Ed’s first experience with drum corps came at the hands of his grandfather Edmund Hayes in 1953. His grandfather took him to the Dream Contest at Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City. He thought it was the coolest thing he ever saw. Then he saw the Pacemakers drum corps marching in a parade shortly afterward. Ed was hooked, and his grandfather was the quartermaster of the Pacemakers at the time, so Ed joined soon after.
He would march soprano with the Pacemakers of Bayonne from 1953-54, St. Vincent’s Cadets of Bayonne from 1956-61, the Woodsiders of Belleville in 1962 and the Ballentine Brewers of Newark in 1964.
Then after 17 years of being out of drum corps, Eddie joined the Bushwackers in 1981. He was in the Bushwackers hornline from 1981-87 and 1990-97, and served in the administration from 1988-89. Ed marched in 4 Championships and retired from the corps after the 1997 season.
Citing some influential instructors, Eddie includes Hy Drietzer (St. Vincent’s Cadets, Woodsiders and Ballentine Brewers), Al DiCroce, Gary Oberwamowicz and Denis Argul with the Bushwackers. When asked, Ed stated Al DiCroce influenced him the most by asking for excellence and technique that was unheard of at that time in DCA hornlines. What Al instilled in the hornline continued on with Gary Oberwamowicz and Dennis Argul, particularly when the Bushwackers won High Horns for the first time in 1986.
Marching alongside his children was always a dream for Eddie and he enjoyed the fact he marched with his son, Ed Jr. and his two daughters, Brenda and Barbara. His wife Sandy was also involved working the booster table and on the administrative side as the corps treasurer from 1987-94. As you can tell, it was a family affair and in the end Ed’s dream was fulfilled.
With pride we welcome Ed Hayes, Sr. into the Bushwacker Hall of Fame.