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The Cadets Hall of Fame Committee has announced the following is a nominee for the 2011 Class of the Cadets Hall of Fame.

Alfred Bartello


Nomination Letter:

The long and successful history of The Cadets and the accomplishments they have achieved is not only attributable to the individual talents, the long hard hours of rehearsals and the experiences and visions of the instructional group but also the “background” people.  The men and women who worked very hard to make sure the uniforms were always in perfect condition as well as the instruments, the drums and the flags.

 In the early years (specifically the 1950’s) the monies needed for travel expenses, uniform maintenance and to feed the corps came from some limited sources.  The city of Garfield gave the corps an annual check of $2,000 because they were proud to state that Garfield was “The City of Champions” (which still appears on the signs when entering into the city) but we still had to give a “pay-back” by marching in the Memorial Day and the 4th of July parades in Garfield at no charge. We also had paper drives and for a few years took on the responsibility of delivering the annual phone book to hundreds of residences and businesses.  All of these financial sources were important but the really big money came from the annual contest we would sponsor at the city stadium.

Many of our parents put in long hours in organizing the event and making sure all went well.  Besides ticket sales, the monies received from an ad book that was published and sold was the one thing that represented a great deal of money.  My father, Alfred E. Bartello, was president of the Booster Committee and their sole purpose was to raise the needed monies to keep the corps on the move.  Each year, he would take it upon himself to visit every merchant on the five or six block section of Passaic Street (the only real commercial area in Garfield) and make sure they had their name or ad published in our book.

 In the summer of 1957 he had been on a disability retirement from his job because of a severe heart attack he suffered in the fall of 1956. Nonetheless, that summer he still went about extracting ads and well-wishing comments (for a price of course) from the merchants making sure he got to every one of them – if not during the day , then surely at night when they would be in their respective stores.  It was in the first week in September, 1957 after getting to some of the last remaining merchants that he had another heart attack.  While lying in the hospital the night before the corps was to leave for the American Legion Nationals in Atlantic City, I visited him and he told me that he would be praying that we would do our best for he knew if we did that we would surely be winners.  I told him I would pass on his words to the corps and I assured him we would give it our best effort.

 Just before we went into Convention Hall I gathered the corps in a driveway of one of the adjacent homes and I told them that even though my Dad was in critical condition in the hospital he wanted me to tell them that we were in his thoughts and he was praying that we would go out and do our best.  As always, he was putting the corps ahead of himself.  At the end of the evening, as I stood in front of the judges along with the other nine Drum Majors, my heart was pounding unbelievably for I knew the corps did an amazing job and I was saying a silent prayer that we would be victorious.  The rest is history for we did win the championship that night and naturally the word got back to everyone at home including my Dad.  I have always cherished the moment I walked into my father’s hospital room the next night to share the incredible moment with him as we embraced each other, without saying a word with tears streaming down our cheeks.

He went on to live for another year but Al Bartello’s final time was of great memories of a group of spectacular young men who went out of their way to help bring him a trophy to see and to hold.  I respectfully request that he become a member of The Cadets Hall of Fame.

Tony “Bart” Bartello

1948 - 1957



Letters of Support:


Tony Bartello, "Bart" as we knew him, has written a letter of warm affection for his Dad in his nominating petition. 

My contact with Mr. Bartello was far less personal. All I knew was that he and Bill Kemmerer (known as "The Chief) were the men who made everything happen during my marching days. Mr. Bartello was in effect the Chairman of the Board at that time, though it was known more simply as the booster club. It was a different era for The Cadets during the 1950s, though certainly not without challenges and controversy.

Mr. Bartello was remarkably successful in obtaining whatever operating funds were required. Half our season was financed by our very successful home shows, called The Cadet Invitationals. Our profit from those shows was mainly from the program book, and Mr. Bartello was the man who filled the pages with solicited advertisements, and our bank account with the funds from those advertisements. 

It's amazing how much you take for granted when you're young. I never gave a thought to where all the money came from to finance our first class mode of operation. I did know though that we were the envy of just about every other corps for our "first class" operation. They thought the corps and every member of the corps was rich. We weren't! We were just rich in parents, boosters, and other supporters who made certain that we wanted for nothing. 

As every Cadet with knowledge of The Cadets' history knows 1957-58 were pivotal years for The Cadets. One of many we have faced over our 77 year history, but in its own way very unique. I'm referring of course to the time when we went from being The Holy Name Cadets to The Garfield Cadets. The pressures on the adults who facilitated that transition were tremendous, and in the middle of it all, working feverishly to obtain the funds we needed to keep our ship on course, was Mr. Bartello. 

Mr. Bartello, should his nomination lead to election to The Cadets' Hall of Fame," would be representative of the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Cadet parents who, without thought of reward or recognition, have always been there...doing what had to be done...standing with us through triumph and disappointment...making the impossible possible. We owe them all so much for what they did and what they are still doing. 

So my tribute to all these parents is this endorsement of the nomination of Alfred Bartello...one of the two men who made it happen when I proudly wore the iconic Cadet uniform of the ages. 

Dave Shaw


It is my great honor to support the nomination of Alfred Bartello submitted by his son, Tony Bartello, 48-57 D M 56--57, one of the greatest Cadets to ever wear "the uniform". 

As Cadets during the fifties we were blessed to have many parents/boosters who raised enormous funds insuring us the opportunity to be our best. I, a kid from Paterson N.J. joined the Corps in 1953 and found folks like Mr. Kemmerer, Mr. Costello and Mr. Mura to be bigger than life. There was another person who seemed liked a person in charge of something important but I was not sure why or what he did.  As my friendship with Tony Bartello began to blossom I soon became aware of his Dad's enormous contribution to the Corps. 

The Cadets have always been blessed with a supporting cast that is second to none. Within that cast of characters there is always that one person that stands out as "Leader"  That "leader" for us was Mr. Bartello !  

His official title was "Chairmen of the Board" but we just knew him as "The Money Man" who would relentlessly raise money insuring us "the kids" the opportunity to perform at the highest level possible. We as Cadets have always been taught "mental toughness" is an essential part of winning.  Mr. Bartello, somewhere in his life was taught that same lesson, not playing an instrument, but in the art of persuasion. His ability to motivate City Officials and local merchants in the City of Garfield to financially support the corps was truly magical. 

The 1958 season was an incredible year of turmoil and frustration. The one positive was a second place finish against all odds, at the Legion Nationals in Chicago. Upon our return to Garfield we were informed that The Holy Name Cadets had been disbanded. We had lost everything except our second place honor and our desire to move forward. With Mr. Kemmerer's direction coupled with Mr. Bartello's financial leadership and many other wonderful supporters "The Garfield Cadets" were founded .The rest is history!

Mr. Bartello had a profound financial effect on The Holy Name Cadets. Due to his efforts we were without question the envy of every other corps in the country. We were not just his Drum Corps we were in fact, his family. We loved him very much and his love for us was and is still unending.  

There are so many wonderful people from the support group of The Cadets that in one way or another could be candidates for the Hall of Fame. Where does the list start and end?  By electing Mr.Bartello we would be honoring hundreds of people who have given so much and asked for so little in return. 

There are many support people who would qualify for this award. Mr. Bartello is high on that list and it is my distinct honor to endorse this great man for inclusion into this prestigious group. 

Respectfully submitted,
Robert E. Peterson 53—58


Dear Cadets Hall of Fame Committee, 

It is an honor to support the nomination of Mr. Alfred E. Bartello to the Cadets Hall of Fame.  In some ways it is a terrible injustice that many of the hard working staff that kept the corps in operation have been overlooked.  It is only now as adults that we can fully understand, realize and appreciate the amount of effort that was put forth by them to keep us competing at such a high level.  Through the diligence of Mr. Bartello we were able to procure the funding necessary to bring home a National Championship when all odds seemed against us.  Also his spirit and energy were a strong factor when the Holy Name Church elected not to be affiliated with us any longer.  Without his determination and that of other loyal supporters we would never have become the Garfield Cadets.   

But above all that, Mr. Bartello brought something to the table beyond the competiveness that was already our tradition.  He taught us the meaning of dignity and respect.  When you were in Mr. Bartello's presence you knew you were in the company of a true gentleman.  We carried these significant traits wherever we went both on and off the field.  We did now know it at the time but those factors became the building blocks of what we were later to become as men ourselves.  This is why Mr. Bartello deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.  His influence built our character.   

George King
HNC # 36
1954 – 61

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