THE GRAND STREET BOYS



 

What is this Project About :

During the Depression in the 1930s, maybe shortly before, first generation business men and merchants from the Jewish community who had come from largely Eastern European countries celebrated their success in America. They formed a philanthropic organization centered mostly in New York, in lower Manhattan; they were known as The Grand Street Boys. They sponsored youth sports activity and musical activity; youth Drum and Bugle Corps for generally boys and girls 11 through 17 years old; the boys playing the instruments, the girls carried the Flags. The most well-known Corps was named after the organization, The Grand Street Boys. They paraded on special holidays, and sporting events and came to be associated with the American Legion; In addition, Catholic Churches also participated, drawing many of the boys and girls of the parish. Many of these youth bands associated with the Catholic Church centered in communities around New Jersey, highly regarded and accomplished. Competitions between these bands were held in stadiums and would draw up to 50,000 in attendance for a nominal ticket price…cash awards to the winning Corps and maybe to runner-ups. One famous event related to the Moe Wolf Corps from Brooklyn. They were playing in the New York Polo Grounds on a Sunday afternoon, at the N.Y. Giants football game halftime show, when it was announced that the Japanese had attacked Perl Harbor…All events immediately stopped. Many of these boys when they reached the age of 18 went into Military service.

I had sailed into Key West. I was anchored out not far, and could actually see the residence of Papa Hemingway. Must have been something in the air…but up until then, I wrote as a Naval Architect Technical Boating Articles… but something in the water I guess, I began writing short stories on my boat, a prelude to writing screenplays. I never gave it much thought

I came into possession copies of Church Bulletins from My parish in N.Y. dated 1944. I believe there were 4 of them from that year. It was all about parishioners who were overseas fighting both in the European and Pacific theatres of war…Reading these, one senses a great reliance on their faith. Mother’s, father’s sons, daughters and friends receiving through these 4 page bulletins war news…some very sad, the casualty list, some humorous, particularly from wounded soldiers. These were extremely popular and a welcomed moral booster among the soldiers themselves reading about their friends and where they were. One sad and soulful entry from a mother who lost her son in France…”My most treasured possession, a letter from a French padre who said my son a daily communicant”. Many as they returned from overseas, returned to the activity they most loved Drum and Bugle Corps. This is mostly a true story about these young men who returned from the war, the generation known as the greatest generation who formed a Senior Corps known as the N.Y. Skyliners… in 42 competitions they won 39 competing against other senior Corps; in addition, found time to be instructors to the young Junior Corps…some had full time jobs, many returned to college. The story is about the Skyliners, and how they helped this Junior Corps to become champions as life progressed through the mid to late 40’s to the early 50s. I had family members and friends intimately connected with events…The Synopsis and Treatment will fill in the blanks; in addition, the incredible music of the Skyliners.

My home parish that was indirectly connected to this activity, the Monsignor of the Parish Church was named Scanlan, an Irishman from the old sod. I was always afraid of this man (LOL) a strong personality, he pulled the parish through the war this you may surmise reflected from the bulletins that you may access. While in American Samoa, I met a Scanlan from N.Y. about my age. The name Scanlan is a rather common Irish name in N.Y. but she was indeed related she told me and knew many family details. On the Island of American Samoa, the Scanlan family goes away back historically and they are powerful Chiefs on the Island. Mrs. Scanlan, a fine lady in her sixties attends the nearby Catholic Church for mass every morning. When my boat sank through criminal activity, the mooring chain was deliberately cut sending the boat to the rocks, ultimately sank; filled with water... I lost everything except a small portion out of the water. I managed to retrieve a few important papers including my passport, and these copies of the Church bulletin were just there, dry as a bone… With nowhere to go, Mrs Scanlan had a nice room for me. I had two friends who lived there Mike and Michael the same mate, the incredible connection to J.B. Goode link. My clothes were wet from swimming around the vessel. Michael gave me some clothes to put on…and something to eat I took the wet clothes on my back off and headed to the laundromat nearby. I told Mrs. Scanlan the story, about meeting her cousin in McDonalds and presented her with these copies. My understanding they are in the Island's Archives in Am. Samoa, the people, very attached to the military. My boat was gone, my home of 14 years gone and all my stuff gone, but seriously what bothered me most was all the research, my computer and flash drives to my next screenplay, my 5th..everything gone…This 4th Screenplay was written, polished and completed and Registered about 4 months prior…I hope you enjoy this musical screenplay, the synopsis below the green button.....1939 Grand Street Boys Drum and Bugle Corp N.Y. C.