Although the corps had hopes of fielding a competitive corps in 1981 as late as June, we just did not have enough members to begin any drill work, so we changed the focus to performing in parades. As a parade corps we had about 15 horns, 10 drums, and 10 colorguard. Looking back the corps did the right thing by doing parades. By working as a parade corps we made some money, got more exposure, kept in practice and more importantly formed a nucleus for the following year.
Growing pains are universal in all new drum corps and the Bushwackers certainly had theirs. Recruitment was difficult, equipment was always “being shipped” and rehearsals always thin. But the corps sputtered, clunked and moved along, seemingly by itself at times. But the obvious point was it had become increasingly difficult to get new members, particularly experienced drum corps people, to drive down to Keyport from the hotbed of drum corps, northern Jersey. So plans were made to move the corps from Keyport to Harrison, NJ.
By relocating the corps to Harrison, Bush was able to tap into members of the recently disbanded junior corps Royal Brigade. The new horn instructor replacing Lee Romano was Al DiCroce who had previously been the horn instructor of Royal Brigade. Al’s influence brought in new members. Without a doubt the Bushwackers could not have survived in the beginning years without Mike and Al.