December 2012


This has been a busy year for me, even though Cuillinn Craft has seen very poor sales, thanks to a rotten economy. Few people need pipes and kilts when they're struggling to put food on the table. Now that the election bullshit is over maybe people will spend some money on pipes and kilts instead of funding politicians, which is a foolish proposition at best....

I did a lot of travelling this past year - numerous trips to Santa Barbara, twice to Oregon, and the Great Trek East (version I - curtailed). I also ceased showing at the Pleasanton Games, mainly due to poor returns over previous years, and partially due to the attitude of the new vendor chair there - a real asshole if ever there were one... I got back into black powder in a big way, and starting hanging out with re-enactors again. Who knows, the White Rose Society may even rear its head again, if I can find some people interested in doing it!

There will be some changes on this site; I will be downsizing some, and selling off stock that doesn't move, mainly books and CDs. With so much music available on the net now, both print music and CD sales have plummeted. Hell, if I hang on to this stuff long enough it will achieve 'collectible' status.


I recently emailed Greg Wilson regarding chanter reeds, and at long last it looks like we will be getting some in the near future! I will have 50 EASY reeds when the random factors align....


Ol' Black Part be back on the campaign for Presidency of the Southern Branch. Yes I be running again fer office. Why, one band manager from the Southern Branch asked? Because I care, be my response. The Southern Branch has 24 bands, 200 or more solo competitors, and 10 contests. The Southern Branch geographic area includes Southern California, Southern Nevada, and Arizona.

The only Grade I band in the WUSPBA is the L. A. Scots, and this band sets the standards, high ones indeed, for all other member bands, soloists, and even contest sponsors, as annually they are involved in sponsorship of the Queen Mary Competitions. If all other member bands did half as much as this one band, the WUSPBA would be very different from what we have today.

Now I don't mean to slight any of the other member bands of the Southern Branch. The Pasadena Scots have excellent standards and work with a Charter High School Band, as do the Camerons of San Diego, and the Kevin R. Blandford Pipe Band also works with Glendora High School. The efforts involved here to encourage, and train new pipers and drummers are enormous. Mike Terry at UCR, manages the UCR Pipe Band organization, and along with the excellent piping instruction and guidance provided by Ian Whitelaw has made UCR's program the envy of many. In Arizona there are similar efforts from the Mesa Caledonian Pipe Band, and the Glendale Police Pipe Band.

All of our member bands, all of our solo members strive for excellence. Our contests are all well run. The Southern Branch is the single branch that stands out as usually having more than one WUSPBA Rep on hand to resolve any problems if they arise, and few do, as we are blessed with Contest Sponsors that work closely with us to have their contests. We need to maintain these standards, and that requires leadership at the branch level. I had the opportunity to provide that leadership for 5 years, and I miss doing it, and that is why I'm running again. Representing our member bands, our soloists, and our contest sponsors is an awesome responsibility, and not to be taken for granted or lightly. As President of the Southern Branch, I will bring your interests, your concerns, and your suggestions to the WUSPBA. No one will do as much to represent you as I will, and as I have done in the past. So....I'd be appreciating your vote at the upcoming Southern Branch Elections to be held after the band contests, at the Queen Mary Competitions on February 18, 2013.

If you are unable to attend those contests and still want to vote, (for me or against me), the Southern Branch accepts your absentee ballot. The Southern Branch is the ONLY branch in the WUSPBA that accepts absentee ballots per the Southern Branch Bylaws adopted in 2009. These bylaws are posted under the Southern Branch section on the WUSPBA website for all. They'are the longest continuously posted WUSPBA Branch Bylaws, not by length, as they are very clear and simple, but by length of time posted. I look forward to working with the officers of the Southern /branch, Mr. MacTavish our Secretary, Mrs. Boase our Treasurer, and I hope that Tony Webner will continue to stay with us as we move on into the future to make the Southern Branch the best of the Branches, and the branch that leads the WUSPBA to be all that it can be.

John Eric Partanen, PhD
WUSPBA member # 0193PP
Candidate for President of the Southern Branch of the WUSPBA

Ol' Black Part

(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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