Until We Meet Again, Jim.

Jim3IMG_20151119_091408663Jim Julia, Sr., has been laid to rest. Friends, colleagues and admirers have been spending today remembering Jim and, with his family, truly mourning the passing of a life taken too soon.  In a highly emotional moment, members of the Downtowners Fancy Brigade lined the center aisle of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in South Philadelphia at the end of the funeral Mass.  The closed casket bearing Jim was led down the aisle and as it passed, members reached out and touched the coffin in one final goodbye. The words and music at the service had struck every right chord in honoring Jim for his compassion, dedication and leadership.  The funeral procession then traveled by vehicle past the Downtowners clubhouse and up around the Mummers Museum, and then back down 2nd Street in one last parade.TwoMG_20151119_091523856

Thousands of people tried to say goodbye today. But, if you really need to prove the wonderful life of James J. Julia, Sr., you need to look no farther than his family.  Jim Julia, Jr., eloquently addressed us all near the end of the Mass.  His sister Meghan stood beside him, as he spoke of his father’s life, and of his father, a kid from Tree Street, losing his mother at an early age. He recalled Jim’s love of Mummery and of tradition, and Jim’s life lessons on family.  The words were more evidence of Jim, Sr.’s, love for his family and they for him.  This sudden loss is deeply painful for them.  But, you can also tell that they are trying to ask themselves, “What would Jim do now?” Most beautifully real of all is Debby, Jim’s Sr.’s, wife.  The clear love she has for her husband, the patience and grace with which she greeted each of us and the honesty with which she mourns are as moving and meaningful as anything I have witnessed.

Jim Julia has been laid to rest. I have a feeling part of him is glad we paid some attention to him.  He may even be smiling and wondering what took us so long.  But, then he’ll take a sip of coffee and tell us to move on. I imagine he’d say that if we do want to honor him, then we should remember him by doing the right thing for tradition, for family and for the people of Tree Street.JimOneIMG_20151119_091457589.jpgThank you to Debby, Meghan and Jim, Jr. and to all in his family for sharing Jim Julia, Sr.    And to Jim.  Thank you, sir.  Goodbye.

Viewer’s Choice Finalists Announced

MUMMERS_ROWThe finalists in the 2015 SugarHouse Casino/PHL17 Viewer’s Choice Poll have been announced and SugarHouse is also planning on handing out thousands of dollars to some lucky Mummers clubs Tuesday night, January 20th, at 6:30 p.m.!  Here’s what we know.


The 5 finalists in the Fancy Brigades are, in alphabetical order:


Bill McIntyre’s Shooting Stars

Satin Slipper

South Philly Vikings


The 5 finalists in the String Band Division are, in alphabetical order:



Polish American

Quaker City

South Philadelphia

Sugar House 2011The winner of each of the two divisions will be announced Tuesday evening, January 20th, at SugarHouse.

Each will receive the big Viewer’s Choice trophy and a check from SugarHouse for $1,000.

In addition, each of three lucky “mother” clubs across the 5 divisions will be the recipient of $1,000.  To be eligible for those 3 drawings of $1,ooo, a club member has to show up at the Casino and report in at The Refinery area.  Say what club you are with.  The winning clubs will be drawn during the announcement ceremony.

So, the people’s voice will be heard Tuesday night and a total of $5,000 will be handed out to Mummers clubs.  It’s going to be a good night.  Mummers are asked to arrive at 6:30.  Make sure you check in and let them know what club you represent.

Good luck to the finalists and thanks to all Mummers for a great parade.



Put on Your Online Voting Slippers!

Wendy H IMG_20130604_151906_966Here’s a chance to show Mummer Power!  Wendy Hamilton, of SugarHouse Casino, has been an enlightened friend to many community causes, including the Mummers, and the leader of a team creating a positive work environment at her business since becoming a leading business person in the Philadelphia region.  She is up for the “Woman Who Empowers Us” award, presented by 95.7 BEN-FM.

You can vote, as as many times as you like, and they don’t ask any personal information.  Here’s the link.


Wendy is in one of the 4 categories offered.  In another category, I would suggest Cathy Engel Menendez, of PECO, for the Comcast Business “Productivity” Award.  Cathy is an excellent manager and communicator.

In the Cancer Treatment Centers category, I know well that they are all equally deserving, so I will not recommend one over another.


To The Winners!

The 2014 SugarHouse Casino Mummers Parade has concluded, launching a New Year in the fun, family, and freedom style of Philadelphia Mummery. I believe the parade makes everyone a winner. But here is the official list of finishers in the major categories.

String Bands: 1st prize goes to Quaker City. Hegeman finishes 2nd. South Philadelphia with its Pirate theme, 3rd. They are followed by Woodland 4th. Fralinger 5th. Ferko 6th. Avalon 7th. Polish American 8th. Aqua 9th. Uptown is 10th. Next are Pennsport, Duffy, Greater Kensington, Broomall, Greater Overbrook, Durning and Trilby.

Hegeman Captain John Baron finishes 1st among captains, followed by Ferko’s Anthony Celenza and Jimmy Good of Quaker. Denny Palandro is 4 and Nick Magenta 5.

Murray wins the comics again as does Captain Dennis Pellegrino. Murray’s Trama NYB wins 1st prize comic brigade.

The Fancy prize goes to Golden Sunrise, but the Fancy 1st prize Captain is Hog Island’s Kenny Medeiros with his Greatest Show on Earth theme. Jacky BAMBAM wins 1st again in Handsome Costume for Golden Sunrise.

1st prize Wench Brigades goes to Oregon. The Pirates are 2 and Bryson 3. Pirates Captain George Stewart wins 1st prize wench brigades captain.

Fancy Brigade 1st goes to Bill McIntyre’s Shooting Stars, with its Captain, Michael Adams, also taking 1st Prize. The Jokers and Downtowers finished 2nd and 3rd.

2014 Fancy Brigades Order of Enjoyment!

Saturnalian11 Fancy Brigades will perform in 2 shows at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on New Year’s Day in the 2014 SugarHouse Casino Mummers Parade.  This includes the new brigade, “The Spartans.”  The shows are at Noon and 5.  The official “judged” show is the 5pm performance.  That show will be broadcast on PHl17 beginning at 8pm New Year’s Day night.

Here is the order, their themes and Captains.

1.  Spartans  “One Nation, Valley of the Drums”  Captain Tom “Terk” Gindville

2.  Satin Slipper  “Adventure of Enchantment”  Captain John Bielec

3.  Golden Crown  “The Legend of Angkor Wat”  Captain Rob Runowski

4.  Saturnalian  “Twisted Treats and Sinister Sweets”  Captain Jack Hatty

5.  Downtowners  “Beyond Wonderland: A Mad Hatters World”  Captain Frankie DeVito

6.  Clevemore  “Oz”  Captain Ralph Tursi

7.  South Philly Vikings  “The City of Steam”  Captain Gerald Roccia

8.  Bill McIntyre’s Shooting Stars    Atlantis “Guardians of the Deep” Captain Michael Adams

9.  Jokers  “Dead Men Tell No Tales-A Journey Into Blackbeard’s Realm”  Captain Joe Gallagher

10. Avenuers  “Polynesian Adventure”  Captain Bob Fitzmaurice

11. 2nd Street Shooters “The Dead Will Rise”  Captain Rich Lind

Thank you brigades!

2014 String Band Order of Enjoyment!

MUMMERS_ROWHere are the official theme titles and Captains, plus the Order of Enjoyment for the 2014 SugarHouse Casino Mummers Parade on PHL17.  I see several contenders here for the “Custard’s Last Stand” Award.  I’ll post the Fancy Brigade official list tomorrow.

1. Woodland “Legend of the Lamp”    Captain Tom Robison

2. Fralinger “The Circus Comes to Clown”    Captain Scott Wray

3. Polish American “It’s SNOW-time”    Captain Nick Magenta

4. Avalon “”The Fields Are Alive!”    Captain Jack Hee

5. Ferko “FERKO is TOY-rific”    Captain Anthony Celenza

6. Uptown “The Pillage People”    Captain Ryan Radcliffe

7. Trilby “All For Mum And Mum For All”   Captain Joseph Kaminski

8. South Philadelphia “Invasion of Piracy”     Captain Denny Palandro

9. Greater Overbrook “Showboatin’ on Broad St.”   Captain Bill Razzano

10. Aqua “Aqua Shoots for the Stars”    Captain Ron Iannacone

11. Hegeman “Hegeman’s Household Havoc”    Captain John Baron

12. Quaker City “California Here We Mum”    Captain Jimmy Good

13. Pennsport “A Carnival in Venice”    Captain Charlie Nicholas

14. Broomall “Camping is in Tents”  Captain Peter Broomall, Sr.

15. Durning “Wet Side Story”    Captain Joe Pomante

16. Greater Kensington “Proud to be A”Mum”-Merican”   Captain Harry Bradley

17. Duffy “No Strings Attached”    Captain Ted Kudrick (and mascot Jake!)

“Tony Terrific”

You can call him Tony Terrific, though I know he’ll wince at that. 52-year-old Anthony DiLacqua is a great Mummer and Philadelphian. He’s been a Mummer for 23 years, 21 of them playing saxophone with Greater Kensington String Band. Tony is now Director of Security at SugarHouse Casino in Fishtown. Before that, he served in the Philadelphia Police Department for 29 years. He rose to the rank of Chief Inspector on the force. He joined SugarHouse before they opened and has been a vital part of the early success of the entertainment operation. SugarHouse Casino General Manager Wendy Hamilton says Tony is wonderful with employees and customers. In Wendy’s words, “He’s terrific.” (Thus, my “Tony Terrific.”) Tony Dilacqua had to skip last year’s parade because SugarHouse had just opened but he plans to strut with GK this New Year’s Day, with cell phone in pocket in case he’s needed. But, Tony oversees a large security force, coordinates with the Pennsylvania State Police, who are on site, and with the Philadelphia Police who patrol the neighborhood and the property along Columbus Boulevard. When you’re with Tony you see a guy who’s great with people, pays attention to detail and is very serious about preventing problems. You can see more about him tonight on PHL17 News at Ten.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,841 other followers