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Sunday, April 29, 2007

2007 Celtic Festival of Southern Maryland

Checking my camera
Photograph by Bob Hendry

Doing a walkabout
Photograph by Bob Hendry

The clan's bard performs
Photograph by Bob hendry

Visiting with my clan
Photograph by Christian Garin

The big parade - - - Alas, I was late and missed it!
Photograph by Christian Garin

Youngsters enjoying the ceilidh

Tossing the caber

Rockville, Maryland High School Pipe Band

A pipe band performing

Highland dance competition

Zeke Maddox, Douglas Henderson, Laura Henderson, and Christian Garin

Rescued Greyhounds

An evening of fun, dancing at the ceilidh

The ceilidh band

Bob Hendry

Balmoral Highlanders from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

Pat Maddox, Alan Winters, Bob Hendry, Christian Garin


Greetings and Salutations to All my Kith and Kin and All the Ships in Outer Space:

Yesterday, I went to the annual Celtic Festival of Southern Maryland.

Unfortunately, I got lost enroute, so I arrived too late to participate in the opening ceremonies, with its grand march of the massed clans.

That was disappointing, for I had brought along my sword especially for marching with my clan.

I did bring my guitar, and spent considerable time playing and singing at the Clan Henderson pavilion.

I was pleasantly surprised to meet two (02) other Viet Nam war veterans.

Alan Winters is a fellow contributor of original compositions to the International War Veterans' Poetry Archives.

He filmed me performing, "THE CELTIC FESTIVAL", a song I wrote, and if he can, he plans to show that on the Internet.
Bob Hendry was in the Phu Lam Signal Battalion, a unit I also served in, and we both participated in Operation Lam Son 719, the invasion of Laos, and we both were at Dong Ha.

At one point, I put down my guitar and strolled throughout the festival to see what I could see.

Ah, but all of my senses were just totally overwhelmed by the enormity and variety of it all!

At the Clan Donald pavilion, which was right next to the Clan Henderson pavilion, I obtained free samples of haggis, something I'd never tasted.
Haggis is delicious!

At the Clan Davidson pavilion, I learned about the "Battle of the Clans", which took place in 1396, by order of the king.

I enjoyed petting the rescued greyhounds and briefly viewing some Highland dance competition.

There were so many things to see and do, all at one time and in widely separated venues, it was impossible to assimilate it all.

One strapping young laddie was walking about wearing a T-shirt brashly proclaiming, "THIS IS A KILT - - - IF I WORE ANYTHING UNDERNEATH, IT WOULD BE A SKIRT!"

Observing the caber tossing, some of the brawny lads were having difficulties, as they tried to pick up the log, but they couldn't balance it properly, and the pole toppled over behind them.

Highland games are NOT easy!

There were numerous living history presentations, reenacting different periods of Celtic development and influence.

After the festival ended, I stayed for the ceilidh that was being held in the barn.

There was a lovely exhibition of traditional sword dancing by a pair of sisters, Jessica and Kaitlyn Likas, billed as "THE WILD IRISH ROSES".

Later during the ceilidh, Jessica, with another girl, showed off some fabulous Irish step dancing, even imitating the exciting stage entry technique seen in the renowned "RIVERDANCE".

At the ceilidh, everyone is encouraged to contribute and participate, so numerous individuals, couples, and groups came up to enjoy dancing to exceptionally lively Irish jigs and Scottish reels.

The band was very talented and enthusiastic, playing the happy fast paced Celtic music loudly and long.

Even the children merrily got involved.

When the band took a break, I was allowed to perform the songs I had composed, "THE CELTIC FESTIVAL", "A SON OF SCOTLAND IS GONE", and "AU REVOIR".

It was a long day, and I eventually arrived back at the Soldiers' Home well after midnight.

Be sure to click on the pictures to see them in a larger format.

Thank you.

Official Bard of Clan Henderson
Washington, D.C. 20011-8400

NOTE: "My unpopular and controversial personal opinions are independent of my Scottish clan."

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