By Melvyn P. Lee
DCN Aug. 29, 1962
The Stockton Caballeros hosted Northern California corps in a parade and competition that was held in conjunction with the Captain Weber Celebrations during the weekend of July 28th and 29th. Much credit for the success of the contest has to go to Manuel Pimental and the Stockton Caballeros. Four weeks before the contest, there was actually no contest. All the corps in Northern California were itching to get onto the competition field again. Manuel heard this and got to work. Not only did he set up a competition for drum and bugle corps and color guards, he also managed to accomodate corps with sleeping quarters and did the leg work in finding eating facilities. All units owe a special thanks to Manuel.
The big weekend started off with a big parade. Thousands lined the parade route and countless others watched the parade on television. Northern California top corps, the Delta Thunder birds, the Richmond Hawks, Cathay, the Capitalaires, and the Stockton Caballeros participated. In the junior division, the Cathay All-Girls Color Guards captured first place with a very well executed drill. The Cathay Drum and Bugle won the drum and bugle award with a striking "Where or When". The Stockton Caballeros corps and color guard unit both won first place in the senior division. The Cabs formed three diamonds with the flags inside them and then broke out into parade formation as they passed the reviewing stand. A very spectacular drill, wellexecuted, won the Sweepstakes award for them as the best marching unit in the parade.
After the parade, a jamboree in which all corps, except the Hawks, who took off immediately after the parade, participated. The Delta Thunderbirds won a trophy for being the best bally-hooer in the group.
After a near sleepless night, the units gathered at Edison High School Field where the competition was held. The sky was clear and it was HOT. The Caballeros Color Guards presented the colors. Although this guard was formed only three months ago, they are very well polished. The girls have not missed a practice during these three months. This perfect attendance shows in their very fine marching. After a very brief delay, the Hawks Color Guard stepped off the line to start the contest. A little bit of Madison showed through in their drill, which included bombshells and much spinning. It is little wonder why this is true because their instructor is ex-Madison Tom Wuetrich. The Hawks put on a very fine show. Their ragged company fronts seemed to tell their story. They were awarded second place in the color guard contest.
Second off the line was the Cathay All-Girls Color Guard, which features 10 flags, a guard and a captain. A smooth G.E. packed drill, executed with percision, earned Cathay first place. Their "X" drill, with a spinning take off after is most effective, and was again the most outstanding drill of the contest. Although their lines were not quite straight all the time, they were sharp enough to overcome all the other guards and retain their unchallenged superiority in Northern California Color Guard circles.
Third off the line and coming in third in the contest were the Delta Thunderbirds. Displaying 7 flags, 2 guards and a captain, the Thunderbirds put on a very fine show which was indicative of all the guards participating in the contest. Their captain was most impressive, and really knew how to give commands. I'm sure she knows how to keep the girls in line, too!
From the far distance, one could hear the beginning fanfare of the "March of the Olympians". With this , the high-flying Hawks came on the fields. Extra effort had to be put on to beat the other corps, but, boy, did these guys put out. "No Other Love" concert was very smooth and "Blues in G", just wild. A fine job was done by Medina's Mob and for their efforts, they were awarded first place as they nipped their crossbay rivals.
Next off the line was Cathay. The many holes in their line definitely hurt their M&M. The company fronts were quite ragged, but the music came through very well. In the concert of "Fanny", we saw a bass drummer playing tenor drum, a snare drummer playing bass drum and the cymbals at the same time. Believe you me, this is hard."Americans, We" was outstanding, along with "You Are My Destiny".
With the juniors now perched in the stands, the seniors took the field. First off the line were the Capitaliers from Sacramento. Although small in number, these guys were big in effort. Every man in the line put out his heart in their performance. "St. Louis Blues" stands out in my mind. A second place award was given to them for their very fine show.
To the sounds of "The Gay Rancheros", the Caballeros stepped off the line. The "Hawthorne" of the West put on a grand show that was the best of the day. For their tremendous efforts, they not only won first place, but trophies for the best drumming and bugling of the day. As soon as the Caballeros stepped over the finish line, the Delta Thunderbirds marched off the starting line. This corps put on an outstanding exhibition. For a corps their size, they produce a very big sound. Already boasting a fine drum line, the Delta Thunderbirds will be hard to contend with once their horn line develops within the next few years.
The retreat ran without a hitch; and, oh yes, fellow DCN scribe, Russ Bell, did a most magnificent job in being the M.C. of the show. His introduction and information of each performing corps was just out of this world. Russ was also educating the people on how the units were judged. If only the Legion could hear this guy. Boy, would he make the Legion contest lively.
TIDBITS: Hopes on forming a Winter Color Guard Circuit in Northern California is coming into light. Although it is only in the thinking stages, seven guards have shown interest. Big guns to make this project a reality is Bob Madden and Tom Wuetrich. Hope everything works out. Northern California picture brightening up. Already had four field competitions with at least two more slated.
Time to close for another issue, with hope of a brighter future for all California corps. To think I haven't spoken about the state contest this issue. Hope to hear from all of you out there. Just drop me a line even though you have nothing to say. Just like to receive mail. Till next time, drop me a line. (Wherefore art thou, Harvey?)