So the Boat has come and gone, with a real Gr I contest between Oran Mor and LA Scots; comments from Black Part below. Woodland will be upon us in less than two months, and, before that, Lost Wages will see the LA Scots in battle with the SFU juggernaut. Best of luck to Colin, Scott, and the rest of the LA band, who have a great sound.

After about a month of running back and forth we have completed our move and are in process of setting up the workshop and settling into our new digs. We hope that the new location will be good for business and all that...stop by when you can and we'll give you the nickel tour. The end of all our running around also means that the monthly column WILL appear every month, news or no....

NEW PRODUCT DEPT.: The Saul Tuner, the ultimate tool for tuning both chanter and drones while playing, $350. This is an exceptional, perfectly calibrated tuner for solo or band playing. Expensive, yes, but worth it for the professional and serious amateur.

ALSO please take note of our new FAX number: 510-636-1680. If you're leery of emailing credit card info this is the way to go - or you can just call me at 510-569-1689 as usual....



My good friend and fellow Jacobite Chip Robinson died of brain cancer on February 3rd in Ocala, Florida. Less than four years ago he had retired there from a technical career in Hollywood, having worked on such notable films as 'Titanic.'

Chip was born into a military family; his father had been Gen. John J. Pershing's Adjutant, and Chip served with distinction in the Coast Guard in Vietnam. Over the years he had pursued several careers, including that of Veterans' Ombudsman in LA, driving the honeywagon, generator truck, and limos for film productions, rigging gags and special effects, and, latterly, as Huey pilot for the AAHA airshows on the east coast.

I first met Chip and his wife Patti over twenty years ago at the Costa Mesa Games, during the heyday of the White Rose Society, and I soon regarded, and still regard him as one of my best friends in this world. He was always ready with a joke or a story, lend a helping hand, solve a mechanical problem, or think up something insane to do (I'll never forget the Playboy Bunnies in the Navion flyby). Chip also had the dubious distinction of having served as Best Man at my wedding - TWICE, and, as the only pilot in the WRS, he held the rank of Air Commodore of the Jacobite Air Force. I'll never forget the look on his face when I showed up one day with Karen in tow and said, "Hi, Chip, we're here to kidnap you.' The photo at left was from the wedding in the garden of the Santa Barbara courthouse, all parties kilted.

Chip was one of the more accomplished aircraft pilots around, licensed to fly just about anything - with or without wings - and certified as an airframe and power plant inspector by the FAA. One of the loves of his life was his L-17 Navion that had been MacArthur's personal aircraft when Military Governor of Japan. Its many crashes and rebuilds were the topic of conversation over many years of enduring friendship. Its final demise in Kingman, Az., eleven years ago saw the end of an era - almost. Before long he had bought another Navion, and was still in the process of restoring it when he was diagnosed with brain cancer a year ago. Chip was, first and last, a pilot - and a fine one. Whether patrolling for fires in the LA area or flying dustoffs in a Huey at airshows he was the consummate aviator - meticulous in his maintenance and a little crazy in his flying. He is survived by his wife Patti, his daughter Polly, and his hundreds of friends across the country.

I won't be able to play at his memorial next month in Florida, but I will record the following tune to be played there, along with the march I wrote for Chip years ago which can be seen HERE. The title comes from something my friend Ron Schutte said when he heard of Chip's passing - 'When I look at clouds, I'll think of him.'

I will, too. Farewell, old friend. I wish you fair winds and following seas on your last voyage with the Coast Guard.


Well the '09 Contest season is underway, with successful contests having been held at the Queen Mary and in Phoenix.  Upcoming contests are Bakersfield, April 4th, and Las Vegas, April 10, 11, and 12th.  The Las Vegas contests should be great this year with SFU coming down to give the LA Scots a GRADE I contest as good or better than the one at the Boat where we had Oran Mor, North America's newest Grade I band.  I hope to seeyou all at the upcoming contests.

Now what's this I be hearin' 'bout a North American Pipe Band?  Supposed to be a Grade I band as well!  Pipe section founders include "Big" Huey Elder, Glen Thompson, and Stevie Megarity.  Haven't heard much from the Drum section, but that may be a comment better held for an Ensemble Score Sheet.  Attracting all may die as soon as the Beer Money runs out!  Keep a sharp eye out for more on this Mateys!

And NOW....Since the Southern Branch of the WUSPBA has new Bylaws that allows absentee balloting by its members, it can no longer be said...."There is no such thing as an Absentee Ballot in the WUSPBA!"  Rationale here is that if absentee balloting can work in the Southern Brnch, which will involve all or most of the members in the workings, than Absentee Ballotting can be made to work for the rest of the WUSPBA.  I hope the UTAH JUNTA be a gettin' this message!   AHRRRGH!

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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