Day 273, Scottish games

Sunday, 9/1/2019

When I had supper with Dennis and Toni (Day 266), Dennis was enthusiastic about the Scottish Games held at the Alameda County Fairgrounds Labor Day weekend. He planned to spend all day there and suggested I join him. So this morning I left about 8am, driving first to the old coffee shop at Midtown. Had an almond croissant still warm from the oven, num! and read the paper. Then drove 35 miles in light Sunday morning traffic to the fairgrounds. Connected with Dennis by cellphone (what ever did we do back then…) and we walked about. Sat for part of one concert by a band that played “bare-knuckle pipe and drums” and part of another concert by a group that did Celtic derived music but with electric instruments and a drum kit. Walked through part of the merchandise areas. Boy if you need something plaid, this was the place.

Dennis likes that we have, through my mother, a sliver of Gaelic descent specifically from the MacNeil of Barra. (Barra is a lump of rock at the ass-end of the Hebrides chain. Note in that Wiki article that the MacNeils themselves emigrated to the New World along with all the evicted crofters.)

Anyway it was now time for events to start in front of the grandstand. Dennis had obtained very nicely placed seats in the stand. We went there to watch the opening ceremonies. Then Dennis went off to spend an hour tasting Scotch. I stayed and watched all the games, the caber tossing and other ways to fling heavy weights around. This went on  pretty continuously until 4, when the closing ceremonies started. The main feature of this was to be the massed bands, about 700 musicians mostly bagpipers and drummers, but with a Marine Corps brass band mixed in. They strung it out for an hour of preliminaries before finally massing the bands. I took some cell-phone video but the light was very poor; the bands were partly in the deep shade of the stands and partly in brilliant sunlight.

Anyway after the massed bands played they announced a folk singer at which point I thanked Dennis and departed. Home before 7pm, fairly tired. Vertigo was better today, only present if I leaned over as to pick something up. Hopefully it will be gone soon.



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