Riverside Post No. 146
American Legion Sr National Champions 1948
The word is G.I. when it comes to the Riverside Post 146 of Riverside N.J. The “Jersey Joes”were organised in 1946. Made up of World War II Vets, they made their first public appearance in Riverside’s Memorial Day parade that year. 32 playing members and an 11 man color guard are used for field competition. This well drilled color guard has won many titles among them the New Jersey State Championship in 1949.
The Jersey Joes bugle line is known throughout the eastern coast. Although their numbers are small they play with so much power that they put many 50 member horn lines to shame. As for sweetness, when the Jersey ,Joes shade its like the playing of violins in some great music hall.Clad in war surplus ‘khaki with white helmet liners, white gloves, and surplus leggings, they marched in their first street competition at the New Jersey State Convention held at Cape May, N.J. The Corps won first prize. Early in 1947, Robert “Bob” Cotter assumed the Post of Director and Drum Major. Later in June the Jersey Joes entered their first field Competition at Upper Darby, Pa. and finished second to the “Reilly Raiders”. The following month., the corps entered, the National competition of the American Legion at Randalls Island Stadium, New York, competing with top Legion Drum Corps in the country. The Jersey Joes were awarded second prize losing by a fraction of a point to the Harry B. Doremus Post No. 55 of Hackensack, N.J. Their next field competition was at the New Jersey State held in Morristown, N.J. where they won 2nd place, coming in second again to the Doremus Post No. 55, the top notch and more experienced corps. The Jersey Joes lost this competition by a mere .4 of a point.
Later on that year the corps participated in their third competition still clad in the Khaki and white with new paratrooper boots. At this contest the corps took 2nd prize.
In 1948, the Jersey Joes purchased new uniforms, following the same khaki pattern. At Asbury Park, N.J. in September of 1948 the boys from Riverside became New Jersey State Champions when they turned the table on the Doremus Post No. 55 of Hackensack, the defending champs. After a tough struggle for necessary funds to make the trip to Miami and the National Convention, their fondest hopes were realized when they were awarded the Russel G. Creviston Trophy and the Orange American Legion Flag, symbolic of the National American Legion Championship. The Jersey Joes also brought back with them the Miami Trophy which they received for winning the preliminary contest at the Orange Bowl—the first time that any corps had succeeded in topping the field both in the preliminaries and the finals. After Miami, the jersey Joes made plans for the defense of their State and National titles. New music and drill were on the Season’s program. Taking part in important parades and competitions throughout the Eastern States, the corps was awarded 1st prize at Langhorne, Pa. 2nd place honors were taken at New York City, Newark, N.J. and 3rd place at Jersey City.
In August of 1949 at Philadelphia, Pa., the Jersey Joes, after a thrilling and hard
fought contest (in which two of Riverside’s men fell from exhaustion) lost their National title to New York’s famed Garbarina-Mazarakos Post 1523. The Jersey Joes wçre nosed out by .492 of a point. It was at Wildwood, N.J. that the heartbroken Jersey Joes lost their state title to the crack Hawthorne Post No. 199. better known as the ‘Jersey Caballeros” After their defeat at the hands of “Caballero’s, the corps disbanded. Months later the Jersey Joes reorganized under a new director and competed once more. Because of the very poor showing they made at Morristown and Hershey, Pa. the corps again disbanded and were not heard from for some time.
Then when things seemed hopeless, Riverside reorganized again. This time Bob Cotter” was back. After months of hard work, the corps entered its first contest at Newark and placed 4th. Next contest was at Hershey Pa. and they placed 3rd. At Tomes River, N.J. the corps again placed 4th. Showing their large following that Riverside is on the come back trail, the Jersey Joes are planning a bigger and better unit. This will mean hard work for all.
I know that in the heart of every member there is but one goal and that is to regain the it lost crown! Good Luck Jersey Joes! Let’s bring the title back once again.
Written in Sept 1953 by Bob Bella Rosa
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