Picture a three-year-old boy sitting on his father’s shoulders on New Year’s Day on a Philadelphia sidewalk — waiting, waiting, waiting for what has been promised: the parade. But he has never been to a parade and has no idea what to expect. And then the drums. And then the music. And then the Mummers appear in their fantastic costumes, brighter and more positive and energetic than anything even most adults have ever seen, all the more so to a child. He finds himself enveloped and delighted, and this event makes a huge impression. The following year, when his family returns to the New Year’s Day Mummers Parade, he is ready. Anticipation turns to attentiveness. When the parade appears, a wondering implants itself in the boy’s mind: who is this man, larger than life, that leads the pageant?