Thursday, March 1, 2012

Being Pipe Major

Atholl Highlanders of Stone Mountain
You are the Captain, skipper, commander of a proud ship, the band. You have to direct the helm and set the course and the watch. You make sure that ship’s maintenance is kept up, holds full, rigging sound, decks clear, and you have to listen to the crew. Your appointee’s are the watch; your drummie may be the figurehead on the bow. The wind in your sails is the music of the pipes and drums. It’s great to be making headway and music!

You also have to know when to let go and turn the helm over. If all you can do is steer the band into storms, conflicts or wind up in the doldrums without a trace of movement; it’s time to let someone else captain her.

If you are tired of all the crew’s squabbles, are ready to hang a few from the yardarm or make them walk the plank; you need to become maybe the ship’s cook, carpenter, able-bodied seaman or get your own schooner and go sail solo. You don’t want to be the one that runs her aground or up on the reef.

Right now, we’re putting on sail; the waters are clear, deep and the winds are freshening, and our ship’s compliment is a good one. Our destination? New tunes, new waters, new friends and landfalls, but it’s always forward and the second star to the right.

Pipe Major Evan Kohler-Camp