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40th anniversary of the year the then Garfield Cadets went co-ed. As we hear from DCI's Dan Potter in today's Field Pass, the entire 1969 Cadets' color guard was inducted into the corps' Hall of Fame over the weekend.
credit    Dan Potter, DCI Field Pass: .
Click here for When the Cadetsí color guard went co-ed

The below links are a 75th Anniversary audio gift of love from Cadet John Ogle to his fellow Cadets. There are four parts, covering 1959-1962. Enjoy and remember. FHNSAB...
Click here for Part 1      Click here for Part 2
Click here for Part 3      Click here for Part 4
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SCOUT HOUSE

Part II - the friendship - Preston and Garfield

Following the initial contact between The Cadets and Scout House that first year, an unusual friendship developed between Wilf Blum, Director of Scout House, Bill Kemmerer, Director of the Cadets, and John McAuliffe, Business Manager of the Caballeros and close friend of Bill Kemmerer. It was unusual because Wilf Blum did not customarily cultivate friendships with other corps leaders, and he discouraged the boys in Scout House from interacting with members of other corps. In later years he explained that he thought aloofness increased mystique, and mystique was one of Scout House's secret weapons.

Somehow during the winter of 1958 this unusual trio of drum corps luminaries connected on a personal level. The trust that grew out of their new relationship gave birth to a marketing idea that was very appealing to both groups. Scout House would invite the Holy Name Cadets to participate in their 1958 Spring Show, and the Cadets would invite Scout House to appear at the prestigious 1959 Garfield Invitational.

The Scout House Spring Show was an annual event held in a hockey arena in Kitchener, Ontario (basically a theater-in-the-round). It was a totally unique performance event and venue that went way beyond anything any drum corps had ever presented previously, The Spring Show was a two hour extravaganza that included everything from full corps ensemble numbers, color guard and drum line features, Scout House vocalists, a motorcycle drill team composed entirely of Scout House members, and innumerable other components requiring special spotlight effects, props, black lights, sound effects, and other theatrical elements. It ran for two nights and packed the house. It was impossible to buy tickets the day of the event. Press coverage in the Preston-Kitchener area was extensive. If you're thinking "Blast," you're pretty close


  
 A standing-room-only crowd fills the arena for the 1958 Scout House Spring Show
 
The marketing for the show focused on: "The Canadian National Champions and The American National Champions, performing together for the first time." Both corps agreed to appear at their own expense...an unusual arrangement sealed with a handshake.

The first meeting between the members of the two corps when the Cadets arrived in Preston couldn't have gone more smoothly. Canada was a different world and a different culture for the young Cadets, and everything about it was new and exciting. We had traveled through Canada previously, returning from the 1953 American Legion National Championship Competition in St. Louis, but we had never experienced Canada and Canadians like this...up-close and personal.

The boys from Scout House treated us like visiting royalty. Cadets were billeted in the homes of the members of Scout House, and the first of many long-lasting friendships began to take shape. I was billeted in the home of Bob Armitt, a Scout House snare drummer. His parents had emigrated from Scotland, and you could cut their brogue with a knife. They treated me like I was their second son, instead of just a weekend house guest imposing on the quiet of their home.

(With your indulgence I would like to take a personal moment. Bob Armitt and I remained close friends for many years. A number of years ago he passed away at a very young age. He will never be forgotten. Prior to his death he had traveled all the way across Canada, from Alberta to Ontario on his motorcycle, to attend a reunion of his beloved Scout House. Rest in Peace Bob, and thank you for honoring me with your friendship).


  
 Bob Armitt, Scout House snare drummer, lifelong friend, magnificent human being.
 
The Scout House building in Preston was viewed with awe by my fellow Cadets and myself. It had a rustic cabin look to it outside, and inside it was a combination museum, rehearsal hall, offices, auditorium, and clubhouse. Outside was a small private drill field. To the boys in the Cadets, Scout House had it all. To the boys in Scout House, the Cadets owned the world. The foundation for the mutual respect, and admiration, and friendship that would mark the on-going relationship between our two corps was established in the first few hours of contact.


  
 The Scout House Building in Preston, renovated by the members of Scout House when they took possession.
 
Many private parties at the homes of Scout House members, and in other more unlikely locales, ensued. Cadet George King, after 50 years, remembers his Scout House host, Jim Gantner. Jim owned a souped-up hot-rod which he used to drive his Cadet guests around his hometown of Guelph...cruising the lanes so to speak. When the Cadets took their turn at hosting Scout House in 1959, Jim was George's guest, and their friendship and mutual regard deepened even further.

George shared his memory of a humorous event that occurred at a barbecue he hosted for the Scout House boys he was housing. A group of members from both corps were present. When the hot dogs were passed out the Cadets present noticed the boys from Scout House eating their hot dogs from the center, as you would a sandwich. None of the Cadets had ever seen anyone eat a hot dog anyway but from end to end. A truly momentous cultural clash, that is still retold with disbelief to this day. How young we were!


  
 A drawing by Bob (Chief) Maracle, sent to Dave Shaw.
 
Rehearsals the following day at the arena involved both corps, and it was there we discovered our shared regard for hard work and discipline. The Cadets had never before rehearsed with another corps, nor I suspect had Scout House; but we seemed to quickly merge into one performing group seamlessly.

The show was a smash hit. Reviews in the local press the next day heaped accolades on Scout House, on the Cadets, and on the overall success of the evening. The second night was even better. I previously had the privilege of enjoying many emotional highs with the Cadets, but this one was unique. It would not be an overstatement to say it changed my life, and it certainly changed the artistic direction of the Cadets. We began to look at the world through different eyes.


  
 An article in the Preston Newspaper appearing the first night after the opening of the 1958 Spring Show
 

 Program insert from the 1958 Spring Show
 
In July of the following year Scout House, as promised, traveled down to Garfield. It was our turn to share our homes and families with the boys from Scout House, and to renew friendships that were already a part of our lives. I was particularly fortunate. My Grandmother owned a three family house, and my Aunt and Uncle kindly vacated the first floor to accommodate our group. I had eleven members of Scout House, plus some Cadets, packed into that house. That's not counting the extras that showed up for the barbecue we threw. It was one heck of a party. One of many to come. I also had some female cousins fall madly in love with a couple of Scout House guys. I don't think they ever fully recovered.


  
 When visiting each other the boys in both corps would often pose for photographs in the uniforms of their counterparts.

Bob Maracle is shown here in a Cadet uniform during a personal visit to Garfield.

Dave Shaw takes his turn, posing in a Scout House travel uniform presented to him by Wilf Blum
 
  
Scout House rocked the stadium in Garfield, and stunned the corps invited there to compete. They had the fans pounding the bleachers with their feet in unison to salute their performance, and following retreat autograph seekers descended on our Canadian guests. Their drum major, Paul Bauer, received particular attention.

For months afterwards Scout House was the talk of the entire Garfield area, and the talk of the other corps that had been in attendance. Their style went against everything those of us in the traditional drum corps competition-world had been taught, and it made the Cadets at least take a long hard look at the possibilities that thinking outside the box could offer. Both the Spring Show and the Garfield Invitational exceeded all original expectations in every way. The Canadian National Champions and the American National Champions were on a collision course with destiny, and we were traveling the road together.

PART III - THE BOND IS SEALED (click here)

to Part I (click here)

text by Dave Shaw
most photos and illustrations provided by Mike Young of Scout House