Baby gets first taste of Mummers

Kelli and Joe Lamplugh
Kelli and Joe Lamplugh
Posted: January 02, 2013

From the day his son was born last Sept. 11, Joseph H. Lamplugh 3d had no doubt where Joseph 4th would be on New Year's Day.

Marching with him in the Mummer's Parade, of course.

And so, as he slept in a 1950s pram decorated with green felt and a frog umbrella, 3-month-old Joseph made his first appearance as a member of the Froggy Carr wench brigade.

It's what Joe 3d did when he was a baby -- and his father before him.

Under a gray sky and cool temperature that hovered around freezing, all three members of the Lamplugh clan were making the long march up Broad Street for the annual Mummer's Parade.

"We want to keep the tradition going," said grandfather Joe Jr.

From well before the parade's 10 a.m. start at Broad Street and Washington Avenue, marchers and their relatives filled "Two Street," aka 2nd Street, in South Philadelphia, where many of the Mummer's clubs are located.

It was a day of tradition, but also many firsts

Danielle Reh, 38, a Connecticut native who lives in Queen Village and works in the foster care area, was also marching for the first time with the Froggy Carr brigade. The first time she saw the parade 12 years ago with her co-worker and Mummer veteran Brenna Wallace, Reh, like many, was befuddled.

"She said, 'I don't understand. There are all these macho, macho men and they're dressed up as girls. It doesn't make sense," Wallace recalled.

Now, Reh is marching with them as a woman dressed up as a man dressed up as a woman...or something like that.

"I love weird," Reh enthused.

Wallace was joined by her father, Elwood, also a member of the Froggy Carr wench brigade. Women were admitted into the clubs about 20 years ago, she said, and she has been marching for five years. "He doesn't have a son, so here I am," Brenna Wallace said.

Brendan Pooler, 13, of South Philadelphia, was also marking a milestone, suiting up with the Fralinger String Band for the first time. His older brother, Ken Pooler Jr., 24, also is a member and will march with a 25-pound bass.

Ken said this year's parade for the club has more meaning than others. Less than a month ago, a fire ripped through a building where the club was storing its props. The 150-member club was able to salvage most of the pieces. This year's them is aptly named "Back from the Dead."

"We're lucky because it could have been so much worse," Ken said. "We're here and we're going to have fun today."

Contact Jennifer Lin at 215-854-5659, jlin@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @j_linq.

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