Volume XVIII Number 6 - December 2006

We greet the Holiday season with a very sad note - Bob Dunsire, founder of the Dunsire Forums and his piping website, died of cancer on Nov. 6 at age 53. It is nearly impossible to assess the impact Bob Dunsire has had on the piping world. In five short years his Dunsire Forums have brought together nearly ten thousand pipers and drummers on the internet - without the in-your-face attitudes and rancor of the old RMMB message board. Pipers and drummers exchange views and advice without insult, put-down, or sneering, and topics are wide-ranging and informative. Had Bob done nothing else in his life, he would be remembered as the 'Great Facilitator' of piping and drumming on the web

His contribution to the world of piping is incalculable, as is his loss to his family. He will be sorely missed.

Yes, it is Christmas season, so get your orders in early as we're going to be closed from the 20th to the 29th of December. Speaking of Christmas, Santa brought me this a little early:

Cocus Glens, full ivory, in immaculate condition - and the SOUND!

NEW PRODUCTS: The long awaited Donald MacDonald Manuscript Book 1 is finally here, at a mind-numbing $109.95, but still worth it for the scholarship it contains; also the new 'Essential Tunes Book II,' $29.95 with CD; and William Donaldsons 'From Broadsheet to Broadband,' 200 tunes and more on CD for $17.95, a great deal.

HIGHLAND DRESS DEPORTMENT DEPARTMENT: This month's tirade is on kilt jackets.There's a lot to choose from.

Daywear Jackets - are of tweed for informal wear, cutaway in the front, with flap pockets, shoulder straps, and horn buttons. With gauntlet cuffs it's an Argyle jacket; with mariner cuffs it's a Braemar, and with plain cuffs it's a Crail. These should be worn with a waistcoat and a regimental, association, or figure tie, not with a tartan tie. For formal day wear a black barathea Argyle pattern jacket with cloth or silver buttons is correct, as is the new Highland Morning jacket marketed by Sharp & Co, worn properly with a dove-grey waistcoat and tie.

Informal wear, pseudo-reenactor wear - there are a number of jacket/jerkin types out there, the petain, the ones with open floppy sleeves, and so on. They're fine for a Games but don't wear one to a formal dinner.

Evening wear: there's a lot more than a Prince Charlie out there. I won't go into my rant about PC's - just suffice it to say I don't really like them. I prefer a Regulation doublet, with Argyle cuffs and tashes (see our Custom Tailoring page), or a Sherrifmuir, with tartan waistcoat and jabot, to the ubiquitous Prince Charlie. There are many other choices - Montrose or Kenmore, both worn closed with jabot, an evening Argyle jacket (a little too plain for me), and Mess Jackets for the military, with facing waistcoats. There are others as well - some of the outfitters are making reproductions of Highland coats from the 18th and 19th centuries, in striking colours. Yes, black is NOT the only colour for an evening coat!

Until next month - email me what you'd like to hear about!

Black Part Speaks:


Well...Trying to revive the Southern Branch is a major undertaking.  There is a bank account at CALNATIONAL Bank with just under a thousand dollars in it, that requires Kevin Blandford's signature to remove and use any of these funds.  But Kevin has been DEAD for what?  TWOYEARS!!!  To get the bank to remove Kevin's signature requires an official copy of his Death Certificate from San Bernardino County.  The county will release offical copies only to the next of kin.  Kevin's parents are both in Tennessee, and his Mom has sufured a recurrance of cancer.  Not likely that we'll get an official copy of the Death Certificate for sometime, and IF we do lets hope its in time before the State of California takes the funds from this now dormant account.  This is a situation that should have been taken care of immediately after Kevin's death. The elected officers of the Southern Branch did NOT perform their duties in this instance.  Nor have any of them, with the exception of the Treasurer, Roger Leachman, done anything since. These people are all DEADWOOD that needs to be stacked up ignited and burned to ashes. It has been said that I'm perhaps to much of a LIGHTNING ROD to have taken on this task.  It has also been said of Gary Speed that he is a Lightning Rod as well.  Roger Leachman, the Southern Branch Treasurer asked to be replaced.  I, as Acting President of the Southern Branch, made Gary Speed the Treasurer under an interim appointment.  I did this because Gary is a member of the Southern Branch, and he lives in Tucson, Arizona which is where the Treasurer of the WUSPBA, Scotty Dean lives.  Gary has been asked to bring our financial statements into the same conformance with those that Scotty Dean has, and to have a financial statement ready for presentation at the upcoming Southern Branch meeting which I have scheduled the same weekend as The Queen Mary Contests.  Gary and I may be Lightening Rods, that's true, but we are also leaders.  Sometimes leaders though that get things done may not be good adminstrators.  For instance, General Patton certainly got things done during WW II.  When his column was stopped and under attack he marched up to the head of the column and shot the two jackasses that him bogged down.  Or General Curtis LeMay who said, "We'll bomb them [the Japanese] back into the Stone Age", and proceeded to do that.   Both were great leaders.  But as President of the U. S......WHOA!  So...If members of the Southern Branch elect someone else as President and Treasurer, so be it.  But there will be elections because Gary Speed and I have stepped up to insure there will elections.  We are NOT the problem, we are the SOLUTION to the problem(s).

Ol' Black Part AKA John Eric Partanen, Ph.D. WUSPBA member number 0193PP

(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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