I was in the corps from Feb, 1966 to Feb, 1967 (baritone bugle). The corps was known back then as the "3380th Technical School Drum & Bugle Corps". I was in the corps when 2nd Lt. McIntosh took over for 1st Lt. Williams as OIC. Dwayne Hodges was drum major, Joe Sears was bugle sergeant and Buddy Colangelo was drum sergeant at the time. I was a member of the corps for almost a year as my training was 50 weeks long (ATC Radar Repairman - 303x1). We played 'G' bugles back then – which only had 2 valves (1 piston - 1 rotor). I remember having to memorize about 35 pieces of music to earn my rope (along with the fun room inspection). One of my favorite pieces to play was, "Watermelon Man". It had an off-beat so the troops or students marching ahead of us had a tough time keeping step. You could see their heads start to bob. They hated that number, but we in the corps liked it because of them having trouble. Being a member of the corps got us out of KP and other details. It also allowed us to have a 'straggler pass' so we didn't have to march to every activity. For some of the time I was bay chief or 'rope'. We didn't wear another colored rope but had a little extra blue in the tassel of the corps's blue and white rope.
I remember marching and playing for V.P. Hubert Humphrey when he was in the review stand during troop change. Also Miss America came for a visit on another occasion. The guys in the front rank (they were all guys back then except the corps sweetheart) got a kiss on their cheek as she (Jane Jayroe I think it was) reviewed us. While I was there, Lt McIntosh got promoted to 1st Lieutenant. I remember the corps threw him a beach party with boiled shrimp and beer on the beach across the street from the White House Hotel. I made a toast for the Lt.... "No more Goldilocks, it's hi ho Silver!" Yes, pretty corny. Here's a picture of me (in civvies unfortunately) next to that sign. I found another picture of us getting ready to march for 'troop change'.
I didn't keep up with my music after leaving Keesler. My next assignment was to England AFB in Alexandria, LA where I got my '5-level'. Then spent a year at Sondestrom Greenland Air Base (Brrrr!). My last assignment was presidential support at Homestead AFB in Miami, FL when Richard Nixon was president.
I thought about re-upping, but the Air Force dropped Pro-pay and VRB bonus. I got out and went to work for the FAA as a Systems Specialist (hardware / software). Thirty three years later after retiring from the FAA, I got back into music playing euphonium with two community bands here in South Florida... The Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches and Royal Palm Beach Comm Band.
A lot of great memories with the Blue Knights.