A Senior Moment
by Ray Feller

East meets West July 26, 2000

It was great having the opportunity to chat again with Andy Lisko from back east. Andy is a snare drummer with the New York Skyliner Alumni Drum and Bugle Corps. I first met Andy in January 1999, when he came out to Seattle on busi-ness and had been exchanging emails with Jim Nevermann (NW Venture drum caption head) on r.a.m.d. Unfortunately, Jim was unable to get together with Andy, so I arranged to meet with Andy instead and bring him "up to speed" with our endeavors to start-up the NW Venture. Although Andy and I had not formally met, we started exchanging drum corps backgrounds and soon real-ized that we had competed against each other over several years. Andy has been a Skyliner since 1968 and I (a horn player) had competed against him several seasons in DCA (i.e., 1969 when I played with the Reading Bucca-neers, 1971 and 1972 when I then was with the Rochester Crusaders, and again in 1976 when I played with the Rochester Phoenix). We both had many "stories" to trade back and forth, which made for an enjoyable evening.

Andy’s next visit was in May 1999, again while on business. Again, Jim Never-mann couldn’t make it, so Steve Spang, one of our snare drummers, and I got together with Andy instead. Another great evening was had by all, although I couldn’t keep up with all the "drum talk" that was being exchanged between Andy and Steve.

Finally, on July 26, 2000, Jim Nevermann and Andy Lisko met. This time, the four of us (Jim, Steve, Andy and I) all got together for an evening of sharing sto-ries and "talking shop". We spent about 4 hours together and really enjoyed each other’s company, trying to cover 40 years of drum corps history. An added bonus during Andy’s latest visit was that he was able to attend a NW Venture drum section rehearsal on Saturday morning, July 29. Jim had to teach the percussion section a new "streetbeat and rolloff" to be used for a parade scheduled in August. Andy participated in the rehearsal, and at the end of the practice (by request) played for us the "easily recognizable" and "classic" Sky-liner streatbeat, which has been used by them for decades….what a treat for us in the Northwest.

We certainly hope to see Andy another time when he "ventures" out this way again, and truly thank and appreciate the time he spends with us. Andy is a tribute to what our fraternity is all about.

My plans for the immediate future are to attend DCA in Syracuse, New York this Labor Day weekend, so that I can renew some "ole acquaintances" myself. I plan to submit another column when I return in September and report some of my reflections and experiences.

Respectfully submitted,
Ray Feller



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