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Archive for Thursday, April 14, 2011

After this year, Lawrence band may end 25-year tradition of performing at post office on tax day

April 14, 2011

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The Alferd Packer Memorial String Band will perform on tax night for the 25th year Monday evening at the downtown post office, 645 Vt.

Steve Mason, fiddler, said the band plays the “William Tell Overture” at 5:25 p.m. to greet the last-minute filers, who arrive shortly before closing time.

He said that when the post office used to close at midnight, the theme was much more appropriate for people who had been working on taxes all night.

“It’s not near as impressive at 5:25 in the afternoon, but it’s all you can do,” he said.

Mason said the band started the tradition of playing 26 years ago, when Mason himself was a last-minute filer.

“I had that feeling you have after an exam, that pressure let-off, that what-now kind of feeling,” he said.

He wanted a party, but there was no party to be had. So the next year he threw his own party with the band at the post office.

Now, after 25 years, the band is considering not returning next year. Mason said fewer and fewer people physically mail their taxes, but they’ve enjoyed watching the same families come in each year.

“There’s people coming to it that we’ve watched them grow up,” he said.

The band will play from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday in the post office lobby.

Taxes are due on Monday, April 18, not today, this year because Washington, D.C., is celebrating Emancipation Day on April 15, which pushes filing back to the next business day.

Comments

KansasPerson 3 years ago

Oh dear, I hope they will return.... indefinitely. Even though the P.O. closes at 5:30 now, the party goes on, and it's still fun. We've had so many changes lately; I hate to give this one up too. Besides, it's one of the only times we're sure to see the Alferd Packer band, and we really look forward to it!

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Kirk Larson 3 years ago

I love the periodic table song. I have often gone even when my taxes were done. It's a hoot! For extra grins you should look up the story of Alfred Packer. There's a company that calibrates analytical balances called Alfie Packers. I think they got their start with those hanging meat scales.

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Carol Bowen 3 years ago

The Alferd Packer Memorial String Band playing on tax day is one of the traditions that gives Lawrence its character. I attend just for the festivity. The post office was packed every year until the post office started closing at 5:30 instead of midnight.

The Internet has hurt our local businesses, too. Times change. I hope Lawrence does not become mediocre.

P.S. The clogger is Mike Rundle, a former mayor.

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HollisBrown 3 years ago

Will the wooden clog dancer be there?

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macon47 3 years ago

any one that always waits untill the last minute is a dud

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oneeye_wilbur 3 years ago

Maybe if the same logic that the business people downtown want to assert, the band could play one. What is that? The Post Office should stay open even longer till 5am in the morning.

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consumer1 3 years ago

What will all the slackers do then?? No music to celebrate their slackerdom.

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