23 MAR, 2009

Yes, I have been remiss in my duties.  I'm a bad boy.  I'll make every effort to keep the diary updated though.  Just so busy with so many other things and all.  You know the drill.

The band has been active though.  Most recently in March we participated one again in the World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade in Hot Springs.  This year the Grand Marshall was John Ratzenberger (Cliff from Cheers), who himself is a pipe band drummer.  I think his current band is Sons of the Desert.  We had a bit of creative banding going on, with PM Jimmy Bell playing side drum.  Every drummer we have was unavailable due to classes, work, or injury.  Jimmy filled in quite admirably.  We only had to play the one piece for the actual parade.  Then a handful of us hustled back over to the reviewing stand and played a part of Highland Cathedral for The World's Fastest Wedding.  got 'em hitched in under a minute.  After that we wandered around the area playing wherever we could find an open spot that wasn't being bombarded by rock band spillover from the main stage.  The crowd very much enjoyed the additional piping.  Especially with Matt, Brian, and Ryan doing some hot kitchen piping, and a bit of theatrics here and there.  A delicious late meal at IHOP on the way back to Batesville topped off a fun evening.

The Saturday before St. Patrick's actual day, we marched the Little Rock parade.  It was a grey day, and only 48 degrees at parade time, but the light rain stopped and the wind died down just as we were setting out, so it was not too bad at all.  We followed up the parade with a bit of fluff playing for the patrons inside Creegen's Pub in N. Little Rock.  Gloria and Blake joined us for their first parade experiences that day, and both handled themselves quite well.

Other than that, same old stuff.  Nancy, Jimmy and I drove down to Orlando back in January and participated in their newly EUSPBA sanctioned games there.  Long drive, but a nice time.  Jimmy judged The Woodlands competition in Houston in February, and visited with our good friend Eddie Selden.  Mike Cusack, from St. Thomas Episcopal School in Houston, also judged, and they had a good turn-out by all accounts.

Nancy and I drove over to Memphis last Saturday to help celebrate the celebrate the wedding of our friend Robert Campbell and his lovely wife Renate.  Great party out at Lichterman Nature Center, a 65 acre conservancy in the heart of the metropolitan area.  Great food, a great R&B band, and just a fun bunch of people.  I provided nearly an hour of piping as guests were arriving and getting settled in.

Next on the agenda will be the annual Oklahoma Solo Piping Debate coming up on 28 March.

I will make an effort to keep the Diary updated more regularly.  I didn't realize so many followed it so closely of late, but several people have asked me about it in the last couple of weeks.

For the band,