March 14, 2006
Mark Twain Cadets
I just stumbled upon the above photograph of the Mark Twain Cadets Junior Drum & Bugle Corps of Elmira Heights, NY. (Yes, my corps.) Now, this photo is a bit of a mystery to me because the webpage where I pulled it from says that the photo is from 1974. Now, it's possible that this photo *is* from '74, but I can't say for sure. The 1974 season was my first year with the Cadets, and I don't recall off-hand our having had our picture taken in front of the American Legion Post. If this really is a photo from '74, then it was taken very early in the summer because these are the old uniforms that the Cadets wore from the late '60s through June '74, when we switched to the newer woolen jackets (the old uniform was made of a thinner, synthetic material). So, if this photo is from '74, it was taken by June '74 at the latest.
Zooming into the photograph doesn't help either. The photo is too blurry when zooming in to make out any details, such as people's faces. I remember the black girl kneeling in front with the rifle line, but I don't believe she was with the corps in '74 (I thought she left after '72 or '73). The drum major, to the right in the white uniform, seems a little short to be Tom (I forget his last name), who was drum major in '73. I don't remember who the Cadet's drum major was in '72 (Debbie Check?); in '74, it was Chris (I also forget her last name), but the detail is too blurry to see the DM's face.
So, a minor mystery. The corps in the picture is definitely the Mark Twain Cadets, wearing the original uniforms, in front of American Legion Post #154, but the year is uncertain. Possibly 1974, but in my mind also maybe '72, '73 or even '71 (in that order of likelihood). If it is '74, then I'm somewhere in the picture, clutching my baritone, but it would be near impossible to point me out.
BTW, to help with the color scheme (seeing how this is a B&W photo), the jackets were orange, the pants were navy blue with orange trim, and the shakos were blue with white trim (with orange plumes for the horn line and color guard, blue for the drums, and white for the DM). The rifle line and the rest of the color guard wore an orange dress-type uniform with blue trim; I believe the color guard captains on the sides of the rifle line wore blue dress-type uniforms with orange trim. The drum major's uniform was white with orange trim.