I Ran Away with the Drum Corps


Day 10

July 1, 2017 – Miles to Go Before I Sleep

I have arrived in Ithaca, NY, a greater part of the trip home to Central Vermont from DCI Central Indiana. I have traveled through Ohio and Pennsylvania, picking up the Southern Tier Expressway – I86. This scenic and quiet interstate traverses Seneca Territory, a tribe of the Iroquois Federation of six nations of Native Americans who occupied the land before the European migration. I am staying for the night with my sister who works for Cornell University. Since I left the arena at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, I have been driving, napping, driving and napping. I chased the same storm the moved the performances inside as we both made progress northeast. How lonely it was with no preplanned safe haven to arrive to in the middle of the night. Until now, I have had a known destination of the schools hosting the BAC. While I slept in rest areas and 24-hour McDonalds, they coach-surfed to Chicago. I am sad to be leaving them but glad to be going home. I had originally signed on for just the two Ohio shows but stayed through the Indiana shows for an additional four days, completing a solid week as a volunteer. Our next meeting will be Allentown in August.

Last night, the Crusaders performed their standstill to an appreciative crowd. The pit played while the corps took the floor forming an arc as perfect as the rainbow I witnessed outside following the rain in Muncie. The horns were raised in a perfect fluid motion beginning at each outside end completing exactly in the middle of the arc. I seriously do no think that the crowd was expecting what they heard when the corps did it’s run through standing still. The very powerful brass moments in program hit the crowd head on and they ate it up. Audrey, from the BAC souvenir team sat with me. She played mellophone for BAC for the two previous seasons and aspires to be a brass instructor. She said she was very excited about the program this year adding that the new BAC brass sound is very impressive with the arrangements utilizing the entire horn line to create a wall of sound. It surely filled up the arena.

As I wind down this 10-day long chronicle/blog, I want to return to the questions that I have been asking all along. What has compelled me to interject myself into this activity and the living and breathing organization of the Boston Crusaders? One reason may have to do with my affinity for working with youth. As a ski instructor for over 20 years, I have had the pleasure of teaching thousands of young individuals to become great skiers. Last October, we tragically lost five young students of our local Harwood Union High School to a tragic auto accident. This was very devastating to us and to the Harwood community and I have not quit gotten over it. This kind of experience really sharpens ones sense of appreciation for what is really important. My 16-year old daughter recently earned her drivers license. As a parent, it takes a leap of faith to let them grow up and cross the milestone toward adulthood. Our primary concern for our kids is there basic safety. Safety from harm – physical and mental. My daughter is not into drum corps like I am. However, I would not hesitate to support her joining the Boston Crusaders or any other corps. From what I have experienced, this is a safe place where everyone is respected. In fact, being in this activity is more accepting and welcoming than most anywhere else.


This personal reflection of my 10-day vacation as an intern-volunteer with the Boston Crusaders, a world class drum and bugle corps, started out as a daily blog. However, I have compiled my daily entries here into this diary-style essay.

Singing Giant, the corps song before Wicked Games.