The 1988 Bushwacker Color Guard was the first Bush Guard to take home the Best Color Guard trophy at DCA finals since the corps first fielded a marching corps in 1982. It was the first year for the collaboration of Randy Accardi and Jeannette Chambers as guard instructors and it brought together unbelievable talent from many different indoor color guards including Conquest, Imperial Knights and Rising Star, to name a few. Many of the guard members had marched in junior corps as well before making their way to Bushwackers including members of the award winning color guard of Spirit of Atlanta. And, many of the members of this guard have gone on to have great success in WGI, DCI and DCA even returning to the Bushwackers to carry on the tradition of innovative color guard and adding to the corps success by winning Best Color Guard trophies in 2006 and 2007 at DCA finals. And, this year, the Bushwackers welcome Darrell Woodliff as Color Guard Caption Head. Darrell Woodliff, along with Brian Sedatole, another 1988 guard member, arrived from Texas after a weeknight call to Jeannette introducing himself, in a very heavy Texas drawl, as Darrell from Texas and wondering “how do I join the Bushwackers?” Jeannette’s reply was “Is this a joke?” Well, it wasn’t a joke and Darrell and Brian arrived, as promised, via West Virginia, with tales of meeting Patrick Swayze while filming “Dirty Dancing 2” and even producing a photograph to prove it! That part was the joke!
Although the horn line suffered from small numbers in the beginning of the season, the color guard came out ready and strong. They set the stage for what would be a championship season for the entire corps. It is not always an easy task for such a diversified group of styles and backgrounds to “mesh” but mesh they did. The one thing each of these members had in common was their “never give up” attitude. All you have to do is watch the video of finals to know that their many hours of hard work, lots of sweat and yes, sometimes tears, all paid off in the end. The timing, execution, musical interpretation and sheer perfection exhibited by the 1988 guard set a standard not only for future Bushwacker guards but for DCA as well. It was the first of three consecutive color guard trophies. What made the award even sweeter was that due to an equipment malfunction (“where did those flags go?”), the 1988 guard won the trophy using a borrowed set of flags from the Caballeros! Thanks guys!!!
It is hard to believe that it has been over 20 years since then. Some members have married and started families, moved to other parts of the country or found other interests outside of drum corps or color guard. Whatever has happened, there will always be that wondrous moment in time of pure perfection that each and every member of the 1988 Color Guard can be proud to call their own.
Thank you to each of you for being part of the Bushwacker family.