Saturday, January 31, 2009

Weekend Wonderings: Remembering

There's no point in being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes.
(Dr. Who)

By now, word has probably reached you about Lorraine Porowski's passing. While I didn't know her as well as many of you, I spent enough time around her to know that she kept it real and reminded us that we were, after all, kids. The nature of what we did in corps was serious stuff - precision beyond belief under the aerobic pressures of marching and social pressures of performing in front of thousands. She provided that escape valve for me and others, leaving us convulsing with laughter beyond repair.

We don't know too much about what Lorraine was up to post-Saints much beyond that she's survived by her mother and had become a mother herself. This not-knowing is true for lots of members of our corps family. While it's unfortunate, it's also a gift - remembering her and others through the lens of who we were back during our days together is a cool thing in so many ways.

Lorraine, thanks for letting me be 19 once again!

All for now - corpsdially yours from jo!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wednesday Workouts: Linking with each other and LinkedIn

Let's see how much interest this deviation to Saints Scribblings can drum up (pun intended).

Wednesdays, from time to time, will be about work. I'm still open to Guest Writer Wednesdays, but I've had no recent offers from any of you.

The world is a crazy place these days, and not because some of us are still recovering from the transgressions of our youth (and you know who you are!). Some of us are doing OK job-wise, even with the economy crashing around us. Some are hanging on by a thread, almost dreading going into work every day for fear of impending layoffs. Some are already looking for a new gig, and maybe even in a new profession.

Most of our connections with each other have been about relationships we planted over thirty years ago. In many cases, we really haven't connected dots to what we do these days. Sure, we've shared info about where we live, main squeezes, and children. Personally, I know I've discussed what I do these days with only a handful of you. I venture to guess that it's the same for you.

It's time to open the doors to whatever connections we can make with each other.

Today's question: Are you LinkedIn? I am
(gentle reminder - my real first name is Marilyn), and I created the Saints Alumni Association group this evening. Let me know if you're out there, and let's build some networks.

All for now - corpsdially yours from jo!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tuesday Trivia: More of Pre-Corps, Post-Corps and all-round Corps

Here are the answers - or better put, responses - to last week's question:

What senior corps did some of our instructors march in,
and for bonus points, what junior corps did they march with?

Jackie Bodzas (supplier of the question): Mr Lopez / Cabs – Bucky / Sky
Pete Chez: I'm 90 percent sure Swan started with Saint Kevins out of Newark.
Chris Morosoff: Hmmmmmmmm, just a guess? Bucky Swan - Skyliners
And the, Judy Stewart Sgammato: With a little searching, I found the marching experiences, both Junior and Senior of the following Saints instructors:

  • Joe Aiello: SR-Bucs
  • Ray Cappicilli: JR-Holy Name Cadets; SR-Cabs
  • Tony Cataneo: SR-Sunrisers
  • Rose Cataneo: SR-Sunrisers and Cabs
  • Jimmy D'Amico: JR-Holy Name Cadets; St. Josephs Cadets. SR-Cabs and Sky
  • Frank Kubinak: JR-Rossville PAL. SR-Sky and Cabs
  • George Lopez: SR-Cabs
  • Mike Lorenzo: SR-Bucs
  • JoAnne Parente: JR-Saints
  • Bob Peterson: JR-St. George Cadets and Holy Name Cadets. SR-Cabs
  • Tom Swan: JR-St Joseph Cadets of Newark. SR-Sky
  • John Tokar: JR-Garfield Cadets
  • George Tuthill: JR-St Ann's Cadets and Fairlawn Police Cadets. SR-Cabs
  • Judy Walck: JR-Garfield Cadets
  • Gus Wilke: JR-Jersey City Department of Recreation and Fisk Post VFW corps; St. Joes of Union City; Cusik Post 15, West New York, NJ; Our Lady of Grace, Hoboken. SR-Sky
  • Bruce Zolnowski: JR-Saints
There are still more instructors out there not accounted for, like Ralph Fair, Walter Kelly, and Sonny Cataneo to name a few.

We'll keep the question going for another week.

All for now - corpsdially yours from jo!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Monday MatchUps: Who are you looking for?

Before I dust off the missing-in-action members list again, I'm opening up the floor (well, blog, but I'm sure you get it).

Who have you been looking for from the Saints?

Click here to send your response. Let me know if you want your name included in the posting or not (if you don't specify, your name will be included).

All for now - corpsdially yours from jo!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tuesday Trivia: Pre-Corps, Post-Corps, and all-round Corps

Four members responded to last week's question ... thanks!

Pete Crafts: Pete came to the Saints from the Silver Lancers (Middlesex NJ). Pete made the trek south on 287 to join us along with fellow Lancers Jimmy Pic, Marty Straka, Darlene Stover, Alfie Hankerson, and Lorraine Porowski (Lorraine, we're still looking to connect with you!). While Pete did some roadie stuff with rock bands post-Saints, he didn't march again.

Judy Stewart Sgammato: The Saints was Judy's first corps, but definitely not her last. She headed north to march with the Garfield Cadets and Bushwackers, and eventually served on the Board and as a Business Manager for DCA Corps Carolina Gold. These days, she considers herself a proud Crossmen parent.

Pete Chez: While late with his response, it still is notable. The Saints was also his first drum corps (he claims to only have been 8 years old at the time, yet he carries on like he's older than me these days ... I digress). After 1977, he joined the Marines Corps (yes, Pete, I'll also count it towards marching!). Starting in 1982, he marched with Reading Bucs with both Mickey and Goober (the last time the Chez brothers marched together). He currently plays with Melrose Blackhawks with a bunch of other Saints, and also appears as a guest lead baritone for Brooklyn United, Lambertville Volunteers, and St Lucy's Cadets Alumni Corps.

Jackie Bodzas: Here's his response, intact:

The Saints was my first and last drum corps.
Blue and Gold satin to wool cadet to orange and black polyester. Hmmm.

First day to last, Stout Hearted Men to Send in the Clowns.
First Fords parade to our last gig in Wildwood,
with a gazillion shows in between.

Ludwig to Ludwig.

I could sit here and name first and last instructors / directors.
It sure is a boatload or busload, as the case may be,
of simply fantastic people.

Started out too young and ended up too old.

Thought about Senior corps, kept putting it off:
College / rock band / more college / bluegrass band x6 /
more college / wife / demanding career / 1st kid / new job/

2nd kid / world golf tour (just kidding) /
little league coaching and so it goes ...

Thought about Senior corps, kept putting it off.
If there was a Saints Sr Corps, my heart my have been more in it.
In other words, I would have joined in a second!

And now for Jackie's Trivia questions:
What senior corps did some of our instructors march in,
and for bonus points, what junior corps did they march with?

Click here to respond to this week's Trivia questions ... remember our slogan: Prizes, prizes, we have no prizes!

All for now - corpsdially yours from jo!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Monday MatchUps: Special Wishes

I know Monday MatchUps traditionally focuses on finding members who haven't found us yet, but I'm deviating from that for today.

It's nice to be able to change the rules every once in awhile!

Today. January 19th, is Uncle Tony and Aunt Lorraine Fastuca's wedding anniversary. What a wonderful MatchUp!

How do I remember that? Easy - Richard and I were married on the same day. Not by design, mind you, but certainly a nice coincidence.

For us, it's been 19 years. The temperature that day - 64 degrees - still stands as the record for the day. We were even able to take pictures in Roosevelt Park.

For Aunt Lorraine and Uncle Tony, I think it's 54 years this year. I might be off a year or two, but it's still an awesome amount of time and a testament to a wonderful life.

Click here to send them your anniversary wishes, or post them out in the Guestbook.

Tomorrow, I'll post the responses to last week's Tuesday Trivia question - still not too late to send in your responses!

All for now - corpsdially yours from jo!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tuesday Trivia: From Where, To Where

As a warm-up to some new Trivia questions submitted during the Christmas break, here's an easy one:

What corps did you march with pre-Saints? How about after?

This is more data mining that real trivia, truth be told. I could start the list, but because I never marched before or after my blue-n-gold years, it just didn't seem right for me to be telling your stories ...

So, how about it? Click here to respond.


All for now - corpsdially yours from jo!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

So, where are we headed?

New Year's Eve brought some well-placed comments in the Saints Guestbook about the need to reconnect, to get together, to gather our Saints family again.

Then, nothing.

What's it worth to you?

We were, are, and will continue to be a wonderful resource for each other. We're there to help each other, laugh with each other, cry with each other, beat up on each other when needed. With all the doom and gloom around us these days, getting the ball rolling again to gather - however informally - can be a lifeline for so many.

If we've learned anything these past couple of years, it's that life is short. Don't just think about it. Do something about it.

After all, that's what family does.

All for now - corpsdially yours from jo!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Where does the time go?

Today is our nephew Timmy's 10th birthday ... in thinking about how quickly he and his cousins are growing up, something related to our marching days occurred to me.

Timmy is some six months older than Karen was at our first rehearsal in July 1967.

Timmy is still a kid!

In discussing this with Karen yesterday, she remembers little about being that age: her Twiggy lunch box, a trip we took to California that summer, a couple other things.

While Karen is two years younger than I am, she was by no means the youngest kid in the corps then nor at any other time. I can still remember Goober hanging out at rehearsals while still too young to march - if my math is right, he was all of 7 years old when we started, and many of us thought he should have been allowed to join when Mickey and Peaches did.

There was an awful lot expected of us back in the day, from drills to guard work to music. Add to that keeping track of everything we needed for parades, competitions, and tours - uniforms, snacks, changes of clothes, sleeping bags. I know adults who still don't have the skills we took for granted back then.

How did we learn to do all that and keep track of everything, especially given that none of the original members had ever marched before? After all, most of us were on our own, our parents not with us during our corps time.

Is Timmy old enough to do what we did? We'll never know.

All for now - corpsdially yours from jo!