Volume XII Number 6 - December 2003

ABSENT FRIENDS...AND HO HO HO (or was that Hee Hee Hee?)

It is indeed with great sadness that we report the death of Kevin Blandford, President of WUSPBA and Pipe Major of the R.D. Blandford & Sons Pipe Band on Nov. 26th of cancer, at age 40. This tragic event cuts short the life of a gifted player, pipe major, and band association executive who played no favourites and held his office in trust for the members of WUSPBA. There is no one currently in the WUSPBA Executive who can truly fill his shoes. Our sincerest sympathies go out to his family, his friends, and his band. John Partanen has an appreciation below.

Also we heard of the passing of James Campbell, son of Archibald Gampbell of Kilberry, on 9 December. A lifelong member of the Piobaireachd Society, he was practically 'born into it' in 1916 and saw it through its centenery earlier this year. A great loss to the piping world, and a very kind and fine gentleman, he will be missed by all who knew him.

As the Silly Season approaches and visions of, hell, enough of that! It's the End of the Year and all I can say is Bah Humbug! Yes, it's yer pal, Old Scroogie again, here to cast some blight on your Christmas. May your reeds choke up and wither. May your pipe bag crack. May your lip fail. May your drones fall from a forty story window....(Editor's note: The person responsible for the previous remarks has been shipped off to Afghanistan post paid)...And now for something completely different:

A propos of Monty Python, I recently discovered that Dr. John Cleese lives in Santa Babawawa, about a mile from my dear old Mum. Dr. Cleese not only bought his own house overlooking the Pacific, but also the two houses on either side of his own, with the express purpose of '...avoiding the possibility of ever having a neighbor who plays the bagpipes....'


As I am venturing southwards on the 22nd of the month for the Christmas holiday, I will expressly go down to the beach in front of his house with pipes in hand and play 'Jingle Bells' for him.

Hee Hee Hee. And you thought the Grinch was green and looked like Jim Carrey....HA!


THE BORE DOCTOR'S BORE OIL: straight from L. Omar Henderson Ph.D., the 'Bore Doctor' himself. This IS the 'expressed oil of almonds' I've been talking about for years, not the crap you find in health food stores. For one thing, this oil WON'T go rancid. As the man says:

'I get my almond oil from an exclusive source that is cold pressed which duplicates the original extraction methods without the cyanide (most almond oil is steam or heat extracted which ruins some of the properties of the oil) and contains the natural antioxidants and micro elements that made the old almond oil useful in its day.'

BTW The Bore Doctor is one of those boffins hidden away in the lab at the CDC in Atlanta - in his spare time he works on new products for woodwind players - including pipers. One of his projects is a new bag seasoning that works as well as A******t but doesn't rot or stink. 'Of course this investigation was aimed at protecting the bagpipe community from potential chemical terrorism,' sez the Doc. Ya, shure, you betcha!

For more about this GREAT PRODUCT, see our REEDS page 


Kevin Blandford (1963-2003)

A very good friend of mine has joined a large pipe band recently, and I'm sure he's in great company and doing as well as ever.  I first met him back in the 70's, when he was just new to piping; just a young lad then with enormous potential as a piper.  He went on to form his own pipe band some years after I left the area, and help his parents with their business.  His band rose to to the Grade II level in a short few years, no mean feat, and a great tribute to his skills as a pipe instructor and leader.  His leadership skills also earned him respect and admiration from other bandsmen and women, and he was soon contributing much to the Western United States Pipe Band Association.  In fact, he was the President of that association for the past two years.  I miss my good friend, but I'm happy to see that he's now a member of that large and wonderful pipe band we all aspire to be in.  God's Blessings on you Kevin Blandford.  Keep your reeds dry, and your drones well tuned.  Play long and well.  I'll see you sooner than I think.  And I'll need your recommendation for the band up there when I arrive....

John Eric Partanen   WUSPBA 0193PP    AKA Ol' Black Part  

John Cleese and The Grinch aside, we would like to wish you all a happy, healthy, and peaceful Holiday Season, and we look forward to your continuing business and support next year.

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