The History of Scotland

In my collection of characters, this has to be one of my favorites. I had traveled to Gainsborough, England, for the 10th anniversary festival of the Friends of American Old Time Music and Dance in February, 2004. We spent the whole weekend in this school building, playing tunes and drinking Newcastle ’round the clock. The most memorable jam for me took place in a tiny closet-type room, but at one point during that jam, I was lured out into the hall by this quite tall, quite hairy man. I’m not sure how we got onto the topic of Scotland, me and this guy, but I suppose in the interest of making pleasant conversation, I mentioned to him that my brother-in-law’s last name was Galbraith. Well off he goes into the big long story (about ten minutes, actually) about the vikings, with heads and tails on their ships…. This whole animated, drunken middle-of-the-night history lesson, with Appalachian old time music as the soundtrack… Both brilliant and bizarre.

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