LaPorte-Plymouth (Indiana) Sabres

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Been talking with my dad about his drum corps experience again and I'm not sure this is the right forum but I'll give it a shot.

He marched one summer in 1956 with the LaPorte-Plymouth (Indiana) Drum and Bugle Corps. They were also known as the Sabres. This was an American Legion Post corps made up largely of WWII veterans with some Korean War vets. So they were a Senior Corps, but they allowed high school marchers into the senior corps that year and so a number of them went scouring area high schools.

My dad was between his junior and senior year in high school in Bremen, Indiana and one of their neighbors was a member of the American Legion post over in Plymouth. This neighbor knew he marched snare in the high school band and asked if he'd be interested in marching their corps that summer. Dad didn't have much else to do so he joined up. They marched about 6 high school kids in the corps.

It turned out to be a lot of fun for him of course! This was the days of calfskin drum heads so even a drop of rain in a parade meant being careful or you'd put your stick right through them. Dad ended up having to teach the drum line how to read sheet music for their show as the other guys were used to just laying down a cadence and marching. He was the only one in the battery who could read sheet music.

They did a field show as well to compete in a circuit in the area. Their concert number was a popular Latin number, Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zj64NlRnpDY) and they had a screamer who'd bring people out of their seats. Dad started the number with a four bar cowbell solo (!) which was rather controversial at the time as the judging panels hadn't seen a corps use a cowbell before. He remembers it drawing a judge into his face at every single show. He was taught to just ignore them and play on of course. There was one judge who got right into his face yelling, "WHAT IS THAT? WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" at one point. He just played on. Hah! The director and judges got into an argument at every show over it but the director would just throw down the rule book and say, "Show me where it's illegal!" and win the argument.

Dad said they were a crowd pleaser with that number but otherwise not overly competitive. He does remember competing on the circuit with the Boys of 76 out of Racine, WI (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zsz2k_LJg2c) who went on to the American Legion finals.

He's got tons of stories about the older guys getting the high school guys into trouble on their trips too of course. Good times and memories for him. He still likes watching DCI shows even in the modern styles but recalls the old days when they'd march off the line to the 20 then do a rotating company front to face the audience and then proceed through their show.

We were digging through some old pictures today and found this gem.


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