Josh Peterson, a 2006 Santa Clara Vanguard "age-out," embarked on a different journey this summer working as a journalist for Drum Corps International. Stepping out of the DCI Addison, Ill. headquarters, he returns to somewhat familiar territory while assigned to go on the road for four days with the Cavaliers and the Boston Crusaders to blog about his day-to-day experiences. Peterson currently studies broadcast journalism and film at San Jose University in California.
We finally rolled into our high school housing site in El Paso around 9 a.m. and I was pretty tired when we got there. I only slept a couple hours on our nine-hour journey, but it's nothing I'm not used to. Brandon and I set our stuff up inside a room with some Cavaliers volunteers and staff members and I went to work on some things. It was a little weird to see all the corps members load up into the gym where they were about to sleep as I walked by them to go into a different room. However, part of me was really excited to not have to go with them since I've never done that before; I was definitely stepping into new territory today. The Cavaliers slept for a few hours and it honestly felt so cool to not have to sleep and be able to walk around the school and do what I needed to do. I know that's not a huge deal, but this is something I've never done (at least not under the very special drum corps circumstances I've been used to). Walking around and working on my computer might not sound exciting, but it was super cool for me to have a little time to myself on a drum corps tour. If you've ever marched, you know that you don't get a lot of personal time on tour. The corps woke up a couple hours later and we had breakfast from the Cavaliers' food truck. This was great because this was my first meal of official "tour food" in more than a year. Here's what I had (and tell me if this meal is a good representation of tour food or not; I definitely think it is): A bowl of fruit, some hash browns, a block of cheese (I think that's what everyone was calling it), an egg roll and a cup of Tang.
The beautiful El Paso, Texas.
The meal was alright, even the egg roll felt a little out of place, and I'm really not sure what that "cheese block" was made of. Anybody know? It tasted half like cheese and half like eggs and I'm sure there was something else in there too; some kind of Cavaliers secret ingredient probably. And I think we can all agree that nothing beats the great taste of Tang in the morning. Although it was cool to eat tour food again, it definitely made me thankful that I have a Culver's right next to my apartment in Illinois. The Cavaliers then started rehearsing and Brandon and I worked on a couple of video packages on our computers that we recently taped...inside...in an air conditioned room...far, far away from the hot heat of El Paso, Texas. And before we headed back outside to check out the rehearsal, we decided to go buy some ice cream at a 7-11 a couple blocks away. Again, this might not seem like a big deal, but it was amazing to walk away from a rehearsal to go get ice cream from 7-11, especially since I always dreamed of doing that when I was sweating it out on the field as a corps member. It was also very cool to watch the Cavaliers rehearse today and see how different it was from how the Santa Clara Vanguard rehearses, which is where I marched (they definitely did a few things that surprised me since there were things we never did in Santa Clara). I'm not saying one group is right or wrong though; each group certainly has their own style of teaching and that's something that keeps the diversity of this activity alive. I kind of feel like I've been living in a bubble since I only know what I learned in Santa Clara, so I'm really glad I was able to be exposed to this new perspective.
My delicious breakfast.
After their rehearsal, Brandon and I did some more work and then packed up and left for the show at the University of Texas at El Paso. The show was literally right on the border of Texas and Mexico hence the name of the show, "Battle on the Border." There was a plethora of fans at this competition to watch only five corps compete, but they put on great shows. The Cavaliers ended up winning the competition, and in addition to receiving a gold medal at the awards ceremony they also were given a golden pi?±ata and three boxes of Mexican beans which seemed appropriate of course. The night would certainly not be complete without these added gifts, and it's pretty sweet deal if you ask me. Then Brandon and I moved our luggage and hopped on a new bus with a different drum corps: the Boston Crusaders. We'll be with them for a couple days and I'm super excited to get their perspective on the activity. But now, I'm really tired right since I didn't get much sleep last night. But it's all good; that's what tour is all about. Goodnight. Read about Day One.
The Cavaliers and their extra winnings.