Monday, March 17, 2014

I reconnect with some Funny Little People at the Downtown St. Paddy's Day Parade

You will always run into funny people at public events . " Funny How?  Like a clown?  "  Sometimes.  Funny can be  like the inebriated goof who had begun his day with big brimmin' cup full of Happy Cossack Vodka and wanted to know what "Bik Showders Fun us a Boud?"  and shortly careened away prior to an answer.

Funny.  I imagine the balance of his Saturday, which no doubt ended before noon parade step-off, was equally hilarious and joyful for himself and those folks he gladdened the day.

Then there were funny trades men and rivals from Catholic Schools north, south and west.  There are no Catholic High Schools within Lake Michigan.  

Shortly before the Leo Contingent of the Big Shoulders Fund Marchers stepped north on Columbus Drive, I noticed the Stockyard Kilty Band.  This year we mourned the loss of Leo Man Dave McKinney '46 was a founding member of the bag-pipe band.  I mentioned to our guys that a Leo Man was instrumental in the training of generations of pipers.  and into the mix of black and gold tartans strolled two of the Funny Little People.  
When I was baby teacher at Bishop McNamara High School in Kankakee, IL, I played banjo and guitar with the Sons of Reilly's Daughter as part of MadCaps - an annual November All-School Fund-raiser that helped keep the revenue up and tuition down and doors wide open.  We were a hit - playing Irish songs, Italian songs, Polish Songs, Hillbilly songs and telling dirty jokes within the parameters of good taste and Catholic dignity . . .most of the time.  However, the show stopper was an anonymouspair of hilariously costumed characters who busted in on our show and danced up a storm.  They were known only as the Little People and they were funny.  It turned out that the Funny Little People persons were one of my students and the little sister of our band Director Kevin McNuty.  Sarah McNulty and Dave Gregoire made a modest industry from a great concept.

In 1976, Dave Gregoire and Sarah McNulty came up with an act for a local fund-raiser. They were inspired by Dave’s original 1st place Halloween costume. A few years later, Dave and Sarah were stitching together sophisticated characters who could lip-sync, show off their dance moves, and make people laugh at nightclubs, sporting events and a few private parties. Eventually, Dave and Sarah quit their day jobs, and by the mid ‘80’s hired about 10 more performers, mostly relatives and friends.

These are some funny people in the best of possible definitions.  Here is Big Shoulders Fund's James O" Connor meets the founder and the creative force behind the Funny Little People.

Leo President Dan McGrath is a fabulous wit and a gentleman Ryan " Hilarity!" Hodo in the grey Hodo Bros.Hoodie and Nick "Funny Attendance" Hyland to McGrath's right are part of the Canaryville Round Table/
These guys present what passes for wit on Sangamon
None of them think I'm Funny . . . well, 'funny lookin'!'

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