Thursday, December 25, 2008

Finally ... 12 Days of Christmas, Saints-Style

Well, it's taken a year
The work's not my best
The beginning came last time
Now here is the rest ...

For Christmas in 2008, the Saints Drum Corps gave to me ...

Twelve mellophones
Eleven snare drummers
Ten years in Wildwood

Nine dancing girls

Eight flags a flashing

Seven Swan arrangements

Six baritones

Five parades in one day ...

Four rifles spinning

Three lost bus drivers

Two shiny cymbals
a website from Rocky Chiocchi.

Merry Christmas -
corpsdially yours from jo!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Once Again: Saints Night Before Christmas

I'm making a guess
Not missing a beat
That you don't mind this entry
is just a repeat ...

Hopefully, for those of you celebrating Christmas this year, you're more ready than I am. Either way, enjoy this entry from last Christmas Eve, and know I love and miss you all!


Saints 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, and 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 - don’t get into a crash -
The cadet blue and gold finished off with a sash.

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

“You really must hurry to see who are 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 each knocked out a tooth!

Each face looked so young, an image to astound.
Was I the only one here who’s 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, “Going on 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.
“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 ...”
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!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Weekend Wonderings: Favorite Saints Christmas Memory

remember this holiday card?

We spent a lot of Christmas holidays together ... parades in Metuchen and Woodbridge, our annual parties in the Annex (including receiving our 5-year medals), singing Christmas carols on the way to color guard / ensemble shows (Althea, still remember the alto parts?), Mrs. Antol's Saints cakes, visiting each other's houses, and the like.

My favorite memory? Hands-down, it has to be the warm-to-the-touch Christmas tree procured each year under questionable circumstances ... and then donated to the nuns in the convent when we were finished with it. If there's anyone out there NOT in the witness protection program who's able to fill in more details, I'd love to run the full story.

So, what's your favorite Saints family holiday memory? Send it along to

All for now - corpsdially yours from jo!

PS - Jackie and Peaches, thanks for sending in those trivia questions. We'll pick up Tuesday Trivia again after the holidays.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Yes, it's been awhile ... and I have a request ...

First, on the last Trivia - the short answer is yes, it was Legionnaires Disease (thanks to all who responded). Just an hour after I made the post, things got a bit crazy with family illnesses, and then, there was an actual outbreak of Legionnaires at St Peter's Hospital in New Brunswick.

Enough of my excuses.

Now, here's what has brought me back to Scribblings ... I received this note yesterday in my Inbox:

Hi Jo,

I am not sure if I am contacting the right person, but I wanted to inform you that my mother Doreen Derlak (Lang) passed away on May 31, 2008 from Cancer. I just wanted to update you.

I know that the drum corps were a very important part of her life. I hate to ask this, but do you know if there are any pictures of her on the website? I would love to see them. OR do you happen to know of anyone that would have any?

Thank you
Jenifer Mahoney

Jenifer's contact information will be posted on the site, but in the meantime, here's the challenge. I KNOW that the loyal Scribblings readers are just looking for some reason / excuse to spend time out on the site, and here it is. I promised Jenifer that I would ask you all to go on a Scavenger Hunt for her, searching our photo galleries on (and private photo collections you may not have sent in for Rocky to post) for pictures of Doreen.

As you find them, go ahead and post your discoveries out in the Guest Book. Make sure you're as specific as you can be by including the Gallery Number, Page Number, Row, photo number for that row, and which person is Doreen. For example, if I were identifying a picture of Dawn Fair, recent 50th Birthday celebrante, here's how it would go - Gallery 2, Page 1, Row 1, Picture 5, person on the right.

While we're at it, let's identify pictures of Mr. and Mrs. Derlak as well ...

This would be a great Christmas present and tribute to Doreen - I'll reward you with the 12 Days of Christmas, Saints-Style, that I never finished posting last year. Promise.

All for now - corpsdially yours from jo!