Warren resident realizes lifelong drum and bugle corps dream

By Manny Correira
Posted 12/8/23

The 74-year-old Warren native who has lived in Bristol most of his life, realized a lifelong goal when he suited up recently to march with the world-renowned Hawthorne Caballeros Alumni Drum & Bugle Corps in the America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Parade in Plymouth, Mass.

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Warren resident realizes lifelong drum and bugle corps dream

Posted

Steve Skuba is living the dream.

The 74-year-old Warren native who has lived in Bristol most of his life, realized a lifelong goal when he suited up recently to march with the world-renowned Hawthorne Caballeros Alumni Drum & Bugle Corps in the America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Parade in Plymouth, Mass.

To say Steve was “tooting his own horn,” so to speak, would be an understatement.

“It’s unbelievable,” he said following the Nov. 18th parade through the historic streets of Plymouth. “I’ve always wanted to march with the Caballeros, and now it’s finally happened. You can’t believe the feeling you get when you march with a group like this.”

For those of you not familiar with the drum and bugle corps movement, you have to understand that much of the roots of this fabulous pastime was laid down right here in the Warren and Bristol area, starting with its birth in 1913 under the direction of Bristol’s George R. Fish, who founded the Bristol Boy Scouts Troop 1 Drum & Bugle Corps, which later evolved into the Bristol Kingsmen. Steve, who lived in Warren until the age of 10, marched in that town and other communities with the famous Warren Indian Band, the Tribesmen, the Royal Lancers, the Holy Rosary Caballeros of Providence, the Springfield Marksmen, and Generations Drum Corps of Bristol.

To stir his imagination even further, Steve like so many others, welcomed the Hawthorne Caballeros Alumni to Bristol in 2001 as part of Bristol’s Fourth of July Parade.

“Since I was nine years old when I saw them in Mission Drums I said to myself, I’d love to march with the Caballeros. And this year, it finally happened.”

A retired member of the Bristol School Department after 28 years of service, Steve is a Vietnam Navy veteran and a retired employee of the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs after 14 years of service. He’s also participated in local Memorial Day, Firemen’s Sunday, and Veterans Day events, playing taps on his trusty bugle. And, he’s also lent his musical skills during funerals.

How does Steve like traveling the 200 miles twice a month to the American Legion Post #199 area in Hawthorne, N.J. for rehearsals? It doesn’t faze him in the least.

“It’s a piece of cake,” he grinned. “To be with all those Caballeros alumni members ages 65-94 is a privilege. I am so wrapped up in all of this right now, I couldn’t be happier.”

During a recent interview, Steve flashed one of his trademark smiles and confessed that his own grandfather, the late Isaac Bouffard, had a lot to do with his interest in drum and bugle corps.

“He started the American Legion drum corps in Warren after World War I and I guess I just followed suit. But right now, marching and being associated with the Hawthorne Caballeros Alumni is the highlight of my music career.”

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