In the spirit of Holiday warmth and love, the two stories below are the sixth in the series of drum corps love connection columns. Love of Corps Leads to Love in Life: April 25, 2003
Drum Corps as a Love Connection: May 16, 2003
Love Connection Amazing Stories: June 13, 2003
More Drum Corps as a Love Connection, July 11, 2003
And Even More Drum Corps as a Love Connection, August 29, 2003 In two weeks, we'll have two more stories to start the new year out. (If you wish to share your story for a future Fanfare column, please e-mail me at It doesn't have to be a Love Connection story, but I'm willing to take more of them if it is.) Beau Meyer played contra in the Colts from 1993 through 1997. During the summer of 1995, he met Jennifer Bodenstein, a member of the Colts' guard in 1995 and 1996. They got engaged in 1997 and married later that same year, and have lived "happily ever after" in Madison, Wis., since. According to Beau, "1995 was my third season in the Colts' contrabass section, and Jennifer's first year in the color guard. I had just finished my senior year of high school in Oelwein, Iowa, and Jennifer had just finished her sophomore year at Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State University) in Kirksville, Mo. "We both think we may have introduced to each other at one of the winter camps in 1995, but we really met on the field during the cornfield tour. It was Jeff Bridges' drill that put us together, during a color guard contra pass-through near the end of the closer, 'Sunday.' We started dating on June 21, 1995 during a laundry day in Streator, Ill. "At first, Jennifer was a little concerned when she found out I had just graduated from high school, and she already had two years of college. We were both not sure what the end of the summer would bring. As summer went on, our relationship grew, and we decided we didn't want this to be just a summer romance. We discussed how we were going to deal with the 'long distance relationship' we would try to have after tour. It was difficult to say goodbye after finals, even though I knew she would be making the four-hour drive for a weekend visit in a few weeks. "From August to December of 1995, we were able to visit each other every three to six weekends. We put a lot of miles on our cars driving between Kirksville and Cedar Falls, and racked up some pretty hefty phone bills too. In January, Colts camps started again so we got to see each other with a little more frequency. However, drum corps camps don't exactly make for a romantic weekend getaway! "We were excited and apprehensive for the 1996 tour, Jennifer's age-out year. We were glad we were going to see each other every day, but we were a little nervous about being around each other -- and 126 of our closest friends -- 24 hours a day. Fortunately for us, it was not so bad. We had our good days and bad days -- the bad days usually involving a bus breakdown. Throughout the summer we were known as 'mom and dad' by the other members who rode our bus. The end of tour in 1996 was not nearly as hard as it was in 1995. We knew if we could make it through the second year, we could make it through anything together. "We continued our weekend visits during the fall of 1996. Jennifer had aged out, and I wasn't sure if I would march in 1997. Jennifer helped convince me that I should march. "By this point we knew we wanted to get married, but we didn't know when. She was going to graduate with her math degree in May of 1997, and I was not happy in college. Jennifer decided she wanted to attend graduate school at the University of Wisconsin, and I decided I wanted to be with her in Madison. We got engaged in January of 1997, much to the surprise of our friends and families. "After I got back from tour in 1997, we moved to Madison and were married on November 22, 1997. Since then, Jennifer went through the statistics program at the University of Wisconsin and now works as an actuarial analyst. I now work as an inside sales representative for a small association. We bought a house in Madison in May of 2001, and still attend as many drum corps shows as we can." Martha (Leeson) Garcia met Richard Garcia in Sky Ryders. Here's their story, as told by Martha. "My husband, Richard, was raised in Weslaco, Texas, a small rural town literally on the Mexican border. He discovered drum corps at age 14 after his high school band teacher showed him the 1980 DCI finals broadcast. He quickly became obsessed, and convinced his mother to let him join the Sky Ryders in 1981. He was barely 15 and had never traveled outside of his little hometown. Against the advice of his grandparents and all of his aunts and uncles, his mom let him go. We still thank her to this day for making that brave decision, because if she had not let him join a drum corps, we probably never would have met. "Rich marched in the Sky Ryders for two years, and then took three years off to attend college at Texas A&M. In 1986, he temporarily left college and moved to California to march in drum corps. His original intent was to join the Santa Clara Vanguard, but a friend of his from high school was already marching in the Blue Devils, so the easier choice was to march with someone he knew. Rich marched baritone in BD for two years, and aged out in 1987. "I was raised in Bergen County, N.J., in Fair Lawn, a town bordering Garfield. No joke! My family moved to the San Francisco bay area when I was 11, but I didn't discover drum corps until I was 16. Ironically enough, the first drum corps show I ever saw was the Moonlight Classic show at University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., in July 1982. Guess who was there -- the Sky Ryders. Rich and I were in the same stadium and I saw him perform that night, although we'd never met. "I fell madly in love with the Blue Devils for a brief time, and decided I was going to join them the next season. That fall, a new drill designer arrived at my high school named John Steinwinder. John had marched baritone in the Santa Clara Vanguard from 1979-1981, and we became fast friends. He is still one of my best friends to this day. John introduced me to Vanguard (for which I am forever grateful!) and I immediately became enamored with them. I joined the Santa Clara Vanguard in 1984, and played timpani there for four years, also aging out in 1987. Embarrassing fact that Rich likes to exploit: In my senior year high school yearbook, under my name, it says 'Concord Blue Devils are #1.' I wrote that quote before I discovered Vanguard. D'oh! "Rich and I never officially met while we were in drum corps. Unbeknownst to me though, he says he had a crush on me in 1986 and 1987. We had many mutual friends in both corps, and quite a few opportunities to be introduced, but it never happened because he says he was too shy. In fact, his bus partner in 1987, Maria Kluttz, was one of my closest friends in the Blue Devils back then, but he never told her about his crush on me. Too bad, because if he had, I'm positive that Maria would have dragged him kicking and screaming over to meet me. "We actually did meet face to face once, on Aug. 10, 1987, in the parking lot of a show in Minneapolis. I was looking for my boyfriend at the time, a BD pit member named Paul Doop. Rich was the first person I found near the BD busses, and I asked him if he knew where Paul was. I didn't know Rich from Adam, but when he and I did meet later on, we both realized that he was that BD member I'd spoken to in the parking lot. He remembered that meeting quite well, and for some strange reason I remembered it too, even though it was extremely brief and meaningless (or so we thought at the time). "In 1995, we both discovered the Internet. Rich was living in Miami and I was still living in the San Francisco Bay Area. We were both members of a drum corps online group called RAMD (rec.arts.marching.drumcorps). He saw my name on a post, and sent me a private e-mail to say 'hello' and 'confess' his crush from back in 1986-1987. I was very flattered and wrote him back to say thank-you. Somehow, we became e-mail buddies. At the time, we both hated our jobs and would do nothing all day at work but e-mail each other, so we got to know one another very well. Eventually, the e-mailing graduated to phone calls. I knew that he was someone I would be interested in dating, if only he lived closer. "Lo and behold, Rich got the opportunity to move back to the Bay area for his career, and as soon as he moved back in June 1996, we began dating, and we've been together ever since. We got married on June 28, 1998. (We just spent our 5th wedding anniversary attending the Pacific Procession competition in Hayward. What a couple of marching geeks we are!) "Incidentally, the very first time we met in person, we went to dinner and as a surprise he pulled out the program from the 1987 DCI finals. On the Vanguard page, there is a big picture of me playing timpani, and Rich had written my name underneath it. I didn't think it was anything special until he told me he wrote my name there on August 16, 1987, the day after we aged out, eight years before we ever met. He said he doesn't know why he wrote it, he just did. How's that for karma? We still have that infamous program, but it's packed away for safekeeping. "We live in Fremont, about a 15-minute drive from Santa Clara and 30 minutes to Concord. On February 15, 2001 we had our beautiful daughter Isabel Rose. She is already showing signs of being a musician. She loves music, but really seems to enjoy dancing and singing. If she still loves dancing this much in another year, I am going to enroll her in Vanguard's 'Children's Adventures in Movement' dance classes. Everyone always asks us where she'll march. I always say Vanguard, end of story. Rich always says Vanguard, but only because he doesn't want to drive her to Concord every weekend. Hahaha!"
Michael Boo has been involved with drum and bugle corps since 1975, when he marched his first of three seasons with the Cavaliers.

He has a bachelor's degree in music education and a masters degree in music theory and composition.
He has written about the drum corps activity for over a quarter century for publications such as Drum Corps World, and presently is involved in a variety of projects for Drum Corps International, including souvenir program books, CD liner notes, DCI Update and Web articles, and other endeavors. Michael currently writes music for a variety of idioms, is a church handbell and vocal choir director, an assistant director of a community band, and a licensed Realtor in the state of Indiana. His other writing projects are for numerous publications, and he has published an honors-winning book on the history of figure skating. His hobbies include TaeKwonDo and hiking the Indiana Dunes. But more than anything, Michael is proud to love drum corps and to be a part of the activity in some small way, chronicling various facets of each season for the enjoyment of others.