Monday, June 12, 2017

Luck O' The Scots

Rain had been predicted so I left the doors open for the girls after racing through chores.  I was actually on time to pick up Cam for our day's outing to the Highland Games, and this year we were there for the opening ceremonies.  The fun started in the parking lot.  A pair of barely teenage boys were giving lackluster directions, obviously wishing they'd stayed home.  "Oh no, kid!  Where's the old lady parking lot?  You're not going to make me walk from here, are you?"  He thought a minute and then firmly pointed to the space he'd selected, backed up by his buddy.  To him, I said, "Kid, you've got to work on your moves,"and demonstrated.  They started laughing, and played along.

Once upon a time I went to every meeting of the clans in northern California.  Spirits lift with the first sound of music and it only gets better.  Like a Willie Nelson concert (I've been to my share of those, too), people are there just to have a good time.  It's hard to walk and not keep in step to the drums from bands that are practicing everywhere.  Cam and I cruised the midway and picked a meeting place should we get separated.  The first order of business was to get a beer and a banger-and-onion for me and a corn dog for her, then we headed to the grandstand.  I've been to Games where there were thirty bands; yesterday there were only four, but they made up in enthusiasm what they lacked in numbers.  Some think the Scots are a dour people; I find those I've met to be witty, rather ribald, and friendly.  The MC was no exception.  In these photos, the bands are to the right and clans and guilds are to the left.  The clouds were rather foreboding.

The Star-Spangled Banner was sung with utmost respect, and the crowd remained standing as a woman sang Flower Of Scotland, the unofficial anthem of Scotland.  The bands played together and then separately.  Is there anything more rousing than Scotland the Brave?  In amongst the clans, there was a group of Vikings (the enemy) who staged a mock drunken brawl that had us laughing.

After the ceremonies, Cam and I wandered through the animal barn and other exhibits.  I must say, the luck of the Scots was with us.  I don't think it ever reached 60 degrees, but no rain fell and it was most pleasant to walk along.  The military, veterans and active, was well represented in the various booths.  Over by the tents of the clans, girls were being trained for the caber toss with much lighter poles than those used by men, but still over 100 pounds; impressive!

After seeing all the craft booths and talking with exhibitors everywhere, we went to the open-air bandstand to listen to the music and rest our tired feet.  Feet kept active by thumping in time to the drums, however.  Not only were musicians playing in front, but bands were practicing on the hill and then marching along on the street behind.  I find the skirl of bagpipes thrilling.  Cam went over to watch the "heavy athletic" competition and I sat and indulged in people watching.

I'll have to admit that the highlight of the day was as we were driving out.  The same boys from the morning were sitting at the exit.  After all the cars they'd seen throughout the day, when they saw my truck they leaped to their feet.  The one cried out, "Old lady parking this way!" and the other gave a demonstration of directing that would have made a New York traffic cop proud.  Talk about ending the day with a laugh!

It started spitting rain on the way home and I'd no more than gotten in the house when the skies opened up and it rained hard for an hour.  The luck of the Scots held and it stopped before I put the kids to bed.

Need I say it?  It was a good day.  (Waldo was in the living room.)

1 comment:

Kathryn Williams said...

Sounds like a wonderfully Tartan Day!!