San Diego life style

Longing for the sound of Bagpipes

I understand that listening to and enjoying bagpipes is an acquired taste. When I was very young we moved in with my Scottish grandparents and great grandmother. They were all born in Scotland.

It was WWII and my father had been drafted into the Navy. So he was sent to San Diego for training. My grandfather worked for General Electric and he had also been sent to San Diego for the war effort.

One great outcome of that experience was that I got to know my grandparents and experience a Scottish heritage. I was my grandfather’s lassie. I heard and learned to love the Scottish brogue. The last time I was in Scotland I was able to understand a great deal although not all of what was said.

When I was a teenager my grandfather wanted to go back to Scotland and discussion was about me going with him. Unfortunately I didn’t show much enthusiasm and the trip was cancelled. That is something I truly regret.

There was lots of music around the house with records, the radio and a piano. My family loves music and the storage of music part of my brain is full of memories . I often reflect and can hear specific family members singing. I especially hear my grandmother and great grandmother singing the old Scottish songs. Blue bells of Scotland and Bonnie Bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.

Last trip I learned that Loch Lomond is right in the Argyll forest in highlands where my family lived. This time Gordon and I plan on a two hour boat ride on Loch Lomond. For sure that song will be rattling around in my head.

My grandfather played the coronet and marched in bands. My family still has and treasures his old coronet.,When he was a Boy in Jedburgh he was part of the Boys Brigade. I have pictures of him marching over a bridge in Jedburgh. Gordon and I found that spot and marched over the same bridge last time.

One beautiful memory I have with my grandfather is going to the bandstand with him on a Sunday afternoon and listening to them playing John Phillip Souza marches. Oh how he loved them …me too. To this day they make me feel like marching.

Then there were the bagpipes…many records playing with bagpipes. Lots of listening to bagpipes and not for a moment a thought of my grandfather’s Scottish lassie thinking anything but that I absolutely love the sound of the bagpipes. I guess it stirs my Scottish soul. (I definitely have one).

You know bagpipes can be heard a long distance. So when I hear them I have to chase them down. Once I found a piper on the beach in Kauai … boy was I happy. Sometimes I see them around San Diego playing under a bridge. It seems they often get kicked out of the house and have to find places to practice. On December Nights in Balboa Park there are always pipers. As soon as I hear them I am gone. Chasing down my pipers.

Now I am almost in Scotland and I am truly longing to hear my pipers. To me they are like the Pied Piper of Hamlin. I will follow them anywhere. Gordon and I were trying to locate the pubs on Google today so we can take in the music. Ok Scotland here I come.

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