David Welch's 1984 Journal
is now available on
The Farewell Issue of MHL Chronicling
David's Rookie Year at Garfield is Now Available Through Amazon.com
David Welch's Journal from the 1984 Garfield Cadets is now
available at Amazon.com.
An enhanced version of one of The Middle Horn Leader's most
popular issues is being made available for purchase in paperback by its
author, David Welch.
In 1994, David Welch allowed The Middle
Horn Leader to publish a journal he kept as a performer with the
Garfield Cadets in 1984.
With the help of several current and former
mid-voice alumni of the Garfield Cadets, David has been reprinting the
journal throughout the years. Copies of it have found their way
throughout drum corps circles since the 1990s. The publication has even become a document issued to
rookie members of the Cadets.
The journal offers a rare glimpse into a
special season in the Garfield Cadets' history while at the same time capturing
the essence of the struggle that is drum and bugle corps.
has even been likened to a drum corps version of
Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage.
The meaning of the journal was intensified
for many when David announced in December 2004 that he had been diagnosed
with a lemon-sized brain tumor. David's courage and tenacity was the
primary force that resulted in the creation of this Web Site.
You can learn more about David and his
recovery at his Web Site
38lemon.com. You can purchase your own copy of the
Here's an article originally published at yea.org by
Journal Links Cadets From Across the Years
Friday, December 1, 2006
By: Caryn Goebel
As a new generation of Cadets come together for the 2007 season, they will have
available to them a valuable resource that embodies the tradition and spirit of
those who marched before them. The Middle Horn Leader 2006, a chronicle
of the 1984 Garfield Cadets, recently became available online through Amazon.com.
This version now includes illustrations inspired by the 1984 West Side Story
production, as well as reflections from Cadets of more recent years.
This 48-page book coincides with those Cadets who were born in 1984 and then
aged out in 2006, said author David C. Welch. It features work by well-known
artist Don Daber and perspectives by Cadets from throughout the corps' colorful
While the book provides the reader an insider's look of the legendary 1984
corps' season through the journal of rookie mellophone player Welch, it also
carries within it the teachings and lessons every Cadet takes with them after
they age out. For Welch, particularly, it personifies the very discipline he now
uses in his fight against brain cancer.
"As human beings, we all face major life challenges. But we can go forward from
The Cadets assuredly knowing that we are well-armed," writes Welch in an opening
letter within the book. "And it is real, because these experiential lessons do
not come easy. We all invest heavily to gain this wisdom."
Welch, 40, was diagnosed in 2004 with brain cancer and today continues intensive
treatment to control this disease. It was in December 2004 when lifelong friend,
Cadet, and business partner Doug Rutherford noticed something was amiss with
Welch, encouraging him to seek medical attention.
The hours and days that followed an emergency room visit revealed the worst - an
inoperable cancerous brain tumor the size of a lemon. The prognosis seemed
insurmountable, but just as Cadets do, they came together and faced the
challenge. Upon recommendation from Cadet Brian Wilkie, Welch was directed to a
cutting edge New York neurosurgeon, Dr. Patrick J. Kelly, who in May 2005 was
able to remove about 50 percent of the tumor in the center of Welch's brain.
For Welch, utilizing the disciplined philosophies of perfecting a World
Championship field program were relayed within himself as he prepared for
surgery and the chemotherapy to follow. And his near-blood family of Cadets
still carries him through the tumultuous times inflicted by the disease and its
"There are friends we can nurture throughout our lives. There are skill sets
that can be applied inside or outside of drum corps. And where others see
obstacles and impossibilities, we can learn to see opportunities," said Welch.
Pages of nostalgia
In 1984, Welch documented his experiences with the Garfield Cadets daily by
hand, narratively describing events and thoughts of his very challenging first
year in the corps. Garfield's rendition of "West Side Story" earned the corps
its second championship title in two years. Through the decades, that show has
become a classic within the activity.
"I learned of a publication called The Middle Horn Leader by Scooter
Pirtle. I shot him a note and told him of my journal and he had the idea to
publish it at the 10-year anniversary of the 1984 show," Welch said. The book,
then titled The Middle Horn Leader 14, was dedicated and distributed to
all 1984 members and has since developed a sort of underground circulation among
members to familiarize them with the many unwritten traditions of The Cadets,
In 1999, five years after its release, the stories within The Middle Horn
Leader 14 inspired artist Don Daber, and a series of illustrations were
printed weekly in the independent newspaper Drum Corps World. All these
illustration are, for the first time, collectively gathered in the same place in
the Middle Horn Leader 2006.
"I had always wanted to do a 22-year anniversary of the publication, marking
those Cadets' who were born in 1984, then aged out in 2006," Welch said. "It's
so exciting that it came together."
The 2006 edition brings a new cast of Cadets to the pages who recollect what
marching in the nine-time World Champion corps has meant to them, including
Paula Hyman, Rachel Anderson, Christan Juel, and Welch's lifelong friend and
former Cadets drum major, Doug Rutherford.
"The process of putting this together was the best part. It was so energizing to
work with these wonderful, talented people," Welch said.
Welch funded the entire project, and there will be no monetary gains for him.
One hundred percent of the proceeds are being directed to brain cancer
awareness. It's about supporting a cause that has become so much a part of his
life, just as the Cadets have become since his first rehearsal camp 22-years
"I have no idea what kind of audience will be interested in this book. Yes, I
have a Holy Name bias, but this book can speak to people across drum corps,"
Welch carries an unwavering vision for the future. Treatment for his cancer has
had far more success than any doctor suspected possible, and his Cadets' ties
continue to be an instrumental part of his daily life. As for The Middle Horn
Leader and what lies ahead, there are many possibilities, according to Welch.
"Maybe there will be a Middle Horn Leader 2007 or 2008. Regardless, this
publication will always keep sending the message. Because no matter what year
you marched, it's amazing how similar it all is. You are me and I am you - we
are only separated by time."