Scribing & Driving at 230mph!

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For me, the pleasant side of Memorial Day Weekend involves high speed racing, Indy to be specific. Just back from five days in the Circle City, my visit to the 90th running of The Greatest Spectacle in Racing (sorry NASCAR) was a bit different than before. The promoter side of me was also in town to learn from the big boys, and learn I did!

Can drum corps ever take over a city like open wheel racing does? Probably no, or should I say . . . it will take a few years, many, many years to be honest. But, we can try, can’t we! From what I read here on DCP, DCI is considering the challenge. I’ll sure be there to help DCI in that effort. Good time here for me to tell those who have never been, downtown Indy is absolutely spectacular. You WILL want to visit Indy several times. No one should go through life without an evening at Slippery Noodle (and after a porterhouse at St. Elmo)!

I had a chance to do lunch with the CEO of Planet 10 Spirits (EFFEN Vodka). Smooth describes both Jon and his product. Did I mention, learn from the best?

You want speed? Here’s a guy who holds the record for most names mentioned during one lap around the keyboard. Enjoy!

Cozy’s DCA Planet

by Cozy Baker

Cozy couch ‘tater or cozy gleam at ‘Rachacha’ retreat? Choose, porkchop!

If ya’ clicked in here expecting me to imitate Lewis Grizzard, sashay back to some earth-tremoring news like: How many snares along the San AndRenegades Fault these seven minutes? I’m barefoot today, sans penny loafers, sans red sneakers. I beseech you with no Tennyson, no Twain, nay, no Yeats, just me baring my soul.

There are lots of opportunities, yes, even today, to march, to spin, to front, to sell souvies, to beam and wear “Waterboy” on your corps shirt. Believe me, being a water boy will put you in shape and keep you from needing Tom Colgan’s, CorpsVets biz manager,

Memorial Day weekend is here; yet, so many DCAssociates corps have holes, not multitudes, but smatterings. It beats news that corps won’t be out at all. I’m not hearing that DCA corps won’t be at Lewisburg, PA, Woodbridge, VA, or Milwaukee, all July 22, just that they need to plug Bxx drill spots, add guard, add even a tambourine player. After reading here, click directly into DCP Forums, find a corps in your neighborhood or several los barrios distante, and www to say, “Sign me up!” You can still shine Now! before the harvest moon.

‘Marching DCA, after a very long absence’ ~ Popular thread

Following the thread “Marching DCA, after a very long absence,” I was touched to see that the Rochester Crusaders have reached out to take a newbie, an old corps vet and instructor, into their fold. I glowed reading The End, the happy end.

Sitting here with my morning java, I’m concluding that this thread had arrived at closure. Corpsdom has recruited yet another victim…

…This thread must continue. I issue these challenges: First, our man must follow through and gleam in the pit. Begin by actually showing up, then returning to be a proud Crusader. As the former director of a small all-age corps that was always desperate for members for…for Port Clinton, OH, “Bug Shows,” I have learned not to hold my breath when someone says, "I’m in." So, thanks for saying you’re in – Now, do it.

Fly in with a toothbrush and Promarks into a snare apartment this summer and wear the T-bar tan. Do camps in the dog days torridity of Orlando, Houston, Jackson, Nashville, Chicago or Torrance. Sound off along the Gulf Coast. Bond an alliance.

Why should others lurk here who are pondering if they, too, should wear a uni proudly, be it Cru, Grenadiers, Dream, Govies, Generals, Shenandoah, Mon Valley Express; Royal Airs, Park City; Ghost Riders; Hit Men…? – Because there are so many who have similar stories, similar paths in life.

Roger Ellis, who “came back” to march the 2000 Skyliners, then went on to DCA Minicorps fame with the Erie Thunderbirds, is a prime example. Many of us – Frank "The Beard" Lozar (57 corps seasons by 2003!!!), John Hoekstra (40 consecutive years!), Geoff Adeney (c. 40 years in corps, one year away?), John “Cupcakes” Curran (c. 40 years), et al., are exceptions – have gaps, time away from corps. Burned out age-outs say, "No more." They go off to Naval aviation, work top-secret projects, become scuba instructors, run a non-profit, serve on opera house boards, teach tennis or trumpet…whatever.

Curt Zoerhof offered his testimonial in the thread about marching in Minnesota Brass beyond his…teens. A wise man, Zoerhof thanks his wife. Mike Dempsey has bicycled in with his encouragement. The reasons to not perform are few…Maybe, if you have a 29-year-old girlfriend.

Once each of us gets life more in order, divorce devastation is easing, Mom’s not in a nursing home, elbow surgery is healing, sorrow about losing your mate is less intense, etc., I say glide-step in. Work out, get a physical if ya’ must, but just Dinkle off-the-line into this activity that makes you want to build those chops. I picked up my Conn Connstellation trumpet and my bugle again years ago. Pushing through my own personal hurdles, pushing through "walls," I found I could play again without pain.

I played my Clarke, Arbans, and Concone exercises with renewed zeal. Others can do the same whether it’s 26 rudiments, parking lot cadences, echoing rosewood, turnaround spins ad nauseum or long tones.

Tom Slade, Cincinnati Policeman of the Year, his dad, Rick and Kathi Heinlein, and more inspired me at Cincinnati Tradition. Sitting with Carmen Cluna at the 50 at a DCA Championships in, yes, Scranton, pumped me. I had gone there thinking I’d join my beloved Caballeros, but was awed by another corps that was closer to me. Just like I’d done years before in a Navy recruiter’s office, I said, "Sign me up!"

Donny Allen was the kind of instructor I needed – Right time, right brusque boss. After having four months of Marine DIs, drill instructors, in boot camp years before, Donny was my new Staff Sgt. D. T. Penn. While it appeared he was kicking my butt, what Allen did was mold me. Surrounded by chiseled chops like Denis Bergeron, Chris Castellon, Bill Trulove, Tommy Allen, Mark “Juice” Sichewski, and cast, I forced myself to become better. I argued dots with Tommy Allen; now, I perform Form and just shake my head when I encounter dot mongers.

I rode back and forth many weeks with Vince Bruni, “Mr. B,” commuting to the Bingo Palace, scribbling notes furiously as he rattled off corps history. Working in the office, I saw what it takes Monday through Friday to make the weekends happen. Visiting with Bill and Irene McGrath Sr., I served an apprenticeship learning corps history, what it really takes to create an entertaining corps, to start bingo, to tabulate contests, to print programs, etc.

So many who inspire:

I learn and absorb much from so many: Steve Vickers, Tom Peashey, Larry Hershman, Gil Silva, Red Corso, Glen Johnson, Roman and Sue Blenski, Murray Davis, Scott Stewart, Fran and Barbara Haring, Dick Pronti, Mac McEntire, Wayne Downey, Pete Emmons, Jim McFarland, Gerry Kelsey, Guy Kammerer, David Henry, Darryl Jones, Larry Kerchner, Scott Boerma, Chuck Naffier, Key Poulan, Dan DeLong, Scott Johnson, Marc Sylvester, Vince Monacelli, Scott Chandler, Jeff Mitchell, Pete Bond, watching and listening to solos and ensembles by Frank Ponzo, Jimmy D’Amico, Gene Marotta, Johnny Maldonado, Bucky Swan, Tommy Martin, Joey Pero, Ritchee Price, Jim Centorino, Frank “Ironlips” Dorritie, John “Screech” Arietano, John “Grass” Urspruch, George “Sidemouth” Richardson, Joe DiFiglia, Riggie Laus, Billy Hightower, John Simpson, Larrie Dastrup, Roland Garceau, Doug Peterson, Tiffany Carrico, Travler Garvey, Lolita Tabujara, Rich Skare, Ace Peterson, Jeff Gibbens, Tom Davenport, Jim Sobacki, Bill Semeyn, Brian Moriarity, Bill Roetzer, Dave Mitchell, El Guapo, Ed Bergles, J.C. Caspers, John Cassell, Jimmy Steele, Hunter Moss, Bill Wear, Jerald Sheets, Jonathan Thomas, Roger Grupp, Tina Cavitt, Dennis Tischhauser, Cynthia Hoines, Mark Kelly, Dave Keck, Scott Stansfield, John DeFazio and a showcase full of many more. Many percussionist have tut-tutted me: Brian King, Gary Matczak, Russ Trawicki, Kilties 2003 Percussionist of the Year, Allan Murray, Rick Beckham, Vic Kulinski Jr., all the McGraths, Kelley Houpt, Mistress Kelli, Romanian Sarah Nash, Zach Hubbard, Steve Masters, Sandy McNeal, Eric Landis, Nichole Dennis, Bob Scott and Tim Burke, to mention a few. Guard: MoJo, JoEllen McEntire, Shirley Stratton Dorritie, Debra Peterson, Elaina Fierro, Amy Wright, Lisa Dryden, Al Yeh, Caitlin Erickson, Chris Key, Monica Moss, et al. Drum majors like Jimmy Russo, David Bruni, Jeff Thomas, Rose Cataneo, Marvin Fontaine, Greg Teems, James Barany, etc. I’ve caught on to the quiet dedication of folks like Maury Lillis, John Martinoff, Suzanne Roetzer, Lisa Caspers, Kurt Schiebel, Jeff Burnham, Sue and Dan Cosley, John Mayer, Nanci McFarland, Eric Boudreault, J.T. Tinoco, Munson Chan, Lani Pratt, Anthoney Signorelli, Charles Powell, John Zaragosa, Daniel Sheets, R.J. Scott, Randy Waters, Tom Walker, Dave Leland, Keith Lewis, Tom Colgan, David Medeiros, Marilyn Parker, Noel Thomas, Robyn Teems, Tammi Stollberg, Jeff and Terri Erickson, Pops, Nikki Marshall, Mark Warrington, Melissa McClelland, “B” Sharpley, Don Avery, Frank Maier, Dave Peto, etc. Fortunately, corpsdom always has the next generation to carry on, like David Bruni, Vic Kulinski Jr., Bill McGrath Jr. and III, Jeremy Thompson, Patrick Elmenthaler, Casey Dryden, Ken Huff, Mary Colleen Wright, Andrew Brown, and so forth…

…The doorbell just rang. A couple of well-dressed gentlemen offered a Bible. How prophetic! Here I sit typing about morning readings of Clarke, how corps can be bliss on earth at DCA retreat in “Rachacha,” Rochester, and how we should be disciples following the teachings of our numerous drum corps prophets. The spirit is so alive within each of us. Find it in your own way!

Rich Skare, Renegades contra soloist, posted a Thank You to the ’94 27th Lancers Alumni performance at DCI in Foxboro, MA. Our history touched him. Larry Rouse, CorpsVets sop, is striving to know more about DCA, to appreciate what he’s going to encounter this summer. These folks get it – Not only do it, but study and become evermore inspired.

Sign up! Contact a corps that marches DCI-intense drill. Call a corps that compromises to age and has a slightly easier show. E-mail an alumni corps to build chops. This is a prime time to join a minicorps, start a cymbals ensemble. The camaraderie is spiritual!

Some of us have had setbacks: Hit on the side of the highway by a car doing 90mph, flipped a van on its side going to the first summer show yet marched six weeks later…had a spatula snap off and flip back into the lips, taken nine stitches in the chops due to curling on ice, etc., yet they come back to wear that uni.

We must do it for our fan$, the Annie and Bob Sullivans who worship us and ask that we Send in the Clowns. Father Jim Reilly prays for us. March. Spin. Mallet. Help the Joliet Kingsmen of your region. We bear the crusade to utter “Amen” and pop the chin up.

Jason Lowe

You want inspiration? Google CorpsVets history regarding Jason Lowe. That young man, despite his cancer, his chemotherapy, would literally walk out of chemo and suit up for shows. Jason performed up until just before his death. Try camps in sultry Dixie. Jason didn’t complain. Jason Lowe represents ALL of us, all the corps vets, all the bandos who begin in corps, all the volunteers who can’t even spell "corps."

Read about even more opportunities in DCWorld, The June 2 issue has just been mailed. Buy tickets for the “biggg shuuues” like Central Square, NY, and the newly added Harrisburg, PA, both July 8, at Beyond cheering, do more than be a peeping Tom, gaping at the Coventry tax-protesting equestrian, Lady Godiva, wife of the Earl of Mercia, in 1057. Join in aught six.

Just perform!…

… … … … … Why are you still here? Go search in DCP Forums for those openings, porkchop!

Posted by on Wednesday, May 31st, 2006. Filed under DCA ... All-Age, All-Good!.