-quarters of the vote, the current teams wins.  The 1950 Phillies edged the 1980 Phils for second.

Golden Age?/Golden Rule

As we begin fall and enjoy the success of the Philadelphia Phillies and what may be looked back on as the Golden Age of Phillies baseball, there are many events in the works  to help Mummers clubs and other needy causes.  But before I get to them,  it is worth asking if this is the Golden Age of Phillies baseball.  There were  the 1950-era teams, including Robin Roberts and Richie Ashburn.  There were the late 1970’s and early 1980’s teams, including Steve Carlton, Mike Schmidt, and Pete Rose, along with Manny, Garry, the Bull, Larry and the rest.   And then there is this remarkable team.  Imagine being a 7 to 12-year- old kid today and all that you know about the Phillies is, “We’re number 1, baby!”   It’s quite a time, but still those other teams were awesome.  So, I’ve included a poll at the bottom of this post.  Check it out.  Vote.

As for the events, let’s begin with Woodland String Band’s annual American Red Cross Blood Drive.  Woodland members step up for this every year. if you can give blood, head on down to Anderson Hall at the Woodland String Band Clubhouse on 3rd Street, just up from Snyder.   Also, the same day, take a couple of blocks walk and head over to Burke Playground at 2nd and Jackson to Save the Mummers and Mutts.  The first annual event helps savethemummers and helps animals in neeed of rescue.  The event begins at Noon and runs until 4.  You might even see a dog you’d like to adopt.  Mummers clubs have lots of fundraisers in the weeks ahead. Support them if you can to keep the tradition thriving.  Among them, Greater Overbrook String band has its costume fundraiser on Friday night, October 8th. Clevemore’s going “Big Ticket” Sunday night the 10th.  Durning has its social in Riverton on October 16th.  Duffy String band also has its Captain’s night the same night.  The Hog’s have their fall fling also on that date.  There are three other events I’d like to give quick mention to:  The Gloucester County Autism Walk takes place October 2 at Riverwinds Community Center in West Deptford.  I know some folks at Quaker City are involved in this.  There is also on October 9th, the Walk Like MADD event at the Philadelphia Zoo. I am emceeing again.  Form a team or come out on your own to help prevent drunk driving and walk around the zoo!  Registration is at 8:30 a.m.  And then on October 23rd, you might want to drop by Casey’s on Lansdowne Avenue in Drexel Hill, always a fun thing to do.  This time it’s a great MDA cause raising money to support the Philadelphia Powerplay, the hockey league.  And, remember, tickets for the fabulous Fancy Brigade Finale and MummersFest go on sale  starting October 1st!

 Now, the poll.  Are we in the Golden Age of Phillies Baseball?


Ferko is Philadelphia.  I stopped by the Ferko String Band Clubhouse today in  Bridesburg to watch the band members and their families leave for CitiField in New York City to cheer on the Phillies tonight.  Check out young Hunter there with “Go” shaved on one side of his head and “Phils” on the other side!  About 270 folks from the Ferko SB family …yes 270… including a few Mummers from other string bands, filled up bus after bus and made the trek. Wish I could have gone with them.

Before they left, they gathered for a big lunch at the clubhouse and geared up for the day-evening long outing.  This is just more evidence of 2 things: Mummers bind the community and families together and they support all things Philadelphia, in this case the Fightins. 

Matthew,Luke,Hunter,Mike & Fred

Blane, Jason, Mike, Bob and all in Ferko raising funds and fun, Ferko style.   I may have some pics of the mammoth appearance of Phillies fans at the game after the game.  If so, I’ll post them here.


I wouldn’t call it greed. I would say self-preservation is the number one motivation in Harrisburg and it is why I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that we do need some type of legislative term limits.  I know there are problems with term limits, but I think you have got to eliminate a concept that this is a lifetime job and I’ve got to protect my lifetime job.”  So says Governor Ed Rendell in a conversation with me about the legislature.  The Governor had a few things to say to me about the Pennsylvania General Assembly, the tobacco industry and the Phillies.

Should the Phillies pay for a parade if they win the World Series?  Ed Rendell says, “I think the Phils could share those costs like they did last year, but I also think the city should kick in a little bit because remember the city’s gained a significant increase in their amusement tax for every single game that is played.”  He points to the 2 games with the Colorado Rockies, 3 with the Dodgers and potentially 3 with the Yankees.
Pennsylvania has one of only 4 full-time legislatures in the U.S. I said to him, “We’re not getting our money’s worth.”  The Governor responded, “No, there’s no question.”…”Though a lot of the legislators do good constituent work.”  So why does all the self-preservation and corruption go on?  “The reason this stuff goes on is because people don’t generally pay attention.” 
Rendell again called the 101 day budget delay “reprehensible” and again apologized for it, but he clearly the blames the legislative mindset of today for most of the trouble.  “This incredible polarization that’s occurred in politics today, where it’s all about getting over the other side.”  And part of it on the absence, no longer alive or in office, of consensus building veteran legislators.  “We don’t have people like Matt Ryan, Joe Loeper or Leroy Irvis leading the legislature anymore.”  The Governor continues, “It’s far too partisan. That’s number 1. Number 2, too many legislators when they’re running for office take a no tax pledge…that’s crazy.  There’s good government spending and there’s bad government spending.”   He counts his increases in education  infrastructure and health care spending as examples of the good.
Rendell warns wile there will likely be no budget crisis in the remainder of his term, he is concerned about 2012 and that the legislature rejected his budget proposal this year that would have prevented a crisis or softened the blow that could come that year when the stimulus money is gone and pension obligations explode.
I asked Ed Rendell, “It says something doesn’t it, that Pennsylvania is the only state not to tax smokeless tobacco?”  Says the Governor, “It does say something.”  “No excuse.”  And,  “You look at the sales tax exemptions and virutally every one of them is there because some special interest group hired a powerful lobbyist who convinced the legislature to do that.”
I asked him if intends to kick some derrier in the remainder of his time in office?  “Oh, yeah,” says the Governor, who pointed to ongoing major issues of climate change, alternative energy, the economy, education and, he hopes, helping the federal government implement health care reform.
More on my conversation with the Governor later.