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What Did You Put Up With?


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#1 DPEmerald

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 08:39 AM

When we think back, it's pretty amazing what was allowed when we marched in the 70s and 80s. By all accounts the world wasn't such a bad place and our parents weren’t outraged with what we went through, in fact they accepted it and waited at shows to cheer us on. However, we know certain things would not be tolerated now, by the members OR the parents.

Just think about:
• The bus rides: Always breaking down, no AC, no bathrooms, one driver for 14 hours
• Housing sites: Sleeping outside in a parking lot because there was no housing, sleeping in a basement of a closed church, no showers (cold showers were a welcome surprise)
• Practice fields: They had more holes, bugs and no rest room facilities
• Food: Well we all know many a corps that had dry cereal, BP&J and stale chips or a ham sandwich for a meal. The norm was at least 1 meal a day was on your own.

Corps today would fold or be turned in to DCI for that.

What did you go through, or know of?

#2 GUARDLING

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 05:28 PM

When we think back, it's pretty amazing what was allowed when we marched in the 70s and 80s. By all accounts the world wasn't such a bad place and our parents weren’t outraged with what we went through, in fact they accepted it and waited at shows to cheer us on. However, we know certain things would not be tolerated now, by the members OR the parents.

Just think about:
• The bus rides: Always breaking down, no AC, no bathrooms, one driver for 14 hours
• Housing sites: Sleeping outside in a parking lot because there was no housing, sleeping in a basement of a closed church, no showers (cold showers were a welcome surprise)
• Practice fields: They had more holes, bugs and no rest room facilities
• Food: Well we all know many a corps that had dry cereal, BP&J and stale chips or a ham sandwich for a meal. The norm was at least 1 meal a day was on your own.

Corps today would fold or be turned in to DCI for that.

What did you go through, or know of?

and what makes you think all of that hasn't happend now Dale...lol :smile: except for the meal on your own...that I don't ever see anymore.

Edited by GUARDLING, 25 November 2011 - 05:30 PM.


#3 84BDsop

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 06:21 PM

and what makes you think all of that hasn't happend now Dale...lol :smile: except for the meal on your own...that I don't ever see anymore.

Not in the Junior ranks.....but in Sr? All the time.
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#4 KeithHall

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 07:52 PM

I think back to the long school bus rides...heck they didn't have AC, well yea we did (we opened the windows), bathrooms? LOL One time in Canada, we pulled over so all the girls could go out to this field and they all disappeared and then popped up one at a time. Food? Burger King, McDonalds and in 1975 and 76 they fed us...goulash. One time in London, Ontario the parents threw beer in the water because they didn't have enough.

Rehearsal facilities? LOL pot holes, more dirt than grass, another corps claimed it.

Sleep? bus floor, old school gym, juvenile detention home and cops chasing some kid who stole a car. Cockroaches, dead frogs, etc

Peeing out the back emergency door at 1 am on the way to Butler, PA from Marion, OH

Transistor radios, looking for music

Changing on those school buses or outside the bus.

Wouldn't trade any of it for anything!
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#5 GUARDLING

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 09:21 PM

Not in the Junior ranks.....but in Sr? All the time.

sure does happen in JR....not the on your own meal but all the other stuff happens all the time.Oh but there usually was a bathroom at a rehearsal site because its usually where corps stay for the night or 2.

I do remember back in the day though being told and served ( actually it was help yourself ) dunkin Donuts and Orange soda was the breakfast of Champions..lol....I also remember at times staying in hotels, which wasn't bad.

Edited by GUARDLING, 25 November 2011 - 11:02 PM.


#6 bstar82

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 11:24 PM

I recall one year, we were so short of bus drivers, our Vibe player doubled as one of our bus drivers. Can you imagine rehearsel all day long, then driving a bus anywhere from 4-8 hours afterwards? I recall being so scared of him having to drive, I would sit next to him keeping him company talking and all, as I remember seeing how tired he looked. And he was 19 at the time. He had the proper license to drive but still, can't imagine a corps being allowed to do this today.

#7 BrassClef

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 02:50 AM

broken down and no A/C busses were a common theme even in 2010. And housing sites with poor, very poor practice fields a crap load of bugs, and one shower (per gender) for 80 members is a yearly tradition. Looking at you, Springfield, IN.
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#8 BigDale

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 08:06 AM

School buses, no food truck, cold showers, bad instructors, insane drill, weak music arrangements. Fortunately, these all disappear as you climb the ranks into better corps. lol
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#9 oldskl3rings

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 11:15 AM

In 1971 we left Santa Clara in 3 busses the corps had purchased from the Troopers. I believe they were 40’s era Brills. We got as far as Milpitas (about 5 miles) before the first buss broke down. It wasn’t a good omen. As it turned out, we ended up doing the majority of the tour with only 2 busses running at any one time. I recall praying that we would survive the trip over Sierra’s. I remember standing in the aisle for an entire 6 hour ride to La Crosse. Outside of Toronto we had 1 buss run into the back of another. About a dozen members marched the show that night with whip lash and wearing neck braces. In Boston we were down to 1 buss (due to the accident) and I remember going to a show (I believe World Open) with the entire corps stuffed into one buss and the equipment truck. On the way home, in the middle of the desert, outside of Needles one buss caught fire. A CHP officer arrived at the scene and told GR, “You need to move that buss out of the middle of the road.” GR replied, “But sir, the buss is on fire!” Every trip that year was an adventure, but we took home the VFW trophy and that, as members, was all we worried about.

#10 MsBusDriver

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 12:00 PM

Yeah, things have changed somewhat, but not all that much from BITD. During the 70s, we didn't have a "Miss Amanna", so it was cereal and juice in the morning, sandwiches and chips for lunch, buy your own or Gails Spaghetti for dinner. No bathrooms on the bus. Break downs etc. The schools/churches/armories were hits or misses as well as were the practice fields. Spent some nights up front with drivers to keep them company. They always looked tired.

Difference with 90s while driving for SCV. "Miss Amanna" was there to feed everyone all day (great food BTW). Still no bathrooms on the bus. Still have break downs. Schools still hit or miss and from what I could tell, so where the fields. DOT was cracking down on drivers logs though. Thoughts of loss of livelyhood kept me from cheating (too much). My little Brothers or Sisters would come and sit with me on long night drives if they couldn't sleep. Fun to fill them in on the history of SCV.

Now for the 2000s. I drove a Div 3 Corps for a couple of Summers (Spokane Thunder). The difference was, no Miss Amanna, but the cooks used butain grills and hotplates and such to feed everyone pretty well. 90% of feeding was done on school or church grounds. The fields and schools were pretty much small and *definately* hit or miss. They actually kind of reminded me of my early years with SCV! They had bathrooms on the bus but we still had break downs. DOT *really* strict on driving logs, no cheating there. The kids would still come and sit with me thoughout the night. I really enjoyed telling stories of the olden, golden days. That part of a long night I wouldn't trade for anything.

What has never changed is the dedication of all of the kids no matter what year or decade they marched. Their goal is to perform to the best of their abilities and to come as close to perfection as possible. This, and a longing to entertain and hear the roar of the crowd will always be their motivation to accept anything they have to put up with, IMHO.

Edited by MsBusDriver, 26 November 2011 - 12:04 PM.

Maggie Belle
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