Volume XVIII Number 2 - August 2006

SO last month's record-setting temps had several unpleasant effects - among them, it's impossible to play in that kind of heat. We have sympathy for all of you stuck in the current heat wave hitting most of the nation. Keep cool, pipers! Have to speak to the Weather Gods so we get some respite from soaring temps at Pleasanton - only four weeks away now. Speaking of Pleasanton, we'll be in the Old Same Place as usual, back of beyond by the grandstand, in Small Commercial space 1 - with a large fan to keep things below boiling...

Had several informative emails from David Siegel, P/M of the Israeli Pipes and Drums, regarding current events in his neuk mideast o' Fife - one of them is this link to an interesting current folk song hitting the airwaves over there: - we hope things cool off out there ASAP. David is right in the thick of it, midway between Haifa and Galilee in Karmiel; he's sent some interesting pix which we may put up later.

...How about that Mel Gibson? Doesn't he know that without Jewish investment there'd be NO Hollywood? What a Yutz!....OY! Looks like Braveheart's going down with the Titanic....and yes, August finds us another year older, no wiser, and, dammit, no lighter. Must work on that....

NEW PRODUCT DEPARTMENT: As we said last month, the new Canning reeds are here; I only asked for a set to try out, but he sent me six...phenolic bodies, CF tongue on the bass - why not on the tenors as well? Sound pretty good in Kintails, I'll try them in the Glens this week. ALSO just in - reed winding jigs for those who want to make their own chanter reeds - $39.95; add a C-clamp and you're ready to go with our reed kits, $5.00 each; or order the winder with two reed kits, $47.95.

Sad to report the death of Rufus Harley, the (so far) only jazz piper and 'Musical Ambassador to the World' on August 1 at age 70. He'd been fighting cancer for the last year or so and had just finished his Monday night gig in Philadelphia. He was a really nice guy and a real lover of pipe music. Whether you liked his interpretation of pipe music or not, he had an infectious laugh and a true loving personality. I first met him in the mid-60s in Philly, where he lived most of his life, and then again at Santa Rosa in '92. He recorded several albums of his own in his career, and played tracks on numerous other artists' work, from John Coltrane to Laurie Anderson. He will be truly missed.


Well, the Montery Scottish Festival and Highland Games was held this past weekend. As always, this was a well run contest, with only minor hitches here and there. On the field judging was Helen Gladden, and it was really nice to see her there, and as usual she did an outstanding job.

I read her sheets from the band contests, and I could not only read them, I had no trouble understanding what she meant. The other judges need some coaching on how to write out a score sheet, on how to write clearly, and in basic English. What some of their comments actually meant, what they wrote, and how they wrote it if you can call the scribbles writing is anyones guess! For my part, I guess, is that if P/M's and bandsmen can't read what you wrote, can't understand what you wrote, and you don't know what you tried to write, nobody can question what you tried to do as a judge, eh! The score sheets turned in by the other judges were really bad, and I'm being really kind here by just saying they were bad! And I'm not the only person here with this comment. I observed Jan Richey squinting, turning the sheets this way and that, etc. trying to make out what was on the sheets, and trying to make some sense of them. Her efforts were, well, futile!

Both band contests were held on Saturday, rather than on both days. This made for a long day on Sunday, and had some bands not there for Sunday. Some of the bands that were there put on some "innovative" presentations, all of which were enjoyable. Of special note was the Steam Train to Mallig put on by the MacIntosh Pipe Band featuring a conductor and even an engineer. Nice job you guys and gals. I also enjoyed the Sacramento Pipe Band's presentations. Not to be forgotten were the presentations by Misty Isle. P/M Megarity seems to have this band well on the road to being the next Grade II pipe band in the WUSPBA. Keep up the good work Stevie. And its also nice to see Charlie Lumsden there helping you out as well.

Well, I guess I'll see some of you at Pleasanton, for yet another episode of...Black Part Pipes! Until then....

(The management of Cuillinn Craft takes NO responsibility for any editorial statements made by John Eric Partanen PhD. Any and all comments should be directed to BLACK PART)


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