by Nick Williams
When I was ten my mother was insistent that I play an instrument. Tried violin, guitar, and even a short stint in chorus. Nothing seemed to suit me . Then one evening my mom threw a crazy party and her friend Bob Penland brought his pipes. The sound touched my soul. This was what I wanted to play. It was the most amazing sound. Now, grant you, the instrument has to be in the hands of a competent player. Bagpipes can sound awful if you are not properly trained and your instrument has to be given the attention as though it is your wife if you want it not to argue with you!. I fell in love with the pipes. Let's just say the practices in the living room as I was learning would clear the house, and the immediate neighborhood.
Years later I was walking on Furman's Campus and thought this place would be a great location for a highland games, the view of Paris Mountain in the background, the close location to my house. Seven years ago Dee and I, over some fajitas, decided to do it. Let's bring the Scottish Highlands to Greenville. Be careful, be verrryy careful, what you say around Dee Benedict. She will make things happen. We have never looked back. I hope you enjoy the Piping and Drumming competitions and the sounds captures your soul as it has me.
The greenville scottish games
All day Saturday, May 24th at Furman University!
We created the Games in 2006 as a tribute to and a celebration of our Celtic forebears. The colors, tastes, sights and sounds you will experience are all evocative of clan life in the wild Highlands of Scotland. The Athletic competition is drawn from the warrior traditions at ancient clan gatherings, as is the Highland Dancing competition, albeit considerably more evolved from the original warlike expressions of victory over defeated enemies. Pipers from all across the South will remind you vividly of how the Great Highland War Pipes were an integral part of every Scottish clan marching into battle. The crafts – from the weaving of tartans to the Axe Throwers – would have been all around you at a Gathering of the Clans from long ago.
Children visiting our Games will have their own miniature Scottish village, called Wee Scotland. There is not another like it, as far as we know, at any other Scottish Games in the country. They will have their own crafts, athletic events, “mountains” to climb, and much more, all the while absorbing a bit of the culture that settled our region.