Who is Chuck and why does he like to travel?

I was born to be a writer and when I wrote my novel Wild Point Island, Chuck, my orange and white recently rescued feral tabby, got it in his head that he wanted to travel to the island and see the place for himself. Well, of course, Wild Point Island, can only be seen by revenants (you'll have to read the book to find out who they are) and Chuck is no revenant so instead, I concocted a plan to take Chuck with me when I travel around the world, which I do frequently. Not an easy task. First, I have to deflate the poor kid of all air, stuff him in my carry-on bag, remember to bring my portable pump, and when I arrive, I pump him back up. Ouch. But he's used to it by now and given the choice to either stay home in his comfy cat bed or get deflated, he pulls out his passport, ready to travel, every time.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Chuck Love, Love, Loves Drum Corp


Cadets from Allentown, PA

I first thought Chuck, my rascal cat,wanted to see a Drum Corp show because my husband was such a fan.  He’s been going for years, and I figured Chuck wanted to tag along and see what all the fuss was about. But I was wrong.

Imagine a football field filled with college aged kids, mostly music majors, who’ve tried out to be part of a corp--don’t call it a marching band or they’ll be grossly offended--and who willingly sacrifice their summer at the beach and hanging with friends to travel across country (okay, that would be cool) and spend grueling days under the sometimes brutal sun practicing for sometimes ten hours at a shot, day after day so they can perfect a routine and compete against other corps.  They practice marching to a musical ensemble--which can be anything from showtunes to classical to rock to sometimes some very edgy music. The intricate marching for the top-end corps means they never stop moving for the entire twelve minute routine. 

Some of the corp play instruments; some of the corp, the color guard, showcase “modern dance steps” across the field, acting out thematic skits to complement the music. At their best the musicians play their instrument and play a role in the elaborate stage production--leaping over barriers on the field, dropping down on the ground, disappearing into tents and changing costumes for effect . . . expect anything when you’re watching Drum Corp International. 

Bob and I had tickets for the Eastern State Championship--a two night affair held yearly in Allentown, Pennslyvania, where twenty-four corps compete over two nights during the first week in August every year. We had 50 yard line seats in row 17, high enough in the football stadium seats to clearly see the lovely maneuvering on the field. 

Chuck was impressed from the first moment.  

These were his favorites:

The Cadets of Allentown yea.org/cadets because the marching they did in their program Side by Side was fantastic, and even though they came in third place out of 24, Chuck felt they deserved FIRST PLACE because he believes, as I believe, that it is all about the marching.  Not the props or the costumes, but the marching, and the Cadets march like no one else!!  And, yeah, I know it's very traditional, but Drum Corp goes back forty years!


Cadets of Allentown


The Troopers troopersdrumcorp.org from Casper, Wyoming, took Chuck's breath away. Their show Magnificent 11 paid homage to a soldier who valiantly died in 1865 and who the city of Caspar, Wyoming is named after. For this corp, it isn't the marching, but the music . . . including the theme from the Magnificent 7 and Dances with Wolves that had Chuck purring softly.


Troopers from Casper, Wyoming


Chuck also loved the Phantom Regiment regiment.org from Rockford, Illinois, for one reason only.  Their program Triumphant Journey told the story of an innocent princess who must battle dark forces within her kingdom while she makes her way home through the forbidden forest. Chuck fell in love with the prop used for the wicked queen which he thought looked like giant cat. You decide.

  
Phantom Regiment from Rockford, Illinois


Finally, Chuck loved the Jersey Surf jerseysurf.org,  the only New Jersey corp that competed! He loved the funky costumes and the music that included Play that Funky Music and Respect by Otis Redding. Chuck was psyched when he heard that this corp won the Spirit of Disney award three years in a row.  They had the audience on their feet . . . and their paws. 

Jersey Surf, the one and only corp from New Jersey!


Chuck jumped up and wanted to dance.  We were sitting like sardines in the stands, but the kid didn't care! And no one seemed to mind a chunky cat swaying to the music.

Cats and Drum Corp are purr-fect together!!

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