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David Welch's 1984 Journal

is now available on amazon.com


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.


The journal 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 journal at amazon.com.



Here's an article originally published at yea.org by Caryn Goebel:


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 history.

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 aggressive treatment.

"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, Welch said.

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 ago.

"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 said.

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."