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Everything posted by Puppet

  1. Actually that shot was from '71. I got the idea from the shot I use for my avitar. A friend of mine saw it on the wall of my office and announced that I could never have been that young. I've got plenty more from those days an I'll share them with you if you share yours with us. These were Brassmen and St. Joe's kids who ranged from all over New York City. Many took took buses and subways and traveled up to two hours to get to rehearsals! That's me with the 'fro from 1970 or '69. The guy next to me was one of my best friends of the time Mike Arato. We would rehearse at a place called Flus
  2. And I mean like candid shot of us kids at practice or rehearsals. And you have to know it's the late sixties very early seventies! The guy with the hair? He's Nunzio Virgilio - Bari, Euphonium, Contra.
  3. Oh there is another way to violate The Flag that we learned about during the 1971 World Open Prelims. We had created a box formation for our exit (the horn line, that is) and for some reason didn't take a steep enough angle toward the back grandstands and managed to beat the American Flag Section off the field. 5.5 in penalties and no possibility of the finals that year. Did much better the next day up the road in Lawrence MA at the Danny Thomas Invitational. Puppet
  4. I must say I did not mean to open a can of worms with my post about BR. It was just my impression as a 14 - 15 year old kid from Manhattan back in the mid sixties. I believe we only competed against them maybe twice in 1971 and I can only remember once in 1972 at the CYO Nationals. By then of course they could have mellowed out with the influx of a different group of kids. And by rich I meant being middle class and from the suburbs of Wilmington during the sixties made those kids just a tad better off than kids from the five boroughs of New York City if you know what I mean. Anyway, I w
  5. did someone mention a rifle toss? this is a pretty bad photo from a newspaper clipping and I must explain that the other six in the Rifle Section that year were simultaneously surrounding the Color Guard Captain, two Sabres and The American Flag. Maria Costa our Drum Major had nerves of steel and no Brassmen were hit or hurt that season. No question this part of the show was staged but four tosses in sync by eight guys not looking at anything but their respective targets during what we called the Big part of the Color Presentation was pretty awesome to watch. BTW that was during the same
  6. Wow, Mike As a member of both St. Joseph Patron Cadets and St. Rita's Brassmen I can tell you first hand that we were asked to leave St. Joe's because the parish didn't appreciate so many of the members were coming in from other neighborhoods. We were welcomed by Father Schiraldi and St. Rita's with open arms. St. Rita's demise came from our Director, the Late and Great Carmen Cluna's refusal to cow-tow to the burgeoning DCI. fromI'm talking about the late sixties here. Many eastern corps, were sponsored by Catholic Churches then. Off the top of my head there were: St. Rocco's, St
  7. Speaking of "pikes," those predated the flags in the St. Joe photo. Pikes were wooden, those flag poles were aluminum and what made them heavy were actually the material of the flags themselves. As to cadet style versus any other uniform - uniformity was the key, wasn't it? It was back in the pre DCI days. The young women in our color guard in the early seventies were just as concerned about their appearance as any woman in any age before and after - but when it came to donning a uniform their presence on the field was one of quasi military bearing that befitted the times - they marched, no
  8. For the record, in 1962 I was 14 years old living in Queens NY and learning how to play a single valve g bugle from Norman Johnson. He was director and horn instructor for a drum corps called the St. Catherine Queenairs. We were to be the feeder corps for the Queensmen but they disbanded. I saw St. Joseph Patron Cadets at the American Legion Championships in 1964 and knew I had to join. The rest for me is history. There were giants on the field back then. Puppet
  9. I still love the old cadet style uniforms. Found this shot from 1966 St. Joe's Patron Cadets during an evening performance. And yes, they are spinning those flags! Puppet
  10. Wow, all the people on this site are soooo young! Happy Birthday, Mike. I must share this with your many friends and readers especially as I now have become a reader of your splendid insight and almost endearing love of what drum corps was and is. It must be great to be able to see the long view as you do. Mike, you gave me a chance to blow my own horn about the drum corps I love so much and that was a huge thing to me. I saw recently a post where you invited folks to write about experiences they had with their instructors. Thanks for your work. Hope you're still at when you get to be my
  11. Ok. After careful consideration, the year is absolutely 1971 - Our "Woodstock" year. We got to compete against all of the great eastern corps and many mid and western organizations. The only contest that gave us grief was the World Open that year. Over 3 points in penalties due to an exit miscue kept us out of the finals. That was ok, though because the very next day against many of the same corps at the Danny Thomas Invitational we placed fifth a half a tenth behind the Cavaliers. 27th won that show BTW. We marched in 9 shows that year from as far west as Marion, Ohio to Troy, NY. The sh
  12. The only cover I ever wore was a shako. In 1971 we marched in our first show with our brand new black vulture feather plumes and just as we went into our Woodstock portion of the show, it rained like crazy. Thunder and lightning - everything. As some might recall that portion of the show required our contra line to "attack" the American Flag Section and were "repelled" by the Rifle Squad and the rest of the hornline scattered. Well the fans went nuts - they'd never seen anything like it before and the judges of course thought we were running because of the rain. What penalties! And the dye fr
  13. I will add to this thread only because of it's historical significance. When I first picked up a French Horn bugle, it had a piston and a slide. When Olds introduced their version with a rotary I was tickled pink. Our instructor, the very meticulous Hy Dreitzer was very insistent on both intonation and power. And all 34 of us at the time delivered. I have never played a bugle that had more than one piston. All I can say about 'g' versus 'Bb' is that when you heard a good horn line like St. Rocco's, Anaheim, the Cavaliers from the sixties when they first played Softly As I Leave You or our b
  14. Historical note. Make Our Garden Grow (from Candide)- Saint Rita's Brassmen '69 & '70 Also West Point Alma Mater (reprise) Saint Rita's Brassmen 1971 I played them I'm biased about how beautiful they were - especially as you have your back to the audience and the side and back stands helped with a wonderful reverberation - anybody remember how great that sound was? Puppet
  15. After some thought it dawned on me that the corps names I liked most had some kind of military or martial bent. Cadets, Regiment, Troopers, Lancers, Vanguard, Knights, Cavalier, Grenadiers, Warriors, Renegades, Scouts, Crusaders - ok that's got a religious sort of ring - But I think you get my drift. I think also it's because those were the names that were around during my tenure in the sixties and early seventies. Puppet
  16. What a coincidence! The Warriors (from Manhattan) and St. Rita's (from Brooklyn) placed 5th and 6th respectively in that same World Open. And thanks for the complement. St. Rita BTW among other things is well-known as a patron of desperate, seemingly impossible causes and situations. Another coincidence considering our history: When the parish of St. Joseph kicked us out, we thought we were done. It was St Rita RC Church who offered to sponsor us. It caused the famed Drum Corps Show Announcer give us the sobriquet "The Cinderella Corps From Brooklyn New York!" G
  17. Wait. Appleknocker is really a non-derogatory term for people from upstate New York, where there are many apple orchards. Really. We competed against them a few times. G
  18. Couldn't have said it better. I mean, even their feet are perfectly in sync! G
  19. And I always thought there should be a corps from New York called The Long Island Sound. And of course there could always be The Marin County Mariners. wasn't there an all girls corps called the Melodairres or something like that? G
  20. I've said this before somewhere. But you really had to see this squad in action. St. Rita's Rifles in 1972. G
  21. Yeah, Keith - those years were my favorites, too. 1970 through '73 were when Drum Corps was the world for us in St. Rita's Brassmen. We seemed to get better every year and marching against the giants such as those you mentioned and others. We tied the Kingsmen at the World Open and that's pretty much the highlight of my Drum Corps life. CYO Nationals were great shows, too those years. Those were the years that many corps began traveling from coast to coast and there was great parody among the shows and those corps' abilities. I want to go back right now! G
  22. I found this shot of our rifle section circa 1972. These guys were even more amazing to watch in practice!
  23. Here's a photo of the two Drum Majors I mentioned in a previous post. Kathy E and Kathy B after competition and retreat that night on Randall's Island, NYC.
  24. St Rita's played The West Point Alma Mater. A very touching refrain… G
  25. Hey, I aged out in 1973. But I've seen photos of Corps from 1974 and beyond where the American Flag was still on the field. And then maybe someone can tell me when The Flag was banned from Drum Corps. BTW from the late sixties until our demise, St. Rita's Brassmen featured events that ranged from our Contra line attacking the American Flag running and "sirens and gunfire" in our Woodstock Show; A Knife Fight scene in our West Side Story Show; and even the "Perils of Pauline" during which a hapless Pauline is dragged toward a buzzsaw. All of those shows featured a Color Presentation. G