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


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.


consumer1 7 years, 1 month ago

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

none2 7 years, 1 month ago

Why do you call them slackers? If you have a bill due, do you love to part with your money early?

consumer1 7 years, 1 month ago

I don't wait for the last minute to do anything.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago

Whatever it is that's stuck up your backside, it's in there pretty firmly. Ever consider surgery? That'd probably be much more effective than whining about every event where other people might dare to have some fun. You might even feel well enough to join in.

KansasPerson 7 years, 1 month ago

I thought slackers were people who didn't work. If I didn't work, I wouldn't have to do taxes. But as I am a non-slacker, I have to file tax forms every year. It's a pain in the neck. I'm a busy person and the forms get more complicated every year. If I want to go to a musical, dancing, fun, celebration to make it a lot more bearable, I guess I will, regardless of consumer1's disapproval of All Things Fun.

Carol Bowen 7 years, 1 month 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.

Kirk Larson 7 years, 1 month 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.

Carol Bowen 7 years, 1 month ago

My favorite is "Take me to Glory in a Glad Bag".

KansasPerson 7 years, 1 month 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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