Crossing Borders: Scotland, DNA, Kilts and Knobby Knees

 Dave-and-John-ScotlandMaybe, just maybe the deja vu that I experienced was stamped on my DNA from the lineage of my ancient past. In all my travels, I have never felt more at home then I did while in Scotland. The mystic heather-clad hills of green, the quality of air and light and the faces of Highlanders that looked all to familiar. Perhaps this lineage explains why I took up bagpipe lessons several years ago or when the song Amazing Grace is played on pipes my chest swells with emotions as I try to fight back the tears – which we men try so hard to hide.
On this trip, I learned that my family name (Banks) was first recorded in the 17th century on the Orkney Islands which lies off the northern tip of Scotland. It is where the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean meet and has the fearful reputation as a haven for witches and warlocks. Which may explain when I reached puberty I had a huge crush on Yvonne De Carlo as Lily in the TV show The Munster’s or  Carolyn Jones as Morticia in the Addams Family. Blonde witches just don’t do  it for me, so the attraction must be something in my recorded DNA.                                           Tuir 1
Witches WebFor a week, home was a 200-year-old Scottish Manor Tigh an Tuir in the village of Strathtay
which sits in the heart to Highland Perthshire. On the last evening of my stay in Scotland, I gave myself permission to wear the kilt now that I had Geno connection to Scotland. To the surprise of family and friends my new friend John and I made a grand entrance with a lone piper playing Scotland the Brave. In spite of feeling somewhat awkward in Dave's kneesa kilt bearing my knobby knees, our family and friends seem to enjoy the opportunity to see John and I in skirts. Now, traditionally the kilts is worn without undergarments since their use as part of Scottish military uniform, leading to the creation of such expressions as “going regimental” or “going commando.” During the First World War some Sergeant Majors reportedly had mirrors tied to the end of golf clubs to inspect up and under the kilt at parade inspection. So, a “True Scotsman” is a humorous term used in Scotland for a man wearing a kilt with out underwear but in my case on this very cool evening and with the possibility of serious shrinkage I worn my Calvin Klein. As for my friend John, John and Kyra #2 don’t ask, don’t tell, but I’m sure his wife Kyra will know what wee mysteries lies underneath John’s kilt. Till the morn, guild cheerio the now ! (Till we meet again , good bye!)

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