by Bill (aka John "The Duke" Wayne) Christie
Bill Christie & Grand-daughter Lisa Lynn
Click Photo Above to See Bill's Video at the St Joseph Patron Cadets/St Rita's Brassmen 1995 Reunion
My life was the typical role of a husband and father of three daughters. Every day was the same for me. Go to work, come home, spend time with my family and repeat the whole process all over the next day.
One day my middle daughter Regina came home and told us she joined St. Joseph’s Patron band. My wife and I were concerned. It seemed she was spending more time at St. Joseph’s Youth Center and less at home with her family. I was concerned and I instructed my oldest daughter Barbara to check up on this Youth Center of St. Joe’s and what really was going on. Well, within a week my daughter Barbara came home and said she was joining the drum and bugle corps of St. Joseph Patron. The only daughter that didn’t join St. Joseph’s at the time was Sharon who was about 6-7 yrs old at the time. So, now I have two daughters who are spending almost all their time at St. Joseph and I was concerned. I made it a point to see for myself what this drum corps was. Little did I know how much my world would change?
My wife and I decided to pay an unexpected visit to St. Joe’s Youth Center. We were both amazed, with the discipline and the amount of hard work each member displayed. We had no idea about what competition, horn or drill practice really was. We became totally interested and wanted to become involved and help in anyway we could.
I offered my services to the Director Tony Franco, and he immediately put me to work as a Quartermaster. I developed an overwhelming sense of pride and respect for each corps. member. One by one I began to love each member of the corps as if they were my family. Joining St. Joseph’s was one of the happiest days in my life.
Life had new meaning for me, which created within me a sense of excitement and contentment I never experienced before. My wife, all my daughters, (including the youngest one) and son-in-law were all in the drum corps and loving every minute of it. As the saying goes “ I was bitten by the drum corps bug" never to recover again. Life involved plenty of hard work, which was hectic, tiring, and sometimes chaotic, but “oh so rewarding.”
like to say thank you. I realize I have been very fortunate. I was able
to live my life and experience the joys and memories with my inherited
family of the young men and women of St. Joe’s Patron and St. Rita’s and the Brassmen. Drum
corps was very special to me and made me complete. If you
should see me with this silly smile on my face, just remember it’s the
warm heart and the happy memories from drum and bugle corps that enables me to
wear that smile.