Angels, Chips, Mutts, Mums and More

I can see the Mumrise.  Yes, it can be a busy summer with parades and appearances, but it’s this time of year that all things Mummers begin to increase in frequency.  Among these things are rehearsals and fundraisers for the clubs and fundraisers for charity made possible by Mummers.  For example, Jessica Eastwood and the 2nd Street Shooters are throwing a benefit, Angels for Diabetes, to raise money for the American Diabetes Association.  Stop on by the Downtowners Hall, 2nd and Snyder, Friday night, the 14th,  from 8pm to midnight. I hope to get by there.

Also, all you cow chip fans, the next day, Saturday the 15th, you could win thousands of dollars by taking part in the fundraiser for the Fancy Brigade Association. There will be a cow. There will likely be something that the cow has to do and when the cow does what a cow will do, well, somebody will win big bucks. I’m talking maybe 10-thousand dollars.  It’s at 4th &  Shunk at the Murphy Recreation Center. They’re selling 3 by 3 squares for 20 dollars a block. The cow is let loose at 2pm. Get your block in before then.  May the chip be with you.

And while we’re talking animals, on October 6th, the 3rd annual “Mums & Mutt” event takes place from Noon to 4 at Burke Playground.

You can help the Mummers Museum this Saturday, the 15th and maybe save some money on groceries.  As Rocco says, there will be a huge food and new merchandise auction starting at 2pm.  Watch the cow and then come on over and save some moo-la.

Woodland String Band holds its annual Red Cross Blood Drive on Saturday, September 29th.  No, this is not how they won. 🙂 They are great, charitable Mummers.  You can be one, too, and give blood and save a life.

And, finally, on Friday nights, it’s always a party at Hog Island.

Enjoy the season.

Remembering Auggie

I last saw “Auggie” last month on the night Woodland String Band celebrated its first prize finish.  He had had surgery the same day and still showed up.  You knew he wasn’t feeling great and used a wheelchair to get about, but, as usual, he made everybody laugh, everybody smile, everybody feel better.  Frank “Auggie” Roberts had this effect on me and I knew him the least of all the hundreds of people in the room.  Maybe it’s what you should expect from someone born on St. Patrick’s Day.

Losing someone who loved life so much and losing them so young is difficult for those close to him.  Auggie was only 50 when he passed away on May 7th.   My condolences to Franny, Annie and Jessie and the Woodland String Band family.

courtesy Tom Loomis

Auggie was at the heart of Woodland String Band and you could argue, what Mummery is all about. He was a Mummer through and through. As his friends tell you, even as he fought cancer, he just kept winning, and making others happier.  He was a show-stopper and scene-stealer and you loved every minute of it.  And, if this wasn’t all so damn serious, you’d half expect him to walk, or roll, through the door tomorrow and say, “You didn’t really think I’d left, did you?”

courtesy Tom Loomis

Woodland String Band President, Tom Loomis, said it best Monday night when he wrote, “This evening, the world of Mummery, the Woodland String Band and the Roberts family lost a true champion. A fighter until the end.  We love you, Frank “Auggie” Roberts. Rest in Peace, brother, and thank you for all that you have given us and the great memories you left behind. One Heart-One Spirit!!!”

The first viewing for Frank “Auggie” Roberts will begin Friday evening at 6:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church on Moyamensing Avenue in South Philadelphia.  A second viewing will take place Saturday morning at 8:00, followed by the Funeral Mass at 9:45 a.m.  There will be a proud Mummers send-off.

Thank you and farewell, Frank “Auggie” Roberts.  Everyone who knew you is singing, “We’ll Meet Again.”

Get Yer Motor Runnin’

The “Git-Er-Done” crew will soon head out on the highway.  Woodland String Band, typical of many Mummers Clubs and more active than some, is starting another year of showmanship, fundraising, togetherness and ambassadorship.  New Year’s Day is the “Big Game,” but throughout the year String Bands and other clubs hit the road.  Take a look at last year’s official travel schedule for Woodland.  It includes Macroom, Ireland and Baltimore, Maryland in March, Wiconsico, Pennsylvania in June, Niagara Falls, New York and Washington, DC in July, Decatur, Illinois, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and Frackville, Pennsylvania in August, Palmyra, Pennsylvania(Yes, there is a Palmyra, PA—It’s in Lebanon County), Gardner, Massachusetts, and New London, Connecticut in September,  Elkins, West Virginia and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware in October.  This does  not count the in-town appearances, some for charity, that Woodland’s members do.  To all the clubs who are embarking on another great year of ambassadorship and outreach to keep the tradition alive, remember WWWD.  “Git-Er-Done!”

Gift of Life

woodland2woodland1Mummers perform countless acts of kindness and rarely do they get attention for it.  Woodland String Band has held its 6th annual American Red Cross blood drive at Anderson Hall, its clubhouse in South Philadelphia.  Check out Jim Wolfinger and Scott Greco “laying down on the job.”  That is, giving the gift of life.  Below, that’s me with Mike Dingler, at-large Director with Woodland, and that’s Scott  on the table behind us.  Lots of folks stopped by, including some runners who took part in an unrelated event earlier that morning.  Thank you, Woodland!  woodland3