Wednesday, December 26, 2007

12 Days of Christmas, Saints Style

On the first day of Christmas, the Saints Drum Corps gave to me
On the second day of Christmas, the Saints Drum Corps gave to me
two shiny cymbals and
a website from Rocky Chiocchi.
On the third day of Christmas, the Saints Drum Corps gave to me
three lost bus drivers,
two shiny cymbals and
a website from Rocky Chiocchi.

On the fourth day of Christmas, the Saints Drum Corps gave to me
four rifles spinning,
three lost bus drivers,
two shiny cymbals and
a website from Rocky Chiocchi.

On the fifth day of Christmas, the Saints Drum Corps gave to me
five parades in one day ...
four rifles spinning,
three lost bus drivers,
two shiny cymbals and
a website from Rocky Chiocchi.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas 2007

Rejoice! Rejoice!

For many of us, these words are followed closely with Emmanuel shall come to you.

Christmas is a reason to rejoice - and for me, spending the good part of this year with all of you is one of the gifts for which I'm most grateful.

Here's a picture of me and Karen from earlier this month - Merry Christmas!


Friday, December 21, 2007

Weekend Wonderings: Heard a Horn Before Christmas

Here's the whole thing at once ... my gift to all Saints, near and far, with us or not ...

Heard a Horn Before Christmas - a la Saints Drum and Bugle Corps
(with apologies to 'Twas the Night Before Christmas!)

Heard a horn before Christmas, still asleep in our house.
Then my husband yawned, and puzzled, mumbled to me, “It’s Mouse.”

“Jo, get to the Annex, with no time to spare
They’re letting us march again. I know that you care.

“We have lots of horns, and drums with new heads,
And flags, rifles, sabres, SO GET OUT OF BED!”

My only reaction was, “Mouse, is this crap?
If you woke me as a joke, I’ll give you a slap!”

“Jo, just listen to all of us making a clatter
The cops are here now to find out what’s the matter.

“Your uniform’s here - we bought them with cash -
The cadet blue and gold finished off with a sash.

“It’s not black and orange, you’ll be relieved to know
Since we left that stuff behind us long, long ago.

“You really must hurry to see who is here.
Saints one and all, our family so dear.

“There’s Rocky, and Bluto, and Mongo, and Pic,
And Peaches, and Pebbles, and Goober, and Mick.

“You realize, of course, there’s too many to name,
But we put the word out, and by hundreds they came.

“We’re playing and twirling and marching so tall
We’ll top all the captions, and walk away with it all.


“What’s slowing us down is the buses need fixin’
Jackie’s going to paint them – 50 gallons he’s mixin’.”

I shook my head slowly, trying to recall
When it was that we aged out, once and for all.

The pain in my head – thought I’d poked out my eye.
To march again at this age? Should I give it a try?

Got down to the Annex after drinking a few
Cups of tea, of course (what, did you think I meant brew?).

Folks were outside, and inside, and up on the roof
Rifles holding their mouths ‘cause they knocked out a tooth!

Each face looked so young, an image to astound.
Was I the only one whose age didn’t turn around?

Wait a minute now! The trick must be in the boot!
So I struggled and struggled to stick in my foot.

Someone inside the hall yelled, “Everyone, back!
It’s time to stop practicing – we all have to pack.

“The buses aren’t dry, so we’re taking a ferry.”
I said, “For our tour? Isn’t that a bit scary?”

“Of course it makes sense, Jo, everyone knows
It’s the best way to travel when going to shows.”

My boots didn’t fit, my brain was like jelly
The jacket and skirt didn’t cover my belly.

What gives? All the rest were their same old self
As they each grabbed their shakos from up on the shelf.

Wait! Who was that there, just a bit up ahead?
“Uncle Walter, is that you? I thought you were dead!”

He stood with the drum line, his life’s love and work.
“Jo, watch what you’re saying – they’ll think you’re a jerk!

“I’m here to help Bucky, George Lopez, and Rose,
And Ralph, Tony, Frank, and ...” It was then I just froze.

What a dream I was having, what a wish I was making.
The time of my life was just there for the taking.

I awoke Christmas Eve, just a bit after seven.
My dream was a gift that came straight from heaven.

We still have great photos and memories too
And we talk with each other ‘til our faces turn blue.

Still, what can I get you, with Christmas tomorrow?
Lots of love, luck, happiness, and no trace of sorrow!

May your gifts include health, wealth, and absence of strife
As the New Year unfolds – wishing you a great life!

With love to you all - corpsdially yours from jo!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Guest Writer Wednesday: 12 Days of Christmas, Saints Style

On the first day of Christmas, the Saints Drum Corps gave to me ...
a website from Rocky Chiocchi!



The rest of the song? Help to compose it!

Send your suggestions for the other eleven verses by Sunday, December 23rd, to joparente.saintsdrumcorps@gmail.com. The song will be posted a day or two at a time starting with the first day of Christmas (December 26th).

All for now - corpsdially yours from jo!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tuesday Trivia - December 18, 2007

First, the answers to the most recent Tuesday Trivia:

Name all the Saints drum majors (extra credit for doing it in order)

  • Debbie Pajak
  • Christie Quadt
  • Bob Matelski
  • Marlene Grega
  • Mona Lisa Fiorentini
  • Ginny Boyle
  • Priscilla French
  • Chris Kasha
  • Jane DePinto
  • Edna Tarrant
  • Sue Hickey
  • Sue Brady
  • Mary Cassidy
  • Mike Wargo

Name all the captains for the Saints guard (aka big guard, summer guard, and Saints A)

  • Ginny Williams
  • Fran Nalepa
  • Patty Duffy
  • Mona Lisa Fiorentini
  • Connie Chmieleski
  • Dawn Fair
  • Karen Parente
  • Extra credit: JoAnne Parente (flag captain)

Name all the captains for the Sematics (aka guide-ons, little guard, and Saints B)
(Note: Order is alphabetical, not chronological.)

  • Linda Baxter
  • Tracy Davis
  • Marilyn Grega
  • Patty McDonough
  • Susie Palasak
  • Kathy Person

Name all the captains for Phase III (aka the guys guard)
(Note: Order is alphabetical, not chronological. Mike, Gary, Jeff, and Eric all served as co-captains for the single season that Phase III marched.)

  • Mike Chesnovitz
  • Gary Chiocchi
  • Jeff Henning
  • Eric Meyer

Here are the winners:

  • Priscilla French Lyons
    Ok, I'm gonna give it a try and I think I am way off and probably forgot a lot of people!
    Drum majors: Chris Quadt and I think it was some girl named Debbie??, then I think Mona Lisa and Bob and Marlene. Then it was Marlene and Ginnie, then Ginnie and me. Then Me and Chris Kasha, Edna (some thing or other) and Jane someone. Then Sue Hickey and Sue Brady, then Sue Brady & Mary someone then Mike Wargo.
    Color Guard (A) Mona Lisa, Connie, Dawn That's all I know
    Color Guard (B) Patty McDonough and Tracy Davis that's all I know.
    Phase III Mike Wargo?
    That's the best I got! There are times I wonder if I marched!!! I think I only partied.
  • Jackie Bodzas
    A guy named Bob a girl named Ginnie (whose brother we can not find either) a couple of girls named Sue and Chris, Edna, Jane and Mary, a Marlene, Debbie, Mona Lisa – the only person named Priscilla I ever knew and of course Wargo (for the longest time I thought that was his only name).
    Guard captains I have not a clue. But I remember being drum captain for a while.

Tuesday Trivia will be on hold until after the holidays - see this week's Guest Writer Wednesday for details on the 12 Days of Christmas, Saints Style.

All for now - corpsdially yours from jo!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Monday MatchUps - E-F-G

And the roll call continues ... these folks aren't yet connected to www.saintsdrumcorps.com. With the reunion coming up in seven months (July 19th @ Forest Lodge, Warren NJ), it would be nice to be able to get the word out to everyone who marched with us.

Any idea how to connect with these folks, contact me at joparente.saintsdrumcorps@gmail.com. Thanks!
  • Eck, Arlene
  • Eck, Daryl
  • Egan, Kenneth
  • Estock, Nancy
  • Evers, Noreen
  • Farkas, Jamie Mark
  • Farrow, Maureen
  • Fiorentini, Mario
  • Fiorentini, Mona Lisa
  • Foley, Jack
  • Gallagher, Rosemary
  • Gaweda, Barbara
  • Gerrity, Ann
  • Gerrity, Pat
  • Gibbons, Barbara
  • Gigantano, Sandra
  • Gray, Katherine
  • Grimaldi, Laura
  • Gunther, Herb
All for now - corpsdially yours from jo!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Tuesday Trivia - November 20, 2007 ... again

To be clever, I could say that we're repeating our November 20th Tuesday Trivia question in honor of the Writers Strike (Goober, hope you're back to work soon!).

Truth is, NO ONE RESPONDED. Yes, I'm shouting.

Here it is, one more time. You have two weeks to respond since I won't be here next Tuesday. If there's truly a lack of interest, Tuesday Trivia will be cancelled. It's up to you!
  • Name all the Saints drum majors (extra credit for doing it in order)
  • Name all the captains for the Saints guard (aka big guard, summer guard, and Saints A)
  • Name all the captains for the Sematics (aka guide-ons, little guard, and Saints B)
  • Name all the captains for Phase III (aka the guys guard)

Submit your answers to joparente.saintsdrumcorps@gmail.com by Monday, December 17th. Make sure to include the word Trivia in the subject line so I don't miss your response. Thanks!

Remember, prizes, prizes, we have no prizes ... yet ...

All for now - corpsdially yours from jo!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Monday MatchUps - C-D

First, we have a match! Thanks to her husband, Maureen Smith has found www.saintsdrumcorps.com ... welcome home Maureen!

As mentioned last week, we're continuing with the Alphabet Song ... here are the Cs and Ds who haven't yet connected with us ... if you know how to reach them, please contact me at joparente.saintsdrumcorps@gmail.com - thanks!
  • Cappella, Maria
  • Carine, Gene
  • Cassidy, Mary
  • Castro, Patty
  • Cefaratti, Linda
  • Chingeri, Mary Ann
  • Clemente, Karen
  • Clites, Jeanette
  • Cooper, Robin
  • Coster, Cynthia
  • Dahl, George
  • Dahl, Joan
  • Dahl, Marie
  • Davis, Donna
  • Davis, James
  • Davis, Scott
  • Davis, Tracy
  • Deitrich, Ellen
  • DePinto, Jane
  • DeVestern, Diane
  • Dior, Ricky
  • Dolan, Timothy
  • Donovan, Diane
  • Donovan, Eileen
  • Doscher , Kathy
  • Doscher , Marlene
  • Dowling, Rich
  • Dubasak, Ruby
  • Duffy, Kathy
  • Dunn, Betty

All for now - corpsdially yours from jo!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Monday MatchUps - A-B

Welcome back to Monday MatchUps!

Using the Alphabet Song, we'll speed through - in eight weeks' time - the list of all the members on our current roster who have not made contact directly (or do not have a relative who has connected) with www.saintsdrumcorps.com or the Saints Hotline (732-479-1987).

Remember - this effort is all about having the chance to connect back with our full Saints Family in time for our Summer 2008 Reunion. If you have any idea how to contact these members, let me know at joparente.saintsdrumcorps@gmail.com.
  • Mark Alexander
  • Frank Jr and Nancy Allman
  • Kathy, Linda, and Wendy Baxter
  • Nancy Billington
  • Brian Bolger
  • Nancy Bottomlie
  • Ginny Boyle Cataneo
  • Peter Boyle
  • Charles Breitweiser
  • Clarence "Buster" Bridges

All for now - corpsdially yours from Jo!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007


One of my favorite sayings is that coincidence is God's way of staying anonymous.

Another way to phrase it - there are no coincidences.

It is no coincidence that Rocky was inspired to create www.saintsdrumcorps.com when he did.
It is no coincidence that we've been gathering our Saints family back together by leaps and bounds.
It is no coincidence that the connections have served as a lifeline for many at exactly the right time.

For all this, for so much more, for the big and the small, for the highs and the lows, I am grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tuesday Trivia - November 20, 2007

And we're back to Tuesday Trivia!

This week's question was inspired by Peaches and Goober (thanks guys!), and is in several parts ...
  • Name all the Saints drum majors (extra credit for doing it in order)
  • Name all the captains for the Saints guard (aka big guard, summer guard, and Saints A)
  • Name all the captains for the Sematics (aka guide-ons, little guard, and Saints B)
  • Name all the captains for Phase III (aka the guys guard)
Submit your answers to joparente.saintsdrumcorps@gmail.com by Monday, November 26th. Make sure to include the word Trivia in the subject line so I don't miss your response. Thanks!

Remember, prizes, prizes, we have no prizes ... yet ...

All for now - corpsdially yours from jo!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Monday MatchUps - Each One, Reach One

Now that we've gone through the entire roster as currently known, it's time for us to chat a bit.

We've done a good job so far with the number of connections made in a short period of time. If we hadn't, there would not have been nearly 90 people who joined us at the Mini Reunion on November 9th. Still, many of you have been asking questions lately about the whereabouts of members who haven't yet been in touch with us through www.saintsdrumcorps.com or the Saints Hotline (732-479-1987).

The short answer is that with just a couple of exceptions, I've reached out to everyone I know how to at this point. It's time to hand the membership outreach effort over to all of you.

Over the next couple of weeks, expect to see an e-mail sent to you and everyone who's registered with the Saints website. We'll be looking for volunteers to focus their efforts on finding the members of our family who haven't yet found us. Let's call it Each One, Reach One for now. If each of us finds just one member that isn't connected, we'll find everyone in short order.

Next summer's reunion will be here before we know it. Let's do our best to make it possible for all the Saints to come marching in!

All for now - corpsdially yours from jo!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Weekend Wonderings: A Week Later - part 2

Look who I had lunch with today!

What a great way to finish out Mini Reunion week ... to hang out in yet another diner (Jersey - gotta love it!) with Saints family.

Getting a chance to catch up with Mrs. Chez was great fun - exchanging stories, getting some input for future Tuesday Trivias, and setting up a time to interview her for an upcoming Saints Stories are just small parts of how we spent the nearly two hours together.

Names, names, did we toss around names! Among them was Margaret DiGaetano ... let's just say that she and Mrs. Chez will be having a date together soon ...

Expect to see a couple more pictures from our time together out on www.saintsdrumcorps.com very soon.

Peter, thanks for lunch ... Mrs. Chez, thanks for everything you've done for all your kids!

All for now - corpsdially yours from jo!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Weekend Wonderings: A Week Later

First, thanks go again to Billy Meyer for his wonderful post-Mini Reunion rendering for this week's Guest Writer Wednesday. I haven't heard from him in a few days, so I'm guessing he must be out on a writer's tour or something as a result of how popular his piece is!

This week has felt like the time between Christmas and New Year's Day, since Saints family gatherings have continued for many of us beyond last weekend. My sister Karen and Lisa got together one night, Maureen Fastuca and I met at Felix #9 (OK, OK, Bridgewater Diner!) on Wednesday, Jimmy Pic stopped by to see Chris Morosoff yesterday (happy birthday again Pic!), and some of us will be gathering at the Princetonian Diner on Rt 1 tomorrow for lunch with Mrs. Chez (see today's entry from Peaches in the Guest Book on www.saintsdrumcorps.com).

Before the memories fade from these past 7 days, make sure to send in your recollections for an upcoming Saints Scribblings. In case you're not sure where to start, here's the list of suggestions that was shared on the handouts last Friday:
  • general impressions about the weekend
  • someone you connected with
  • what it took for you to get here (literally OR figuratively!)
  • the menu (be the first Saints Food Critic!)
  • a moment that really stood out for you
  • what it was like attending as a guest who had no prior affiliation with the Saints
  • anything else that will help others get a sense of what the experience was like FOR YOU
If you weren't able to be with us, you can write about how it felt to see the pictures or read the Guest Book entries.

The most important thing is that the rest of your family wants to hear about your experience. We're looking forward to reading all about it!

All for now - corpsdially yours from jo!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Guest Writer Wednesday: Bill Meyer on the Mini Reunion

First of all, I'd like for you to know that JoAnne told me she "expects (me) to submit something" for the Scribblings page, so don't worry that she's stepping down. If you find that reading this has been an excruciating waste of your time ... blame her.

But (especially after last weekend), I'll do anything JoAnne asks me to do. :-)

To the people who were not there last weekend, you don't know what you missed.
It was like the last 30 years never happened. Goober said it was like being 14 again ...

Lots of clichés.
Or so they seem, but ...


To me, the truest meaning of these phrases was felt on a level I've rarely known. We met each other after a really long time, and I know it could have, maybe even should have been an anxious and somewhat scary thing for me, but I was ... comfortable. And I think 'most everyone else there felt the same.

Why? Why is it that we are able to do this, be this at ease with so many people, when so much has happened to me, to you, since we last met?

In the run-up to the reunion I mentioned our event to friends and co-workers, and the inevitable comparison was made to a high school reunion. Even for those who attended on a more regular basis, I'm sure no school could match the level of familiarity we had with each other. In fact, school was one of the few interruptions many of us had from our life in drum corps, or more precisely The Saints Drum Corps. We raised money together, practiced together, car-pooled, competed, partied, traveled, hung-out, partied (oops), shared music, played games, teased & harassed - but always stuck up for - each other. We GREW UP together.

I used the word familiarity earlier. It's based on the word family. Another cliché, I know, but how else does one describe our relationship?

To my brothers and sisters, and moms, dads, aunts and uncles - thank you all for being part of me, and it was damned good to see so many of you last week. Mongo loves you all.

Bill Meyer


Thanks go to Bill Meyer for submitting the first Scribblings entry for Guest Writer Wednesday! Be part of the crew - send your submission to joparente.saintsdrumcorps@gmail.com.



All for now - corpsdially yours from jo!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tuesday Trivia / Reunion Wrapup - November 13, 2007

Here are a few questions to ponder (I was going to say they were rhetorical, but I've been accused of using too many big words lately!):
  • When did you finally STOP smiling after the reunion?
  • What was the best part of the night?
  • How many people did you get a chance to talk to, and how many did you miss because the evening ended much too quickly?
  • Who sped up the clocks on Friday?
  • Is there a way to bottle up all those great feelings and keep them with us to be opened during the rough times?

For me, the grin has been on my face most of the time since Friday afternoon. Now that I've handed over my pictures to Rocky, I just have a couple of leftover reunion things to wrap up before I start scanning in all the pictures and articles I've been given lately.

Before Friday, I THOUGHT I knew what some of the things were that I missed the most about my marching days. I was wrong. What I really missed, besides all of you, was how much we laughed when we were together.

When you think back, we really did have incredible amounts of fun squeezed in between rehearsals, parades, competitions, and tag days. As I've told several of you since Friday, I've gotten more aerobic exercise from all the laughing this weekend than I've gotten from working out this entire year (for those of you who saw me, this is probably not a great surprise!).

Here are some things the mini-reunion confirmed from a planning perspective:

  • The next one HAS to last for a couple of days. Four hours really wasn't long enough - and that was with about 90 people present.
  • We have to pick a date and place before the year is out. This is critical for those of you who need to plan relatively far in advance to work out family and job logistics.
  • We need more PROACTIVE participants on the Reunion Planning Committee. 'Nuff said on that for now.
  • We don't need anything fancy to keep us happy. We just need places that will do the heavy lifting for us (like setup, food, and cleanup) so we can all spend our time together just being together.
  • It's time to place more focus on really finding Pete Boyle and all the other members of the Saints family with whom we haven't yet connected.

Thanks to those of you who were part of the reunion in any way, even those who sent along best wishes to be shared with those present (yes, your messages were read at the reunion!). If you were there and took pictures, make sure to send them along to Rocky. There are lots of new photos in Gallery 11 on www.saintsdrumcorps.com right now, so check it out!

It was great seeing you all - already looking forward to the next one!

All for now - corpsdially yours from jo!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Weekend Wonderings: Where did the time go? part 4

On repeating with Weekend Wonderings for today's entry - yes, it's Monday, but since I took today off, it's still the weekend for me!

The grin actually started around 4:30 on Friday evening. I made a planned stop at the Post to check out the sound system before heading over to Karen's place. When I walked into the room and saw everything already set up, the whole thing became real for me. There it was, the eleven tables all set with blue and gold cloths - AND WE DIDN'T HAVE TO DO THE WORK FOR ONCE! Fast-forwarding a bit to the end of the night, and it was a pleasure leaving and not having to do the cleanup and breakdown either! Kudos to the entire Post staff for taking care of us while we were there.

Unlike rehearsals when no one would be there on time, I was surprised (OK, shocked) when some half-dozen folks were in the room far in advance of the 7 pm time recommended to the Reunion Committee. Many hands made quick work of the few details we needed to address. A special thanks go to Terry Chez for bravely facing all of the arriving members at the welcoming table - Peter, you are one lucky man to be married to a gem of a woman!

Around 8 pm, everyone settled in (temporarily, I assure you!) for some acknowledgements of those who joined us for the evening, the presentation of a small token of our appreciation to Rocky Chiocchi, and remembrances of those members of the Saints family who are no longer with us. Additionally, members of the Reception Committee (Jimmy Pic, Karen Parente, and Billy Meyer) shared some information about weekend actitivies planned for all to enjoy. Billy also shared some insights into how well respected the Saints are as a corps by those with whom he has had contact in the senior corps ranks over the years. Finally, Mike Wargo reminded us all how important Ray Chmieleski is to all of us, and let everyone know how age and the passage of time helps us to better appreciate those who have been instrumental in our lives.

Dinner consisted of salad, rolls, and a buffet of sausage and peppers, Italian stuffed shells, lemon herb chicken, and Shrimp Scampi. A cake which read The Saints 1967-1977 Happy Memories was served as dessert.

While the bulk of the entertainment for the evening was the chance to catch up (or just say welcome) to everyone present, a music mix of "regular" versions of corps numbers and guard music played in the background all evening. Attendees received a "mini mix" CD of the four hour-long set.

Also adding to the festivities for the evening were the many photographs displayed and the chance to enjoy memorabilia set up by several members. In addition, samples of the newly designed Alumni staff and T shirts were on display (contact Jimmy Pic for ordering info until we get it posted on the website).

I'll share some final thoughts and impressions on the weekend in tomorrow's Scribblings entry. In the meantime, here are just a few photos temporarily here for you to enjoy until Rocky gets a chance to start posting what will be hundreds of shots out in the galleries on www.saintsdrumcorps.com.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Weekend Wonderings: Where did the time go? part 3

Now that I've had some more time to sleep, it's time to clear up some things!

This really serves as a postscript to Part 2 of Where Did the Time Go (posted yesterday). If you haven't read that yet, scroll down first and then come on back!
  • The post-Post party: Michael did, indeed, make it back with the twins to Lorraine's house with them. While the work he used to do meant we didn't always know where he was, this wasn't one of those times!
  • Saturday sunrise: Billy didn't really see Peter Boyle. We were just kidding. Really.
  • Saturday morning: No, my parents did NOT prepare breakfast for everyone. We just wanted all of you who didn't make it to the diner to be a tad jealous.
  • Saturday afternoon: Mary Balderose really did join us on Saturday, and it was wonderful spending time with her both at the diner and the Menlo Park Food Court (which is where we cooked up all those stories from yesterday). It wasn't 7-10 splits she was talking about - it was that she goes to 7-11 every morning.
  • Saturday early evening: Still waiting to hear if Jimmy Pic really was (or wasn't) at the Meadowlands Saturday evening for the band show.

Tomorrow, some REAL stories from the reunion. Promise!

All for now - corpsdially yours from jo!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Weekend Wonderings: Where did the time go? part 2

Boy, did I need a nap!

It's been a busy day so far. Since I was so tired from last evening, I made sure to take notes as the day progressed. I've tried my best to capture highlights from the events I attended, as well as document some phonecalls I've received.

Again, keep in mind that I was VERY fatigued, and my handwriting is a bit sloppy. If some of these details are a tad off, well, let me know!
  • Last night's post-Post party: That's what you would call it, right - the party after the party at the Post? ANYWAY, I didn't make it to Riffy's in Woodbridge (I was back here typing at the time, remember?). I did hear, though, that Maureen and Lorraine Fastuca forgot their brother Mike was with them, and headed back to Lorraine's house without him. There are a couple different versions of what happened after that which we'll leave to your imagination.
  • Saturday sunrise: About the same time Billy Meyer was getting back to the Marriott Courtyard near Raritan Center, he saw Peter Boyle. Billy's still looking for the contact information he was given - he'll keep us posted.
  • Saturday morning: My sister Karen took the whole hosting thing a bit further than most of us expected. After everyone arrived at the diner, she invited all to follow her to what our nephew Timmy calls the "big yellow house" in Fords, where our parents treated the crew to a nice breakfast. That's her story and she's sticking to it.
  • Saturday afternoon: Again, this is one of the events that I missed. Mary Balderose was feeling better, so she was able to join a few people for the afternoon activity. Apparently, the Saints should have had a bowling league back in the day. Not only did Mary make two 7-10 splits, if it weren't for a spare in the first frame, Mike Fastuca would have thrown a perfect game. Wish I had been there for that!
  • Saturday early evening: Band show host Jimmy Pic received reports that as people were arriving at the Meadowlands for the final two divisions of bands this evening, the corps formerly known as Garfield was seen warming up in the parking lot for a standstill exhibition. I'll be waiting for any of you who attend tonight's show to let us know how that went.

Time to finish waking up from my nap and start editing some of those photos.

All for now - corpsdially yours from jo!

Weekend Wonderings: Where did the time go?


Well, I just got home from the Post ... what a night!!!

As I'm getting ready for bed, there's still a couple dozen folks who are at Riffy's in Woodbridge right now, continuing the party well into the night. If you're reading this any time close to when I'm writing it, you may still catch them there!

Just a couple quick notes before I say goodnight ...


  • Saturday morning: We're still on for breakfast / brunch at the Menlo Park Diner. The plan is for us to be there from 9:30 - 11 or so - come join us!

  • Saturday afternoon: Given the weather, bowling is now the activity. I didn't get a chance to check with Billy Meyer before I left on times or whatever, so call his cell for more details (609-410-3299).

  • Saturday dinner: No one filled me in on any definite plans. If something comes up, I'll post it here after I get back from the diner.

It was an INCREDIBLE evening ... as many of you said as we were being kicked out of the building after midnight, four hours just didn't do it.

Now, it's your turn. Time to plan next summer's weekend bash!

More pictures and details starting Saturday afternoon. Nighty night!

All for now - corpsdially yours from jo!

Friday, November 9, 2007

November 9, 2007 - Tonight,Tonight!

Before I begin, I would be remiss if I didn't wish my husband a Happy Anniversary ... we met 29 years ago tonight on a blind date that I didn't realize I was on until he got there.

So, how am I celebrating the event? With 87 of you this evening, of course!

Given that I gave up drum corps, in part, to nurture my relationship with Richard, the irony isn't lost on me.

Now, back to why I'm sure you're reading Saints Scribblings today - THE MINI-REUNION!

The out-of-towners have already begun to arrive in Central Jersey, and many of the rest of us are scrambling to take care of last-minute work and family obligations to clear the path to the Post. In my case, I'm also taking Monday off - I've turned down requests from three of my clients for meetings on that day (not always a wise thing when you're a self-employed consultant!), knowing I'll need the day to decompress.

Some last minute questions have been coming in. Here's the list, even if they've been asked (and answered) before:
  • What's the dress code?
    Business casual (interpret at your desire!). Contrary to rumors, this is NOT a black-tie affair.
  • What time?
    If you're part of the Reunion Committee or would like to help out in some way, get there around 7 pm. Otherwise, we're open for business from 7:30 - 11:30 tonight.
  • Where is the Post again?
    T Nulty American Legion Post 471 (also known as the Post Inn), is at 25 Brown Avenue, Iselin 08830 (off Green Street, not far from where the circle used to be). Directions (and phone numbers for the directionally-challenged) are found in the Saints Scribblings from November 7th.
  • What about music?
    This question has been asked almost as many times as the dress code question (makes me wonder how many of you were hoping to bring your horns or drum sticks - maybe next summer!). Yes, there will be music this evening - there's over 4 hours' worth already planned (you'll just have to wait and see - oops, hear!).
  • What are we doing on Saturday and Sunday?
    See the
    Saints Scribblings from yesterday (November 8th / Mini Reunion Eve). The events will be covered in detail this evening - folks joining us for the first time tomorrow should keep their eyes on Scribblings and the Guest Book for last-minute updates, or contact the hosts for the events that are listed in yesterday's edition.
  • Is it BYO?
    No. Beer, wine, and a cash bar are all available.
  • How did your name get changed from Marilyn to JoAnne anyway?
    It was all because of Ralph Fair. Ask me tonight if you really want to know the whole story.
If any other questions come up today, I'll post them here as time permits.

I'll be heading back to the MotherLand (aka Woodbridge Township) sometime mid-afternoon, and that's when the updates will pause for a bit. After that, I'll squeeze in some stuff (and I'm sure Rocky will start posting photos in Gallery 11 on www.saintsdrumcorps.com) all throughout the weekend.

See ya later!

All for now - corpsdially yours from jo!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Mini Reunion Eve

My head is spinning!

The tentative plans for the rest of the mini-reunion weekend are listed below. Plans will be finalized Friday evening once we have a better sense of who would like to do what and when.

If you aren't able to join us Friday evening (Dawn, Valerie, and Jill, among others!), we'd enjoy having you with us for at least part of the day on Saturday and / or Sunday. Phone numbers to confirm plans are listed below.

Here we go!

  • Saturday Morning: Breakfast / brunch at the Menlo Park Diner, between 9:30 and 11:30.
    Karen Parente is the host (cell number 732-947-7282).
    The Menlo Park Diner is on Rt 1 South, just south of Menlo Park Mall.
    NOTE: In the event of a LARGE turnout, we may need to move the breakfast / brunch gathering to the Menlo Park Mall Food Court.
  • Saturday Afternoon: Golf / miniature golf at Fairway Golf Center (depending on weather) or bowling in Woodbridge. Time to be determined.
    Bill Meyer is the host (cell number 609-410-3299).
    The web address for Fairway Golf Center (1650 Stelton Road, Piscataway) is http://www.fairwaygolfcenter.com/par3.shtml.

    The web address for Woodbridge Bowling Center (346 Main St, Woodbridge) is http://www.woodbridgebowling.com.
  • Saturday Dinner: Everyone is on their own.
    If looking for a group to connect to, contact JoAnne Parente (cell number 908-229-7154).
    There will probably be more information posted here about Saturday dinner after Friday night's festivities.
  • Saturday Night: USSBA Northeast Championships at Giants Stadium 7:30 PM (depending on interest and weather).
    Contact Jimmy Pic no later than 3:30 pm on Saturday for more information if interested (cell number 908-432-2831 / home number 908-707-9637). Be prepared for very COLD conditions sitting in the stands!!!
  • Sunday Afternoon: Veterans Day Parade, Woodbridge, 2:00 PM.
    A meeting location is still to be determined.
    Come watch lots of former Saints as they march down Main Street with Melrose Blackhawks, and pay tribute to our veterans!
All for now - corpsdially yours from jo!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Mini Reunion: Two Days and Counting

As promised, today brings directions to T Nulty American Legion Post 471 (also known as the Post Inn), 25 Brown Av, Iselin 08830. Thanks Althea!

The map below is just to give you something to look at while reviewing the directions - you may want to go out to Yahoo, MapQuest, or the site of your choice to pull your own.

As Althea rightly points out, Route 1 between just south of Roosevelt Park to points north of Woodbridge Center is a MESS with construction. Unless you live there and / or know what you're in for, avoid it.

Here's what she recommends:
  • First, bring these phone numbers with you:
    732-634-9119 (the unlisted phone number for Post 471)
    908-307-0934 (Althea Mazar / cell phone)
  • From 287 or areas South: Get on Route 9 North. Take the exit on the LEFT for Woodbridge Center Mall (after the Main Street Woodbridge exit which is on the right). This is Green Street. As soon as you take the exit, bear right (instead of left towards the mall), and continue forward on Green Street, across Route 1 & 9. After the Citgo Station on the left, you'll see Brown Avenue on the left. There is a sign that says The Post Inn. Make this left - Post is down on the right.

  • From areas North of Woodbridge Center: Take the Garden State Parkway to Exit 131 (Iselin-Rahway-Rt 27). Make a left onto Rt 27. Go about a half-mile and make a right onto Green Street. Take Green Street for about 1.3 miles and make a right onto Brown Avenue.

  • From Staten Island: Take the Outerbridge Crossing to Rt 440. Follow directions for Rt 9 North above.

  • All other locations: Use the directions site of your choice, your GPS device, or contact Althea!
The parking lot is behind the Post.


All for now - corpsdially yours from jo!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Tuesday Trivia / Reunion Edition - November 6, 2007

First, about Friday (can't believe it's THIS FRIDAY already) - We're working on getting some good directions up on the site (Althea is working on putting them together right now). In the meantime, if you trust your favorite Internet map site or GPS device, the full address of the Post is 25 Brown Avenue, Iselin NJ 08830.

Should you have trouble finding your way (translation: if you get lost), here are some numbers to have handy (especially since the Post does not have a listed number):
  • American Legion Post 471: 732-634-9119
  • Althea Mazar / cell number: 908-307-0934
  • JoAnne Parente / cell number: 908-229-7154

Any last-minute updates will be posted all over the place on www.saintsdrumcorps.com, but the first, best place to check is the Guest Book. If you won't have Internet access between now and the end of the week, please let us know by e-mailing saintsreunion@gmail.com for us to reach you by phone if need be.

Registrations are pretty much complete, so the state-by-state list that's posted in last week's Tuesday Trivia is up to date.

Here's a version by section of our marching members. For those who were in more than one section over the years, you'll find their names only once, probably in either the horn or drum line:

Drum Line:
  • Batista, Brian
  • Bodzas, Jack
  • Chiocchi, Gary
  • Coleman, Brad
  • Comprido, Jim
  • Karpinski, Gary
  • Matelski, Robert
  • Meyer, Eric
  • Reybert Bartlett, Debbie
  • Schwartz, Bob
  • Scotto, Mark
  • Skibo, George
Color Guard:
  • Batista Pasquale, Kathy
  • Boumpani Feretich, Kathy
  • Fastuca, Maureen
  • Fastuca Ravino, Lorraine
  • French Lyons, Priscilla
  • Happel, Joann
  • Jackson Piccolo, Barbara
  • Maloney Wagner, Lisa
  • Moon Lemmert, Terri
  • Parente, JoAnne
  • Parente, Karen
  • Person Eager, Cathy
  • Ponik Donnelly, Kathy
  • Ribinsky Stanek, Nancy
  • Skibo, Joyce
  • Van Malden Westbrook, Michelle
  • Yates Breen-Simone, Rhonda
  • Zepko Tvedt, AnnMarie
Horn Line:
  • Antol, Patty
  • Balderose, Mary
  • Batista, Joe
  • Berliner, Bill
  • Brady, Dave
  • Breen, Steve
  • Breen, Tom
  • Burke Andel, Linda
  • Burke Boyne, Carol
  • Chesnovitz, Goober
  • Chesnovitz, Peter
  • Chiocchi, Kenny
  • Chiocchi, Rocky
  • Comprido, Jim
  • Crafts, Peter
  • DeAndrea, Dave
  • DeAndrea Aldiero, Karen
  • Durrua, Bill
  • Durrua, Ken
  • Fastuca, Michael
  • Happel, Debbie
  • Hickey Fitzgerald, Carol
  • Humcke Bogner, Robin
  • James, Verne
  • Karol Miller, Chris
  • Karol, Skippy
  • Matelski, Mike
  • Mazar, Althea
  • Meyer, Bill
  • Meyer DeLucia, Rene
  • Morosoff, Chris
  • Piccolo, Jim
  • Ponik, Ferd
  • Scotto, Mark
  • Skarzynski, Glenn
  • Stover Dziowgo, Darlene
  • Wardlow, Red
  • Wargo, Mike
  • Zolnowski, Aaron

All for now - corpsdially yours from jo!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Monday Matchups - There At The End

Our first Monday MatchUps was posted on June 18, 2007, and here we are with our 18th edition, at the end of the roster as currently compiled. Next week's Monday MatchUps will be pre-empted with news from the mini-reunion.

If you're asking yourself, What reunion?, this is clearly your first contact with Saints Scribblings. If you're interested in attending and still haven't registered to attend the festivities at Post 471 in Iselin on November 9th, check out the home page on www.saintsdrumcorps.com. As long as you make all sorts of outrageous promises to Althea to pay for your dinner, you can still sign up.

We have some happy news to report: Bob Schwartz (Monday MatchUps, July 9) and Aaron Zolnowski (Monday MatchUps, August 6) have found us! Better yet, they both plan on attending the mini-reunion ... welcome home Aaron and Bob!

Back to the MatchUps!

Counting today's entries, there have been 217 members mentioned over the five+ months this blog has run. We've connected to 16, and sadly, learned of the passing of one of the members we listed.

Each of the members below were with us in the last year we competed - 1977. If you know how to reach them (or anyone else mentioned in previous Monday MatchUps), please contact me at joparente.saintsdrumcorps@gmail.com. Thanks!
  • Al Hankerson
  • Cathy Kadash
  • David Kolczynski
  • Laura Labassi
  • David LaBerge
  • Dave Leach
  • Jimmy Mack
  • Jay Marzella
  • Lisa Peterson
  • Howard Pinoos

Hope you've enjoyed this journey through the roster with me ...

All for now - corpsdially yours from jo!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Weekend Wonderings: Did He Know?

Following All Saints Day on the liturgical calendar is All Souls Day, a time to reflect and remember those we've lost.

With all the Saints stuff going on lately, I've spent some time thinking back on those who had the greatest long-term influence on the skills I developed and the person I've become. Many of them have been mentioned in prior Scribblings entries, so I'm just going to focus on one person today: H. Worth Ake.

As I've probably mentioned before, Mr. Ake was the person who encouraged me to take on the position of the Saints Public Relations Director while I was still just a junior in high school. I remember that the Saints Guard, in particular, was a tad irritated with Drum Corps News over its lack of coverage of our progress in NJA, as well as nary a mention of the rest of the corps. I wrote a letter to Worth and heard back in a flash.

There was no coverage, he said, because the requests for information from the Saints were going unanswered. He asked me to respond to some questions, and the rest is history.

I've been thinking about Worth quite a bit these past couple of weeks. Michael Boo, who does more than a bit of writing these days about corps, requested that church-based corps provide some input for an article he was putting together for DCI.org. The target was for the piece to coincide with All Saints Day.

Church-based corps AND on All Saints Day? It was like Worth was screaming down from heaven at me, and he wouldn't let me rest until I sent in enough information to Mike for us to be included.

The result? DCI.org is publishing a three-part Fanfare series titled The saints come marching in, and we're featured in the November 2nd edition (in case you haven't seen the article yet, click on the title).

Did Worth know way back in the early 1970s what his encouragement would mean? Could he have realized that his patience in working with me really helped to nourish a lifelong love of writing? Someday, I hope to have the answers (as well as to find out what the "H" stood for!).

All for now - corpsdially yours from jo!