A Sight For Sore Eyes
On January 1, 1964, in the barracks of HU-4, of NAS Lakehurst, N.J., I woke up with a hangover. I told you many blog postings ago of the night before, about being out barhopping in downtown Lakehurst with our office’s head petty officer Obie’s wife Lucy and Lucy throwing a poolball through the window of an establishment because they would not serve her.
My friend Don came by my cubical to see how I was doing. we decided to drive to Philadelphia in my beat up old Volvo PV544.
Philadelphia was about 40 miles away. We went to see our office-mate, Dave P.
Dave P. was home with his folks on leave. Dave was a very easy and efficient going young man who was very witty and seemed to have a grasp of everything going on around him. I think Don had been there before, Dave’s family seem to have known him well.
Dave had sort of a suite or a flat up the stairs of his parents’ home. Up the stairs at the top of the landing was a living area with a TV, couch, sofas, and other amenities of a living room, and off to the side was his bedroom and a bathroom.
We visited for an hour or so, then left. He lived on a long street, the kind of shady lane that had old homes and few traffic lights and some stop signs. One block away from Dave’s house the traffic was backed up a few cars before going through an intersection of a larger street, a boulevard type of street. A big racket of music, tambourines, drums, horns, in no order was sounding. A parade was passing by on the big street.
A cluster of brightly colored feathered people danced by. “What th…?” then another group, just as outrageous came by making noises… and another and another. We were out of our car watching the parade when we asked somebody else watching what kind of parade was that.
“Mummers” he said. On google I surfed and lifted a few pictures that best described my impressions of the Mummers.
On my new page-a-day The History Channel "On This Day" calendar I received for Christmas on this day it told me about the first Mummers parade in 1876.
Before 1876 the Mummers paraded, but that is the year they first paraded officially. George Washington paraded as a Mummer when he lived in Philadelphia.
I wonder how that tall gallant man, father of our country, looked dressed in loud purple, pink, and/or blue feathers or other garb dancing down the streets of Philadelphia?