Without a doubt the best performance of the corps in 1973 was at DCI Nationals in Whitewater, Wisconsin. During the climax of "Rampart Street Parade", the GE Horn Judge made the comment that we must have been holding back on that song until finals. Even though we didn't win, it was satisfying to know that the entire corps was in" sync" on that particular night. Of course, I have to mention the fact that we were 2nd in execution drums.
Much of the credit for the fine snare drum section we had that year goes to Mark Werlein, the percussion technician. Mark was a fine snare drummer and we were snare durm cohorts for 2 years before he aged out. The only trophy I remember getting that night was a drum trophy, and that was for a contest that had. been held several days earlier where we had tied the Muchachos in execution drums.
We won Bluegrass Nationals and CYO Nationals that year. The victory celebrations those nights were "Saturday Night Live" material. The dormitories rocked those nights, believe me I have never seen anything as funny as what I've seen in dorm rooms. To this day I shake my head when I think of it because, unless a person was there, it is impossible to appreciate the genius and brilliant spontaneity of the performances.
As groupies, we spent half of our summer days that season at Lake Onalaska acting like a bunch of Hollywood types practicing for a Pepsi commercial. It also comes to mind that we had several terrific softball games. Our team was named Huey's Hoggers. No one would disagree with the fact that we were world series material.
1973 was the first year the corps had a 5th wheel equipment trailer. Mike Andrews designed the inside and several of us worked many weeks actually constructing the shelves and braces in the trailer.
One could easily write a book on any given season, so just one final anectdote. Will Rogers said, "If you've done it, it ain't braggin'." From the technical standpoint that season our drumline probably had the most difficult show to perform and with just a little added luck at finals that year, and a higher difficulty score, we probably should have at least tied for high execution drums. However, please do not assume that I may have a biased opinion on that matter, after all, I only wore the "star" uniform for 9 years!!!
Author: Tom Leith
1973 DCI Finals-Whitewater
1. Santa Clara Vanguard
3. Blue Stars
4. Madison Scouts
6. Anaheim Kingsmen
7. 27th Lancers
10. Black Knights
11. Argonne Rebels
"First Federal March"
"South Rampart Street Parade"