Written by Tim O’Brien
Corps Historian
for the 1983 Reunion Dinner

To tell the story of the Golden Knights – of who they were, of what they did, and of what they were about – one would need many hours indeed. For everyone here tonight has a hundred stories – memories of the great benchmarks during the 21 years of competition – stories of triumphs and defeats, of sacrifice and hard work, and of long days spent together in the school basement – on buses and trains – on practice fields, in hotels and college dorms around the country – in the Newark Armory, the Jersey City Armory – the German Hall – Avenue C – Kean College – Ballantine’s parking lot – the Kelly Post in Union – and other places named Marinello’s, Singer’s, Kelly’s, and the Garden State in Wildwood – Rut’s Hut between parades on Memorial Day and Union City on July Fourth night.

There were the crazy times – like the incredible Civil War fight on the train coming home from Miami in ’57 – the legendary food fight with Jailhouse box lunches on the bus in Minnesota in ’59 – or the disastrous attempt to feed the entire corps with buckets of Kentucky Fried Chicken in Bordentown in ’69 when the mosquitoes got more chicken than the corps. There were the light moments. Like getting off the bus in L.A. or Florida in the ’50s and having strangers approach and ask, “Hey, where’s Al Cohen?” There were moments of brash cockiness – like the night the corps first played the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria.

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