Friday, March 24, 2006

From The Land Of Sky Blue Waters
By Jim Ward
DCN August 8, 1962 issue

July has been a busy month for drum corps and for this writer. I managed to attend only one contest and that was Racine on July 3. With work, the Indians, and summer school we even missed a column last issue so we've got some catching up to do.

The big news around the Midwest seems to be the Cavaliers' three straight wins over the Royal-Airs just when it looked as if the Big Blue might have passed the Champs. Also in the news are the St. Paul Scouts with 1.8 spread behind Madison at Dubuque, Iowa on July 7. The Scouts from Minnesota became the first corps to beat their brothers from Madison in horns this year, doing it by a surprising 2 points. Madison's drums which had been failing them in the big shows, were all that kept them ahead of St. Paul that night.

On July 21 the Racine Boys of '76 easily captured the Wisconsin state Legion senior title while the Mercury Thunderbolts from Cedarburg took the junior half, mostly by default.

On July 21 the Chicago Royal-Airs took Norwood Park by seven points, with the Skokie Vanguards, finally starting to move, only 0.5 behind Norwood. The Racine Scouts took fourth, 10 points behind the leaders. While Skokie and the Racine Kilties move up, the Racine Scouts are starting to slip. They perfected their not-too-difficult drill early and as the corps doing more intricate maneuvers reach a certain level of perfection they pass Racine. In mid-June there were only three corps in the Midwest who could top the Scouts, now there are seven or eight.

The Racine Kilties, starting to move upward also, took first place at Kenosha on July 7 and East Troy. They also took top honors at Hales Corners on July 4. It looks as if the Kilts have shaken themselves out of their early season miseries and have now passed their cross town rivals, the Scouts. Right now they appear to be on a par with Norwood and moving up on Bellville and Madison. Watch this corps keep right on improving. They'll be knocking off some of the real big ones before the season ends.

After beating the Royal-Airs in Racine on July 3 the Chicago Cavaliers did it again in Madison on July 14 and the next day in McHenry. The spread was three points in Madison. The Belleville Black Knights took top horns in that show and finished third, followed by St. Matthias and the Phantom Regiment.

The Racine Scouts are the VFW champions of Wisconsin, winning the title in Superior on June 30 in 46 degree weather. St. Matthias took second. Madison and Kilties stayed at home. A note of interest is that the Morton Grove Cougars took top horns at Kenosha and didn't place in the top three. These spots went to the Kilties, Norwood Park, and the Racine Scouts.
MIDWEST JUNIOR RATINGS through July 21, 1962
1. Chicago Cavaliers
2. Chicago Royal-Airs
3. Madison Scouts
4. Belleville Black Knights
5. Norwood Park Imperials
6. Racine Kilties
7. Racine Scouts
8. Skokie Vanguards
9. St. Paul Scouts
10. St. Matthias Cadets
11. Rockford Phantom Regiment
12. Rockford Purple Knights
13. Morton Grove Cougars
14. Aurora Vacqueros
15. Eau Claire Boys

See you all at the VFW Nationals. I am looking forward to meeting many corps types from all over the nation so don't hesitate to look me up if you're in town. I'll be the fellow in the Hamm's jacket and little blue derby with the big Royal-Airs button on the front. If any of you out-of-towners need a helping hand I'd appreciate your giving me a call at (###-####) I won't be there but call anyway.

Bangor Yellow Jackets 1962

DCN Aug. 8, 1962

MUSIC UNDER THE STARS trophy is presented to John Casagrande, D.M. of the Bangor, Pa. Yellow Jackets by Donald E. Madigan. Cmdr., American Legion Post #8 of New Rochelle, N.Y. The Wanderers were hosts for the July 7 show. (Photo by Maurice D. Knox, Jr.)

Cavaliers Cop Ill. VFW Title
DCN Aug.8, 1962 issue

Before an enthusiastic crowd of over 4,000 the Cavaliers swept past all corps to take the Ill. State VFW Title once again.

The Cavaliers proved their supremacy for this contest as they took tops in all of the field captions and finished second in G.E. to roll up an 84.8 to come off with a well deserved first place.

Finishing in second with a score of 83.385 were the Royal Aires.

The third place corps of the evening turned out to be the vastly improved Belleville Black Knights. Featuring a very crowd-pleasing show the Knights topped the fourth place Imperials by over two points.

Although somewhat off the pace scorewise, the Imperials won the applause of their many fans throughout their show.

Taking the fifth spot were the Racine Kilties. The only Wisconsin corps on the field, the Kilts, presented a very unusual show.

Taking the sixth spot were the Skokie Vanguards. Although they were over four points behind the Kilties they were no less pleasing.

Finishing in the bottom two slots were the two Rockford corps, the Phantom Regiment and the Purple Knights. And so finished both the Woodstock V-J Pageant and the VFW Pageant of Drums.

The Scores:
Park Ridge Cavaliers ................ 84.800
Blue Island Royal Airs ............. 83.385
Caseyville Black Knights .......... 79.025
Norwood Park Imperials ......... 76.665
Racine Kilties .......................... 72.075
Skokie Vanguards ................... 67.925
Rockford Phantom Regiment ... 65.335
Rockford Purple Knights ......... 65.000

Westshoremen Bonnie Scots 1962

DCN Aug. 8, 1962 issue

Benny Behrens, truckdriver and quartermaster for Westshoremen-Bonnie Scots, is pictured standing by their new truck. His helper, Levi, is looking out of the window. If Benny looks familiar, it is because he has been the corps' truck driver for almost 10 years. Before that he was a bugler with Aurand Post Corps in Harrisburg. As late as 1960, Benny was active in Westshoremen color guard. During the week he is kept busy at Penna. Power and Light. Fortunately his job permits him to be free for evening parades and practices and of course, the important week-end contests. It's impossible to figure how many miles that Benny has traveled in the Westshoremen truck but the most memorable trip was to Miami in 1957 where the corps placed third. Benny left Harrisburg on a Friday morning, picked up their new uniforms and plumes in Philadelphia, then headed to Miami and a VFW National contest. What is there to do when the corps does not have a contest that particular week-end? Benny has the prfect answer! It's simply - - join all the other spectators at a contest.

Black Knights To Appear On National T.V.
DCN Aug. 8, 1962 issue

The Salamanca, N.Y. Black Knights will appear before a national T.V. audience Aug. 18 when they give an exhibition between the halves at the "Festival of Football" in Cleveland.

The Festival will feature pro football games between the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers and the Detroit Lions and Cowboys.

A contest will be held in Salamanca on Aug. 25.

Pittsfield Monarchs 1962

DCN Aug. 8, 1962 issue

Eastern Mass. Tidings
By Herb Cole
DCN Aug. 8, 1962 issue

A move inaugurated by the Springfield Marksmen last year has had pleasant repercussions among other Bay State units this season, with more frequent appearances of the three major religious flags as standard equipment.

Carrying these colors of all faiths has been noticed by old-time observers and has drawn complimentary reviews from these hard-shelled followers. And in the other direction, newcomers to the drum corps orbit have been heard to voice equally laudable remarks.

The three flags weaving in and out of routines is a colorful sight. All will agree with this point. But what is even more important is the democracy it symbolizes. Protestant, Catholic and Jew are represented on the field of competition - - this more than anything else gives true meaning to the oft quoted adage, "Brotherhood of Man" .... and it places drum corps activity on the level of true understanding and respect for a man regardless of race, color or creed.

To those corps who have shown the foresight to demonstrate this good fellowship and to others who will emulate this action in the future, go the congratulations of one who has seen drum corps grow, expand and now blossom into its role as a true representative of the REAL American way of life.

The rapidity of contest-on-contest makes it impossible to give a minute description of each event. Time nor space permits. However, random highlights might serve as a useful substitute.

Cambridge Caballeros registered an impressive win over Garfield Cadets and a couple of weeks later bounced back to prove it wasn't a fluke by topping the New Jerseyites by a comfortable margin. Of course, considerable comment has been elicited by this developement, even to the objectionable point of "home town" decision, with which this writer cannot concur. Allowing for margin of error, the point differential was substantially large enough to warrant the win...... Tony Cagnina is definitely an asset to the fast-coming Peabody Musketeers as attested to by his solo offerings in the soprano horn section.

While the Majestic Knights of Columbus of Charlestown captured the Suffolk County A.L. championship in Hyde Park, one significant note was indeed impressive - - the same Musketeers stepping up a notch from their familiar A-2 class to do battle with A-1 corps, and then coming in fifth in a field of eight. The Knights took every caption in one of their easiest wins of the season. St. Rose Scarlet Lancers of Chelsea was pressing very hard and earned a well-merited second place slot, with the Gatesmen of South Boston finishing third.

Mention embarrassing moments and St. Mary Cardinals have the one to top them all. Right smack in the middle of their CYO contest, the lighting system went kaput and the judges were unable to perform their jobs satisfactorily, thus causing a "no contest" decision to be made ..... last year, it was my unpleasant task to point up the antics of a Conn. corps drum major - - Kevin Purcell of the Torrington Vagabonds. The scene was the same a few weeks ago - - Dilboy Stadium and the Somerville Thunderbirds contest. Purcell and his group lined up on the starting line and came off that spot with a truly creditable showing .. to the point that several others in the stands within earshot distance of this reporter agreed with me in placing them second at worst. Their 4th place finish caused consternation, but what was the most noteworthy part of the Vagabond routine was the improved showing of the corps, aided and abetted by a superior performance by Kevin. He blended in nicely with the corps program and was indeed a credit to the Nutmeg State Organization.

St. Kevin Emerald Knights have introduced a new off-the-field tune, "Voice of the Guns" ..... Holy Trinity Cadets have disbanded, according to reports in circulation at the time this column was written. If the Cadets have definitely called it quits, it will bring to a close a colorful career of youngsters who were up in the thick of things as recently as two years ago. With the departure of Father Carr to Tampa, Florida, the corps has never been the same and many felt that it was just a matter of time.

The Mass. State Legion championship had the Emerald Knights walking off with the junior title with no objection from any quarter. They had it all to themselves and gave a most creditable accounting of their intricate routine and polished music. The Braintree Warriors, in taking M&M, was effective in its performance save for frequent miscues in the horn department. Norwood Debonnaires were much improved in the second half of their show once they did away with the jitters. The Millbury Fife and Drum Corps produced a novel and entertaining display of talent in the combined use of bugles, drums and fifes. Springfield Targets and Pittsfield Monarchs will keep western residents of the Bay State content with their sharp routines.

In the senior division, the Fitchburg Kingsmen officially won the state championship, although the majority of those in the stands felt the verdict could well have gone to the Somerville Thunderbirds.

Mid-season forms (as of August 1) show the Caballeros out front in the A-1 Emass Circuit class, being closely pressed by Immaculate Conception "Reveries", Majestic Knights, Boston Crusaders, and St. Mary Cardinals.

Class A-2 finds the Immaculate Conception of Winchester and Holy Family Defenders of Rockland sharing the lead, with Our Lady of Lourdes of Jamaica Plain and the Musketeers hotly in pursuit. Check in the Assumption Cadets of East Boston as a challenger too .... Belles of St. Mary of Hull and St. Anthony's of Allston are back to their familiar pattern of tieing one another (a-la V.F.W. nationals) in the drill team class. Closely following these two are the Immaculate Conception Coronets of Everett, St. Patrick's Shamrocks of Stoneham and Immaculate Conception of Winchester.

Class C has the Braintree Braves in a commanding spot. Other units rating consideration are St. Mary Crusaders of Beverly, Sir Thomas More Cadets of Braintree, I.C. Reverie Jrs, and St. Anthony Jrs. of Allston.

EMass Circuit (Aug. 25) Hull High School Field; EMass Circuit (Aug. 26) Manchester Field, Winchester; CYO Circuit (Aug. 26) Landry Stadium, Amesbury; EMass Circuit (Sept. 1) Bernardian Bowl; EMass Circuit (Sept. 2) Hurd Stadium, Beverly; CYO championship finals (Sept. 8-9) White Stadium, Boston; EMass championship finals (Sept. 16) location yet to be selected.

New Senior Corps Forming In Mass
DCN Aug. 8, 1962 issue

PEABODY, Mass. - A new senior drum and bugle corps is being formed on the North Shore area. There will be a general meeting for all who are interested Thursday, Aug. 9 at Local 21 Union Hall, 3rd floor, Peabody Square at 8 p.m.