Jim began his drum corps career with the Leaside Lions and later with the Golden Monarchs.
When the Monarchs folded in early 1967, Jim moved to the Optimists and joined Emilio Russo and John McDonald in the snare line, replacing Ron Kaiser.
Jim immediately became known as "GRONK", a character from the 1960's TV series "It's About Time", about a prehistoric cave family. He was a cave man, and some of Jim's actions confirmed this impression.
There was a story (maybe true, maybe not) that in a disciplinary action, his Mother had confiscated his motorcycle keys. The retrieval of said keys required some physical effort. And in doing so Jim managed to break his mothers arm. I doubt that it was intentional, but only added to the Gronkish lore.
The next year, 1968, John McDonald aged out and Jim became even more crucial to the percussion section in 1969. Jim may not have been the most natural drummer, but when I played beside him in the snare line, he was the hardest working one. He had to be to play in the same line as the fellows he performed with.
Recollections by Rick Roussel who played alongside Jim in 1969.