Thursday, June 28, 2007


A conversation with Jackie Bodzas a couple of days ago reminded me that I haven't shared many stats recently.

Here goes (current through 11:30 am EDT on Thursday, June 28, 2007):
  • Names on the Saints Member Roster (still need 1967-69 and 1975 rosters): 326
  • Members connected to the site (directly, through family, or through the hotline): 119
  • Members contacted (web announcement card, e-mail, phone) - not yet responded: 32
  • Members / board / instructors interested in attending reunion: 59

Another way to look at some of the numbers I've been tracking:

  • 47% of our members have contacted us or have been contacted by us
  • 37% of our roster is directly / indirectly connected to us
  • 27% of our members have posted contact info on the site or have called the hotline
  • 53% of our members have no obvious connection to us so far

It's the 53% segment that you can help us reach. The Member Roster is a quick-loading page out on Look for the names that are preceded by an asterisk (*). If you find the asterisk next to your name, please send in your contact information by using the Where Are They Now page. If you have any information to share on how to reach someone else, contact me at Thanks!

All for now -- corpsdially yours from jo!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Losing Family

Over the past couple of days, my thoughts have been consumed with my Saints relationships even more than normal ... that's what happens when you lose a member of the family.

Thinking back, I remember now that Patty McDonough gets the credit for starting the trend to refer to some of the adults who supported us as Aunt and Uncle. While Betty Maloney Goerke was a mother to Beth and Lisa, we were used to hearing "Mom" and "Ma" at rehearsals and whatnot -- after all, there were many Moms who were there on a regular basis.

When Patty would call to Aunt Betty (certainly her right since her mother was Betty's sister), we took notice somehow. Little by little, many of us started calling her Aunt Betty as well ... then it was Aunt Lorraine and Uncle Tony, and Uncle Walter, and Uncle Ralph, and many others. It was an acknowledgement of respect, of family.

Aunt Betty, I was proud to be one of your nieces. Lisa, Beth, Jimmy, Larry, and Patty, thanks for extending your family to include us.

All for now -- corpsdially yours from jo!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Sharing Family

It dawned on me yesterday -- I've been using the Saints website as a virtual brag book.

After sitting in LOTS of traffic, I spent a good part of the day catching up with my friends Ef and Jack down in Haddonfield. At various points during the afternoon and the evening, we shared photos of our families and people we know in common. There were some pictures printed out on nice Kodak stock, but everything else was on a hard drive, DVD, or the Internet.

Sharing family has never been easier.

Even ten years ago, you had to schlep around one of those cute little purse-sized brag books to show photos of your main squeeze, kids, and other special people / moments in your life. Yesterday, I had Ef log into instead.

The Deals are corps folks, so there was no explaining to be done. On the other hand, I've shared the site with business colleagues, customers, and non-corps friends with equal enthusiasm. Reading your posts in the Guest Book as well as your e-mails, I know you're doing the same thing, too.

Now, we just have to find the rest of our Saints family to share our brag book even further ...

All for now -- corpsdially yours from jo!

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Almost as fast as the e-mail was sent, Denise Lopez, Kim (Mega) Trimblett, Ray Chmieleski, Phil Petescia, Jackie Bodzas, Susi Palasak, Jennifer (DiGaetano) Wehking, and Robin (Humcke) Bogner sent in their reunion survey responses. Thank you all!

UPDATE: The response count as of 8:00 am EDT on Thursday, June 28 is:
  • Total YES-WILL ATTEND responses: 59
    (about one third from Florida / Georgia / California)

If you haven't responded yet, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??? DO IT NOW!!! If you didn't get the e-mail, the questions are posted out on the website on the Alumni Association page.

If you have responded, my apologies for shouting by using all caps.

Summer is upon us -- getting people together in July and August to plan is going to be a bit of a logistical challenge. If you were with us at Menlo, regretted not being able to be there, or have been enjoying the pictures from the gathering, then you know how much more meaningful a full-blown reunion will be. Time to get moving my family!!!

All for now -- corpsdially yours from jo!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

One Week Later

It's been a week since the gathering at Menlo (in case you haven't read about it, see the entry for June 13th). Now that the dust has settled, what's next?

After chatting with a few folks over the past half-fortnight, it's clear that we have more questions than answers right now:
  • When should we have the reunion?
  • Where?
  • Should it just be for a couple of hours, or maybe a weekend of events?
  • Will people come back to Jersey for it, or will Saints South (folks living in Florida and Georgia) have their own regional reunion?
  • Should families be included?
  • How much will this cost?
  • Who's going to plan it?
  • Who's going to clean up if we rent a hall?
Over the next couple of days, be watching your e-mail with questions similar to these. PLEASE respond right away if possible to make sure your voice is heard! In the meantime, feel free to toss around some ideas in the Guest Book at

All for now -- corpsdially yours from jo!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Monday MatchUps - Horn Line

On Mondays for at least the near future, Saints Scribblings will be devoted to trying to find members who have not yet been connected to Each week will have a different theme to keep the lists interesting.

Why do this? If each one of us who has already connected back to the Saints family can find one person who hasn't yet done so, in short order we will have found all 325+ members. We're already connected to over 150, so we're nearly half-way there.

Here are the names of 10 people we're still looking for who marched with our Horn Line:
  • Frank Allman Jr
  • Mary Balderose -- called Bill Meyer on August 3rd!
  • Wendy Baxter
  • Brian Bolger
  • Gene Carine
  • Karen Clemente
  • Cynthia Coster
  • George Dahl
  • Joan Dahl
  • Scott Davis

Know how to reach anyone in this week's Monday Matchups? Let us know by e-mailing me at Thanks!

All for now -- corpsdially yours from jo!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Fathers Day 2007

My first best wishes today go to my father, Babe, and my father-in-law, Bill. Richard and I are lucky and blessed to still have both of them with us at this point in our lives.

I also remember all the surrogate fathers I've had over the years, particularly through the Saints. While many have passed, there are still some with us. Hugs in particular go out to Ray Chmieleski, our corps' founding father, and Uncle Tony Fastuca, whom I hope to see very soon!

Follow the lead Peanuts has set today -- post your Fathers Day wishes in the guestbook on Let all those who gave up their Fathers Days to help get us to parades or on the field know how much you appreciate them!

All for now -- corpsdially yours from jo!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Member Roster

Of all the questions I've been asked since I started working with Rocky on the Saints site, the one that's been most frequent is some variation on How did you put the member roster together?

Several years ago, I joined my sister Karen, Lisa Maloney (Wagner), Althea, and Linda (Andel) and Carole (Boyne) Burke at one of those local establishments in Woodbridge where we hung out so many years ago. It was the first time the 6 of us had been together for quite some time, and the conversation drifted far and wide the whole evening.

Early on, we decided to keep track of all the people whose names came up. I just happened to have a small notebook in my purse (for those who know me, this is no surprise), and I became the designated scribe. Several hours later, we had about 200 names on that list, 98 percent of which were marching members, instructors, or part of the adult support staff like the Board or various Booster Associations. The rest? Well ... let's just call them "friends of Saints."

When Pic contacted me back in March to say Rocky had started the site, it didn't take long for me to dig up the list, dust it off, and use it as the basis for what's now a 300+ member roster. It's taken on several different iterations, now complete with years marched, sections, and the rest. It got to the point where Rocky needed to give the roster its own page -- a testament to all us who were part of it.

So, just where did I get the rest of the info? In each of the Music in Splendor (MIS) and Flying Silks (FS) programs appears a member roster, by section, current at the time the program was compiled. Name by name, I entered or updated members, equipment, and years marched. I even found the names of all of El Khobar's Dancing Girls and the single year roster for Phase III! Karen also had a dues list for 1977, so that year is very complete.

Here's where we still need your help:
  • 1967, 1968, 1969 -- For 1967 and 1968, the corps hadn't yet held an outdoor or indoor show, so there are no MIS or FS programs for those years. I also haven't gotten my hands on the MIS program for 1969.
  • 1975 -- Althea brought the MIS 1975 (Seventh Annual) program with her to the Night at MPM, but there was some printing error in her copy -- and no roster.

Written records for any of those years would be WONDERFUL to get (especially the MIS 1975 with the roster in it). Next best thing: if you marched or were associated with us in any of those years, think about other members of your section. Name as many as you can, and send them in to We know there are more names to be added, and you're our best chance at doing that.

All for now -- corpsdially yours from jo!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Watcha doin' ?

While I kinda guessed, the web statistics from yesterday confirmed it -- there were A LOT of us not getting much done the day after the gathering at Menlo. At work, at home, on the road, we accessed the Saints website in record numbers to see what was going on in our little corner of corpsdom. On top of that, phones were ringing, e-mails and instant messages were flying back and forth -- Did you see that picture? Did you see who was there?

Here's today's question: have you submitted anything yet for the Where Are They Now page? That, the Guest Book page, and the Photo Galleries are where many of us visit every day (OK, every couple of hours if truth be told). Nothing fancy is needed -- just saying what state you live in is OK, even if it's just the State of Confusion. Rocky can always edit it for you later if you want to polish it up or change it after awhile. The important thing is that you let us know you stopped home for a visit ...

All for now -- corpsdially yours from jo!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Gathering at the Mall: June 13, 2007

It seems appropriate that this first article is written on Flag Day ... after all, one of the earliest sponsors for the Saints (and scads of other corps from our era) was the American Legion -- specifically, Post 324 in Edison, followed by Post 471 in Iselin.

As kids, we probably all hung at the mall, be it Menlo or Woodbridge. After all, it's where many of us grew up, not to mention practiced for how many years. Meeting at the food court at Menlo Park Mall last evening "worked" on so many levels.

We took over a whole section of the food court, amazing passers-by who must have thought we were having an AARP meeting or something similar. They may have seen a bunch of 40- and 50-somethings hanging out, but our hearts all beat as young as they did in shared cadence over 30 years ago.

Not much (any?) planning happened for the 40th Anniversary reunion, except a sense of urgency that we've gotta get it done ... a couple of ideas were tossed around, and there will be more to come as we gather again to plan in earnest as soon as we can.

Many thanks to:
  • our photographers (Rocky and Stoney besides me);
  • Althea, Ferd, and everyone else who brought lots of stuff to look at, scan, and record (I still can't believe Karen's baton case and some of the stuff written on it, but that's another story);
  • Darlene's multimedia entertainment;
  • all who shared old and created new memories all evening.

Here's a list of those who joined us, in mostly alphabetical order:

  • Mark "Rocky" Chiocchi (webmaster extraordinare)
  • Linda (Burke) Andel
  • Joyce (Skibo) Andrechick
  • Patty Antol
  • Jackie Bodzas
  • Pete "Peaches" Chesnovitz (and by phone, Al "Goober" Chez)
  • Kenny "Pebbles" Chiocchi
  • Jim "Stoney" Comprido
  • Denise (Normandia) Dube
  • Ken Durrua
  • Darlene (Stover) Dziowgo
  • Dawn Fair
  • Maureen Fastuca
  • Marty Guare
  • Kenny Kadash
  • Althea Mazar
  • Billy Meyer
  • JoAnne Parente
  • Karen Parente
  • Barbara (Jackson) Piccolo
  • Jim "Pic" Piccolo
  • Rich "Ferd" Ponik
  • Lorraine (Fastuca) Ravino
  • Mark "Peanuts" Scotto
  • Marty Straka
All for now -- corpsdially yours from jo!