Quest for a Drum “Roll Call”
by Cate Murway
“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.
Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” Henry David Thoreau
The senior vice commander/ former adjuvant of the American Legion Robert W. Bracken Post # 382, Arthur John Younglove, continues his quest to “drum” up the former Bracken Drum & Bugle Cavaliers and any Bracken memorabilia for its 90th Anniversary Celebration. The date is set for Historic Bristol Day weekend this October and the location is still in the works.
Friendships are renewed and old times are relived as the Cavaliers get together to reminisce about their times in the Bracken Drum & Bugle Corps.
Funny isn't it, when you start thinking about the past and the memories come to the front of your mind?
During the late1930’s and 40’s, when they weren't working, families found time to have fun, with neighbors, friends, relatives and each other and most of the children growing up in that era found ways to have fun just doing "kid things."
Louis Augusto Marini is currently a Niceville, FL resident. The former St. Ann Catholic School student shared that he had joined the Cavaliers as a teenager. “It was a big activity in those days. Winter months we practiced music at the American Legion Post on Radcliffe Street in the evening after dinner.”
Lou played the baritone bass horn, adding a deep foundation to the sound.
“I tried the drum but I was not too good at it.”
His best memories involved contest participations when rivalries between corps emerged and the competitive drum and bugle corps circuit evolved. “We traveled. We went to Miami. We left early Saturday morning and stayed at a hotel for the National competition.”
The Bracken Cadets performed at the "dream contest”, known as the “world series” of junior drum and bugle corps in Jersey City, N. J., in 1952. According to the February, 23, 1953 Bristol Daily Courier, the Cavaliers placed second with their 15-minute drill.
Ahhhh, yes…. an “I remember” moment.
The musical ensemble consisting of bell-front brass horns, field drums, a color guard, and an honor guard performed in many community events and local celebrations, decked out in their fabulous black, orange and white uniforms and shiny black shoes.
The Marini family lived on Lafayette Street. Augusto Marini migrated from Italy and he provided for his family working as a carpenter at Rohm & Haas. His wife, Rose [Lima] found work in the Grundy Textile Mill during the Depression. Lou is the youngest of their four children. His late brothers, WWII Army veteran, Peter Joseph and warehouseman, Roger Ettore worked in a factory at Strick Trailers. The eldest, Madeline Farruggio worked in Rohm & Haas and Patterson Parchment. She is the widow of Sam Farruggio, who was a trucking executive and a member of the borough’s Industrial Growth Committee. She now resides in Landreth Manor.
Madeline, dubbed “Nat”, quit school to help with the family. “I raised Lou. He was a good boy.”
Sunday was Pasta Day in their family. Their dad would make the dough for homemade gnocchi or ravioli or spaghetti.
Lou confirmed, “My mom and dad were both good cooks. I was quite the helper, and quite the eater! I closed the open ends on the ravioli.”
He met his future wife, cheerleader Catharine Mary [Dunkelberger] at O’Boyle’s Ice Cream Restaurant.
“She was cute and still is!” They were married at St. Ann Church on June 8, 1957, where he had been an altar boy. Deacon Lou and Catharine have been married for almost 57 years.
Lou’s favorite Bristol memories include “the Drum & Bugle Corps, playing in the streets and speaking Italian”.
He remembers walking to work at the Kaiser Metal Products Company where he worked in the mail room. He later attended classes in Trenton, NJ to learn the skills of a mechanical draftsman and he joined his brothers at Strick Trailers.
He purchased his first vehicle, “a brand new green and white 4- door 1956 Ford” using a monthly payment plan offered at the Bristol Ford location on Beaver Street.
The Drum and Bugle Corps defined post World War II America. The music was patriotic, loyal to America and loud! The color guards, the “Brackenites” were all-female in order to provide a marching opportunity for young women.
Regina Marie [Paleafico] Kulig was a member of the Bracken Cavaliers from 1959-62 because “it was the best way to know people, travel and have fun”. Regina continued with the group until she graduated. Her most treasured memories include the trip to “Florida for nationals. We carried flags and did maneuvers with the rifles.”
They also had the opportunity to perform at the Levittown Shopping Center when presidential hopeful, John F. Kennedy made his public appearance and gave a speech on one of his stops throughout the county.
The drum corps experience was a great way of staying out of trouble. Well, almost.
“I always wrote to guys in other marching groups. It was clean fun and great competition!”
Clearly a life highlight!
Dominick Lucenti, BHS ’53 and his wife Maryanne [Gosline] hold the fondest memories of their involvement in the Cavaliers in the 1950’s. “Great times!”
The late 1960’s marked a high point in American drum corps activity and participation. This upcoming REUNION for ALL FORMER MEMBERS of the Bracken Drum and Bugle Corps Cavaliers will be a tribute, designed to remember the heritage of those hailing from historic Bristol on the Delaware.
One very important job is finding EVERYONE! Were you a member, friend or parent?
Come celebrate the legacy!
Bracken Cavaliers ... the name conjures an image to those who witnessed this great corps in action. Anyone who was ever involved, in whatever capacity, knew they were part of something special.
They electrified the atmosphere with an air of dignity and class that transcended the definition of drum and bugle corps.
Over the years maybe the stories have been stretched a bit but the friendships take over right where they left off, the best friends they ever had.
"It takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but it takes a lifetime to forget them.”
Save the Date. Make your reservation for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 17, 18 and19.
The “Welcome Breakfast” will be held at the Golden Eagle Diner & Bakery, one of the “Best of Bucks 2013” and the winner of the “2014 Happening List: Diner”.
WELCOME BACK FRIENDS!
13 Roselyn Drive
Delran, NJ 08075
Recommend a “Spotlight”. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Bristol Pilot > News
90 YEARS OF MUSIC: Bristol Borough accepts donation of painting celebrating the Bracken Cavaliers
Friday, October 10, 2014
By Petra Chesner Schlatter
BRISTOL BOROUGH – Bristol Borough Council accepted a painting at its Oct. 6 agenda meeting celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Bracken Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps.
In the colorful painting, borough artist Joseph Sagolla depicts the changing uniforms of the corps, from 1924, the year the organization was founded, to the present.
The painting is being donated by former borough resident Art Younglove, who boasts a considerable history with the group.
As a teenager growing up in Bristol, Younglove was a member of the corps from 1955 to 1960. He also served as a corps director from 1964 to 1970.
“I’m very proud of the painting,” said Younglove, who now lives in Delran, N.J. “It’s a lot of history in this organization. The woman on the end in the blue uniform was our chaperone for probably 30 to 40 years. She marched in every parade we went to – in the Fourth of July competition and all over the East Coast.”
Organized in 1924, the Bristol-based Cavaliers are the first and oldest junior drum and bugle corps in the nation. Its name honors the memory of Robert W. Bracken, the first Bristol Borough World War I casualty.
In 1925, under the direction of Harry Burbank, the Robert W. Bracken American Legion Post No. 382 of Bristol affiliated with the corps as its sponsor, a partnership that continues to this day.
Sagolla, a graduate of the University of the Arts with degrees in fine arts and education, describes the painting as “unusual because it’s a conglomeration” and a departure from his usual landscape work, which have included the Bristol Wharf, the Grundy Lagoon, the Grundy Mill and the Bristol Post Office.
For the Bracken piece, he did a considerable amount of historical research before sitting down to do the work.
“The American Legion gave me tons of photographs from 1924 to the present,” he said. “They wanted something of the uniforms and the changes. It was kind of a head-breaker. It was fun.”
The end result is a colorful painting depicting the changing look of the corps.
The first uniforms were West Point jackets with white cross belts. The corps changed to the cavalier style from 1949 to 1950. They traded that for a satin shirt and then to all black with orange bibs. Today, the corps wears black uniforms and an orange sash with an Aussie hat.
Sagolla has been active as an artist and a mason in the Bristol community. He worked on the historic photographic exhibition that now hangs in borough hall. He also contributed his talents to the creation of several riverfront monuments and he helped restore the Moravian tile floor at the Grundy gazebo.
“I’ve been a masonry contractor all my life,” he said. “That helped pay my way through school. It gave me time during the wintertime to dedicate to my art.”
After thanking Younglove for the donation and complementing the artist on his work, the next question on the administration’s plate is where the painting will be displayed.
Due to limited wall space at the borough hall, one location under consideration is the Bristol Borough Area Active Adult Center on Wood Street.
Posted: Monday, October 20, 2014 8:42 am
Madeline (Marini) Farruggio peacefully joined her husband, Samuel,
whom she never got over losing, Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. She was 93.
She epitomized the word Mom; devoting her entire life to the welfare of her children,
grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Other than family, her faith was utmost in her life. She was a true Christian whose giving,
caring, and love surrounded all who knew her; touching many lives with her warmth
and sincere ability to make everyone feel special. Her grace, laugh,
and smile may be gone, but she will never be forgotten.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Samuel Farruggio, whom she married more than 70 years ago. During their marriage, Madeline hosted many business dinners and used her charm to help build the Farruggio Trucking Co.
She also was preceded in death by her parents, Rose and Augusto Marini; her brothers, Roger and Peter Marini; mother and father-in-law, Maria and Giuseppe Farruggio; her sister-in-law, Angeline Marino and her husband, Nick Sr., Jenny Mama and her husband, Anthony; Amos Farruggio and his wife, Margie; Carmela Gervasio and her husband, Frank; and brothers-in-law, Joseph Stampone and John Passanante.
She was a fan of Notre Dame, and took personal satisfaction in their victories.
She will be greatly missed by her children, Joseph 'Joey' Farruggio and his wife, Cynthia, of Yardley, and their son, Matthew of San Diego, Sam Farruggio and his wife, Karen, of Yardley and their children, KimberLee Pearson (Brian), Jennifer Bennett (Bryan), and Nina Hartigan (Joe), all of Yardley, and Maria Farruggio of Bristol Borough; and her seven precious great-grandchildren. She also is survived by her brother, Louis Marini (Catherine) of Niceville, Fla.; her brother-in-law, Joseph Farruggio Jr.; and sisters-in-law, Dora Stampone and Eva Passanante; her nieces; and many good friends.
Family and friends are invited to call 11:30 a.m. Thursday, at St. Ann Church, where the funeral Mass will be celebrated at 1 p.m. Interment will follow in St. Mark Cemetery.
The family requests memorial contributions to St. Ann Church, 357 Dorrance St., Bristol, PA 19007. Galzerano Funeral Home, Bristol