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Northern Thunder

It All Began 40 Years Ago

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I was a student at Whitewater at the time, and 1972-1973 was drum corps heaven for me. There were corps practicing EVERYWHERE. Just south of the stadium was a series of football fields. At night, we'd put a sixpack in a cooler and go drum corps window shopping. Corps would be doing run-throughs. We'd watch, say, the Blue Stars run their show on one field. They'd finish their show in that field's end zone. We'd then walk twenty yards to the next field, where Hawthorne was lined up, ready to go. Just terrific. After practice was over, I would go the the local pizza joint nearest the corps - Red Lantern - buy a pitcher for a staff, sit down and have a beer with them. One night it was Argonne. The next night Muchachos. St. Andrews the next night. Out at Whiewater High School in 1973 were the Argonne Rebels and this new corps from Concord, CA that looked a little like Anaheim knockoffs. They scored in the middle 60s at prelims. They looked like a corps on the rise, but I had no idea of what they would become.

In 1972, the weather was hot and sticky up to Anaheim, if I recall. The the wind changed, and it got very blustery before a major downpour erupted during the annoucement of scores. My brother was on the field as a photographer for Drum Corps News. He stuffed as many Kingsmen black plumes into his jacket as he could to save them from the rain.

Great memories.

Those fields are still there to this day 40 years later. I remember practicing on those fields in 89 suffering from a bad sunburn i got the day before.

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Still, in 1974, I had no idea that DCI existed.

I didn't know it existed either...but then again, I was busy drooling in my crib...

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DCI Championships were not on the radar for most corps back then. I see only 39 corps competed in prelims. I was in the 507 Hornets and we only competed in our circuit (Eastern States Circuit), whose members were mostly from PA and Southern New Jersey.

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Blue Stars '72, the should-have-been champions. :thumbup:

Here's to the blue crew from La Crosse for keeping it going after all these years. From DCI to CCI to all the way back up. :thumbup:

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If 1972 was the first DCI Championships, then wouldn't that make this year #41?

1. 1972

2. 1973

3. 1974

4. 1975

5. 1976

6. 1977

7. 1978

8. 1979

9. 1980

10. 1981

11. 1982

12. 1983

13. 1984

14. 1985

15. 1986

16. 1987

17. 1988

18. 1989

19. 1990

20. 1991

21. 1992

22. 1993

23. 1994

24. 1995

25. 1996

26. 1997

27. 1998

28. 1999

29. 2000

30. 2001

31. 2002

32. 2003

33. 2004

34. 2005

35. 2006

36. 2007

37. 2008

38. 2009

39. 2010

40. 2011

41. 2012

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DCI Championships were not on the radar for most corps back then. I see only 39 corps competed in prelims. I was in the 507 Hornets and we only competed in our circuit (Eastern States Circuit), whose members were mostly from PA and Southern New Jersey.

In fact, if you didn't read the activity papers or mags, or were connected to the activity in some way, you were probably not aware of DCI. I had gone to 70 and 71 VFW, so thought I'd travel to Minneapolis for 72 VFW. Well, there were a lot of fans there wondering where the corps were. That is when I discovered DCI, and I remember being pretty frustrated. Yes, there were only 39 corps at Whitewater, but all the best were there. The Cavies, Argonne, Bridgemen, and Kilts were the only top 12 DCI corps in Minneapolis. It took me until 75 to make a DCI championship. Got to Whitewater for DCI midwest 80 thru 82, and feel it is a pretty good place to watch and listen to drum corps.

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If 1972 was the first DCI Championships, then wouldn't that make this year #41?

1. 1972

2. 1973

3. 1974

4. 1975

5. 1976

6. 1977

7. 1978

8. 1979

9. 1980

10. 1981

11. 1982

12. 1983

13. 1984

14. 1985

15. 1986

16. 1987

17. 1988

18. 1989

19. 1990

20. 1991

21. 1992

22. 1993

23. 1994

24. 1995

25. 1996

26. 1997

27. 1998

28. 1999

29. 2000

30. 2001

31. 2002

32. 2003

33. 2004

34. 2005

35. 2006

36. 2007

37. 2008

38. 2009

39. 2010

40. 2011

41. 2012

You are correct - this is year 41, thus making it the 40th Anniversary.

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Blue Stars '72, the should-have-been champions. :thumbup:

Here's to the blue crew from La Crosse for keeping it going after all these years. From DCI to CCI to all the way back up. :thumbup:

The ORIGINAL LaCrosse® Blue Stars have such a great and noble history with DCI. That is why it is especially painful to watch them get screwed out of the FINALS this season. It still rubs me the wrong way and I think there is something that smells funny about the way they were treated. Judging by the PRIVATE MESSAGES and E-mails I've received, so do many others. :rolleyes:

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The ORIGINAL LaCrosse® Blue Stars have such a great and noble history with DCI. That is why it is especially painful to watch them get screwed out of the FINALS this season. It still rubs me the wrong way and I think there is something that smells funny about the way they were treated. Judging by the PRIVATE MESSAGES and E-mails I've received, so do many others. :rolleyes:

Bro, do you just set on these forums waiting for someone to bring up the Stars so you can throw in a comment about not making finals? The members and alumni aren't even as frustrated as you it seems. We thank you for your support, but the season is over, and everyone involved with the organization is extremely proud of the season! And there is no reason to take away from another talented corps great return into finals. We will be back next year Mr. Zing, no worries. You just make sure you still have as much enthusiasm when you see the Stars on the field next year and give pleanty of support then.

And by the way, we/they are still the ORIGINAL Blue Stars :cool: FCO for life!

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In fact, if you didn't read the activity papers or mags, or were connected to the activity in some way, you were probably not aware of DCI. I had gone to 70 and 71 VFW, so thought I'd travel to Minneapolis for 72 VFW. Well, there were a lot of fans there wondering where the corps were. That is when I discovered DCI, and I remember being pretty frustrated. Yes, there were only 39 corps at Whitewater, but all the best were there. The Cavies, Argonne, Bridgemen, and Kilts were the only top 12 DCI corps in Minneapolis. It took me until 75 to make a DCI championship. Got to Whitewater for DCI midwest 80 thru 82, and feel it is a pretty good place to watch and listen to drum corps.

I find that quite interesting. Imagine the times before the internet and such, you show up to VFW to see championships in 1972 and most of the corps weren't there....amazing. So the first DCI Champs was Whitewater....and the VFW Champs was Minneapolis? Was VFW before or after DCI Champs?

You are correct - this is year 41, thus making it the 40th Anniversary.

1972 was the 1st DCI Champs, so 1973 was the 1st anniversary. Thus 2012 was the 41st Champs, and 40th anniversary.

Edited by jonnyboy
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