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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 Cadets’ 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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Less than a month after the Garfield Invitational in 1959, the Cadets departed to participate in a competition in Stillwater, Minnesota called "Drum Beauty," where Scout House would also be competing. This was our first visit, but Scout House was appearing in Stillwater for the third consecutive year.

As we traveled from New Jersey to Minnesota we had no idea that we were about to experience something so special that fifty years later the memories would still stand out from all others. The contest had been conceived by a local media personality, Dick Klund; a man of imagination, vision, and a sincere love for the corps he invited to his home town of Stillwater for his creation...Drum Beauty.

Drum Beauty had become such a huge event that the contest had to be held on two consecutive nights to accommodate the number of spectators wishing to attend. Scores were added together from the two nights and divided by two to arrive at final placement and scores.

For Scout House and the Cadets, however, it was the associated activities, rather than the contest, that took center stage. Scout House was idolized in Stillwater, and regardless of how they scored, in the eyes of the people of Stillwater, Scout House was always the winner.

Scout House could have very understandably resented the Cadets' presence in Stillwater wearing a variation of their distinctive uniform design. Instead, the friendship our two corps had developed over the prior three years surfaced stronger than ever , and in Stillwater they generously shared their Stillwater celebrity-spotlight with us. For a corps struggling to regain our prior stature and identity during that difficult 1959 season, it was a gesture of support and friendship that was very meaningful to us.

 L-Cadet Louis Silvestri, R-Larry Cull, Scout House
Drum Beauty was a contest unlike any other, either before or since. It can probably best be described by reading the list of events. This was taken from the events calendar given to each member of the participating corps.

5:00 PM The Cadets arrival will be announced on the radio. Anyone scheduled to house Cadets should immediately proceed to the armory to pick up your guests.
6:45 PM Departure of the Cadets for Midway Shopping Center, St. Paul, for a 7:30 PM exhibition
7:00 PM The arrival of Scout House will be announced on the radio. Anyone scheduled to house Scout House members should immediately proceed to the armory to pick up your guests.
9:00 PM Queens Night Dance at the armory to crown the Queen of Stillwater Play Days. The Cadets and Scout House to be guests of honor. Local teenagers are invited to attend.

9:30 AM The Cadets will have a tube-rafting adventure down the Apple River.
9:45 AM Departure of Scout House for Midway Shopping Center, St. Paul, for a 10:30 AM exhibition.
11:00 AM Canoe Race starting from O'Brien State Park. Entries from the Cadets are welcome.
1:30 PM Arrival of Madison Scouts, Racine Kilties, Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights, and Chicago Cavaliers. These corps will be billeted in the armory.
4:15 PM Drum Beauty Informal Parade, Main Street. Corps participating will wear travel uniforms.
5:00 PM Chicken Bar-B-Que for all Drum Beauty corps, Pioneer Park
8:30 PM Drum Beauty Competition, Athletic Field, Stillwater
11:00 PM A post contest dance at the armory to honor our guest corps. All local teenagers are invited to attend.

9:30 AM Outdoor Youth Church Service, Pioneer Park, The National Anthem by the Madison Scouts. Catholic services are also available at St. Michaels Church and St. Marys Church. There will be a special Cadet Mass at St. Michaels at 7:30 AM.
2:00 PM Formal Play Days Parade, 100 units, all guest corps will parade in their dress uniforms.
4:30 PM Departure of all Drum Beauty corps for supper at the Minnesota State Prison from the Senior High Gymnasium.
8:30 PM Drum Beauty Competition, Athletic Field, Stillwater.

Host families are asked to ensure that their guests are transported to all the above events, and that they arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the times indicated.
Both Scout House and The Cadets had considerably more freedom from supervision on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings, following the scheduled events, than the corps housed in the armory; due mainly to being billeted with Stillwater families. Some of our host families extended themselves to the point of making their family cars available to us.

It needs to be mentioned here that it had become customary in preceding years for many Stillwater girls to break-up with their local boyfriends prior to the Drum Beauty weekend. You can draw your own conclusions as to the reason. It would be accurate to assume though that their boy-friends didn't like the situation at all, and they placed the blame solely with Scout House (and therefore with the Cadets as well, since on the darkened streets of Stillwater it was difficult to tell one from the other with both groups attired in black shorts).

Late on Saturday night, following the dance at the armory, five Cadets; John Avella, Ken Shedosky, Bill Kardash, Greg Zwarycz, and Dave Shaw were escorting some local young ladies home when we noticed that we were being followed by a far larger group of Stillwater males... and they weren't there to ask for our autographs. As the group drew closer they began tossing insults at us, and we knew immediately we were in trouble. We began bracing ourselves for the fight that we thought was imminent, when suddenly a ‘58 blue Chevy Impala pulled up alongside our group, and a number of our fellow Cadets and an even larger number of Scout House guys jumped out to join us. The corker though was when the trunk of the car popped open and four Scout House guys jumped out, whipping off their shirts and preparing to battle.

We later found out they had been parked further down the street when they saw what was happening and immediately sprang into action. The locals took one look and quickly began running in the opposite direction. News of the incident quickly spread among the members of our two corps, and "the bond" was sealed. From that moment on Scout House and the Cadets viewed each other as not only friends, but as allies. For many years afterwards the story was told and retold, and even now, nearly 50 years later, the legend of the near-battle of Stillwater lives on.

We traveled to participate again in Drum Beauty the next year and the next, and there were many other memories and adventures; but nothing to top the night when Scout House and the Cadets became a "band of brothers." By the following year, 1960, we were again wearing the traditional Cadet uniform and we were back in competitive contention, but we have never forgotten that it was Scout House that stood shoulder to shoulder with us, in many different ways at many different times, when we most needed a friend.

We crossed paths a number of times in the ensuing years, and many personal visits were exchanged during the off-season months. When we would meet at competitions the loudest cheers for the Cadets were always from Scout House, and we in turn were always there to add our cheers to the roar of approval from the stands as Scout House dazzled yet another audience. By then the competitive tide was turning against them, and they had some difficult contests. Their pain was our pain, and we took it very personally when we thought they were being under-appreciated and under-scored.

1963 was the 25th Anniversary of Scout House, and Wilf Blum decided to once again invite the Cadets to share this special occasion with them at their Spring Show. Once again we were American National Champions, and in our eyes Scout House was still Canadian Champions (with no disrespect intended to the great Toronto Optimist corps).

 1963 Scout House Spring Show   (click photo for larger view)
It was probably the most spectacular of all the many Scout House Spring Shows, featuring a huge birthday cake in the middle of the arena floor. The specially constructed cake was used as a staging point for different parts of the program.

The Cadets had just scored our second three-peat of National American Legion Titles, and the spotlight in our part of the world was solidly focused on us once again. We did not travel to Preston though to celebrate our success, nor for any reason other than to thank Scout House. We were honored to be asked to participate in their celebration and we wanted to honor them in return for all they had accomplished in their many years of existence. They had other ideas. The Cadets were saluted, and honored, and thanked; as Scout House once again graciously shared their spotlight with us, as they had done so many times previously.

 Scout House and The Cadets salute each other with the National Anthems of our two Nations.
I was no longer a marching member of the Cadets in 1963, but I glowed with pride in knowing that the bond between Scout House and the Cadets had taken root while I was still a marching Cadet.

 The Cadets and Scout House in formation on the arena floor.

 The combined percussion lines of Scout House and the Cadets in a specialty presentation.
As Scout House's place in the world of competitive drum corps continued to erode, I watched them struggle to find their niche. Wilf, I believe, knew that the choice was either to continue to be Scout House and concentrate on exhibitions, or to change so completely they would stop being Scout House and become something else altogether. Members slowly drifted away, and recruiting replacements became difficult.

Young males are competitive by nature, and however much the adoration of the crowd rings in their ears, nothing less than competition could satisfy their yearning to be once again acknowledged as champions. As you become older you come to realize that there are many ways to be a champion, but when you are young the world looks very different. The truth though is that Scout House never stopped being champions...they just stopped winning, because the standards of evaluation changed to their detriment.

An ambitious group of new members from the Conquerer drum corps in Hamilton migrated to Scout House, temporarily addressing the manpower problem; but their goal in joining was to hopefully turn Scout House back into a competitive power. Bob (Chief) Maracle became Drum Major, and he traveled down to New Jersey in the hope of enticing some big-name American instructors to assist them in their plan. He had some limited success, and Wilf gave his tacit blessing, but he knew that the Scout House he had personally conceived, directed, and turned into a unique and world-renowned Canadian institution, would never again resume their place in the competitive arena.

 Dennis Mura, Drum Major of the Cadets, and Bob Maracle, Drum Major of Scout House.
Different things were tried, including admitting girls into Scout House for a short time, but the light continued to flicker weaker and weaker until it went out altogether. The saddest thing of all was that Scout House had precious little to learn from drum corps, but drum corps had a great deal indeed to learn from Scout House.

The Scout House Building is now closed. The boys with the sun-tanned knees are no longer boys. The Scout House Spring Shows are now only memories. Wilf Blum has passed from this earth. There will never be another like him, and there will never be another Scout House like his Scout House; but a new Scout House lives on in the Scout House Alumni Corps. They continue to dazzle audiences and rekindle memories of their days in the sun. Some of those boys with the sun-tanned knees are still marching with their beloved Scout House; and the Cadet Alumni of those years, deep within our hearts, still stand shoulder to shoulder with our forever-friends from Canada...Scout House.

If I close my eyes I can still see them marching proudly into the arena during their 1963 25th Anniversary Spring Show, each holding an oversized sparkler high above their heads, as they sang in unison:

  "We're the band from Scout House Preston,
And our pride you cannot question.
Our main goal is sheer perfection -
SCOUT HOUSE on parade."

"Music is our keynote,
Precision is our aim -
At our best, when put to test,
Our honors we will rise up to maintain.
Hours of practice, years of training,
We'll admit we're strict, but who's complaining,
Our reward is just in being -
SCOUT HOUSE on parade!"

"Drums and trumpets loudly ringing,
See those sun-tanned knees up-bringing,
Arms and gauntlets freely swinging,
SCOUT HOUSE on parade."

to Part I (click here)

to Part II (click here)

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