January 31, 2006

Well, January is over.  It really went by like a flash.  I was in a bit of a haze toward the beginning of the month as my dad died in mid-December and the family in Colorado was all wrapped up in the business of his estate and keeping me informed here in AR.  Jimmy and I flew out together on the 13th and met up with my dear Nancy for Southside Lenny's memorial service.  Jim wrote a lovely tune to honor Lenard's passing.  It's called The Clearing At The End Of The Path.  He played that in the closing moments of the memorial service.  I had already played Garryowen (at Dad's request), and Jim and I played Amazing Grace (also at Dad's request).  As he was not a religious guy, I also wound up officiating for the service and thought that went pretty well.  I forgot to say a couple of things I meant to, and said a couple of things I didn't intend to, but overall everyone seemed to like it.  I set up an endowed scholarship here at Lyon in Lenard's name.  He really was a big fan of the pipe band, and a friend of Jimmy's, Tristen's, and Danny Vaughn's in particular, and was known by some of the other folks in the band who have graduated or moved on.  He was also a real fan of Lyon College in general, and very much enjoyed visiting here and participating in on-campus events.  I thought it a fitting tribute to a good guy, and also a way for his enormous generosity and good will to keep on keeping on by awarding a yearly stipend to a deserving student in Scottish Heritage.  And many thanks to friends who have already been donating to add to the scholarship fund. 

Here's a picture that Nancy took of Jimmy, my sister Lauren, my niece Erin, and me at the service.  That's a picture of Lenny in the middle wearing a driving cap that was a bit of a trademark for him over the years.

The week following the service we had the big monthly all-day practice in preparation for our forthcoming trip to the World's this summer.  The out of town folks who can't be at regular weekly practices come in and we play together, and I really think we're starting to get a good sound going.  That Mista Jimmy know how to set up a band, brutha.  The student band folk were all back from break, and rarin' to go.

Tristen led a group that played the International Festival at UACCB.  Here's a shot of John,  Neil, and Cody.  They're either signing autographs, or coloring.  I can't tell which.  I'm guessing coloring.  How about those Gingers?

On Sunday the 29th we played a kirkin' service at the Presbyterian church in Jonesboro and had a very nice buffet lunch with the congregation immediately after.  We salute their hospitality and potato salad.  The following are a few pictures taken by our Church Lady, Claudia Marsh.  Any that appear too dark were taken by her evil twin, Marcia.

Where's Jimmy?  Why tuning the band, of course.


Danny, Cody, and Tristen at the mosey on the way
to the anthrax, I mean Garthax, I mean narthex.


Jimmy up front as the procession concludes.  That's our chaplain,
Nancy McSpadden, ascending to the pulpit on the left.


We had a full house.


Tristen and I did a Fairylore duet for the offertory.


And here's the band marching out at the recessional

So, that's about it for now.  We're on next at a return engagement to Magnolia for a Burns Night supper at SAU.  First rate bunch of people there in south AR, and we're really looking forward to visiting with them for a third year.

I close on a sad note, as our good friend "Doc" Steve Wilson of the Ozark Highlanders died last Friday night.  Steve was a great guy, and a real promoter of piping and Scottish heritage in the state of Arkansas.  His good humor and great ice cream will be sorely missed.

For the band,

Ken Adler