Muhheakannuck Nations at Nu Scodack
The Making of a Sagamore
Never Called by His Given Name
Drum Corps Years
"Little D'Amico" He was called "Little D'Amico" . He mimicked Jimmy D'Amico, a soloist with the Hawthorne Caballeros of Hawthorne, NJ, another senior corps. He became known for his rendition of "Peanut Vendor". Brother joined the Bronx Kingsmen - the Blue Kingsmen to distinquish it from the New York Kingsmen, under director William "Bill"Hickey. Bobbie Thompson was the drum instructor. The Corps met at the William E Irwin Jr American Legion Post #774 at 3035 Corlear Avenue in the Bronx Richie Hellenbrecht was another soloist soprano. "Einstein"The Drill Instructor Frank Kubinak called him "Einstein" because he did the drill perfectly - backwards. Since he normally went in the wrong direction, he depended on guideon Alba Leone and took his cue from her. Mr. Hickey, the Bronx Kingsmen director and Mr. Lawrence, St. Catherine of Sienna Marianettes director were Marine Corps buddies, so their respective corps frequently attended the same events. This is how she met Pop, a Kingsmen quartermaster, recognized him, and stopped looking for Brother while he was in Massachusetts.
The Bronx Kingsmen became the New York Kingsmen - "Dare to be Different" - under the direction of Ralph Shur, with Bob & Walter Bunce, Frank Kubinak and Bobbie Thompson as instuctors. Corps colors were supposed to be white and yellow. They became black and orange with Sombreros replacing the black The term "throwing abuse" entered the culture. Bigger members of the horn line would regularly pick on smaller ones and Brother would take on the entire bus. He never lost. Certain ones appointed themselves enforcers of the peace - one Reuben "DeeDee" Jackson - beat up the "quiet ones" [such as soloist Richie J. french horn player who left and joined the Sunrisers]. The unrest undermined the corps from within. One day as she was walking to Irwin Post she saw three men beating up a fourth man in the street. Pop came out of the post and walked over to the men with his hands holding the corners of his collar. Two fists shot out, two men hit the street. Pop punched the third who also hit the pavement. Pop picked up the fourth man and took him inside the post, leaving 3 unconscious men in the street. Seconds later members of the post came running out to pick up the ones lying in the street.Brother later informed her that when Pop grabbed his collar and said "You know I'm a peaceful man." it was good to be out of range. The NY Kingsmen went to the NY State American Legion Championship Contest in Syracuse in 1968. Members slept 4 to a room. The other horn players were afraid to wake him up. She was there as a chaperone for the color guard, so they asked her to wake him up. She stepped into the room and he woke up immediately as she always did when her mother stepped into her room each morning. Around 1957, St. Catherine of Sienna "Knickerbockers", an all girl Ancient Fife and Drum Corps in St. Albans, NY, traded in fifes for bugles becoming the Marianettes, an all girl marching and manuvering corps following in the footsteps of the Queensmen. She became a baritone player, then played bass baritone as soon as the corps acquired two. She alternated playing 1st and bass depending on the song arrangements written, initiating a pattern of switching voices she still follows. Their first year of M & M competition was 1959, in a circuit with the Bronx Kingsmen,.Our Lady of Lourdes Cadets from Patterson, NJ: Floyd Bennet; , Our Lady of Perpetual Help from Brooklyn; Barringer Wlker and others. Younger Marianettes and Queensmen became Queenaires when St. Catherine's no longer supported drum corps after 1963. Older QUeensmen joined the Bronx Kingsmen, a few other junior corps or senior corps such as the Skyliners or the Sunrisers. She joined the Kinsgmen color guard in 1965. They couldn't handle female horn players. But she wasn't there to be a break barriers. She had a bigger job than that.