Wayne Karge, 55, of Palatine, Ill., sees being a Friend of Drum Corps International as "a way to pay back drum corps in general."On May 1, 1963, the 16-year-old joined the Cavaliers, at the suggestion of his friend, Jim Murphy. Back then, the Cavaliers consisted of 33 horns, nine drums, 12 flags, one drum major and a color guard sergeant. The corps also consisted of American flag escort, which consisted of two flags and two rifles. "And that was a BIG corps back then," Karge said. Karge marched in the Cavaliers for five years, and taught the corps marching and brass for five years after that."Being a Cavalier has defined who I am as a person," Karge said. "Back in those days, drum corps was a way to get kids off the streets." Karge joined the Cavaliers to escape a bad family situation. In the Cavaliers, Karge found himself, found his wife (Karin) and found a job. This fall, Karge will celebrate 36 years with Kemper Insurance in Long Grove, Ill. His wife, Karin, was a Cavaliers "groupie" who followed the corps around, "as a lot of young ladies do today." Karin marched with the Chicago Royal Airs in 1967. The two have been married for 32 years.In the corps, Karge, who played baritone (and now plays trombone), learned the positive aspects of teamwork, and how to think as a team. An unofficial corps motto was, "If you think it, why can't you do it?" Karge said. Karge also learned how to "think outside the box," an attribute that certainly helps him in his current job as a financial systems analyst for Kemper Insurance. For more information about becoming a Friend of DCI, e-mail Peggy Kosin at peg@dci.org or call 800-495-7469 (toll-free) or 630-628-7888. You can also check out https://www.dci.org/friends/ .