In the mid 60s
It wasn’t lost on us, even as kids, the guy looked like a clansman. He even held a pistol and a shotgun. Later we would learn that the business elite that threw the party had ties to the John Birch Society. As late as 1987 they would close The Eads Bridge so the black element couldn’t ruin their parade.
We ended up having a Black Veiled Prophet parade. It was just another parade for us and we loved it.
In those days the 4th of July fireworks were at a ball field at the bottom of “The Hill”. I had almost forgotten that back then it was called “Dago Hill”,
I’m not sure why the event moved, but it was taken to
I think the organizers were aware of the bad reputation of the Veiled Prophet so they changed the name to VP. Kind of like KFC trying to get rid of any reference to fried food. Now they call the event “Fair St. Louis”. You’d never know the link if you weren’t from around here.
I played trumpet in the
Photos are from my high school yearbook in ’72. I thought I was a hippy with my Prince Valiant haircut. On the band’s bus we used to put dry ice in the bell of a sousaphone. It made the most beautiful eerie moaning sound. Other pic is a more recent Percy. I couldn’t find one when he looked like a Black Panther.