Grandfather Mountain Highland Games!

Sometimes it hard to know just where to begin a story, so I think that I will just begin at the beginning and hopefully wind my way through to a proper end.

It starts with a trailer, our road shows always start with a trailer! We loaded up our 18 foot monster, filled with many suitcases and coolers along with a few things to sell, once again talked Jonny into hauling it for us with his HUGE pick-up truck and off we all went! Eight of us for this show, it takes all of us to put up the displays, put up the stock, take orders and this trip, give a couple of lectures at the Games.

We arrived on a Wednesday and soon had the sound of iron ringing in our ears as two teams pounded in our iron clothing racks. I use so much steel boning in some of my dresses and all of my corsets, that iron is the only thing that can keep it held up! Kelsey caused a mad rush of men offering to hold the ladder while she hoisted our sign to the top of the tent. By mid day, of the next afternoon, all of the pretty belts, jackets, dresses, vests, corsets, hoops and the rest were in their proper places. The weather looked stormy, as it often does on the mountain, but only a light sprinkle touched the top of the tent.

And then we were slammed! A rush of ladies that needed new outfits for the parade, for their clan dinners, men that needed to upgrade their look, children who wanted to play with the hoops, they all came! We wrote up custom orders for 25 people as items flew off the racks. Everyone was very polite as we experienced the usual technical glitch with credit cards. Why something always has to go wrong no matter what precautions that you take is beyond me!

The storm came, truly the wind, some have a notion it was a tornado, late Friday night. The wind was clocked at 85 miles an hour and it blew a tent to smithereens just 50 feet from us. Our stock blew out, some of it did, I can't say what did for sure as wonderful crafts people gathered it up and put it back inside the tent! Security then came round and lashed down our tent. By the time we all got up there that night, there was nothing to take care of as our neighbors had taken care of everything for us! This is just one little story that shows the true camaraderie of a highland games and why we love it there so much!

I gave two lectures in the Living History "Cultural Village" this year. One was how to "Wear The Great Kilt," with Jonny ably demonstrating on our model, Clifton, how it is done. Next, I did a talk "Bum Rolls to Hoops, Whats A Girl To Do," this was our 1750 strip tease thanks to Jamie as our "everyday girl," and Kelsey as our "court lady." We had standing room only of over 200 people each lecture and I did this every day for three days. I had some people come to the same lecture multiple times! We had a great time and enlightened many people.

The final highlight was meeting and having our pictures taken with the actor Graham MacTavish, who plays Dougal on Outlander. It was just the icing on the cake, although it left Millie weak at the knees , and had Jamie running after him for a photo. 

We spent our last night celebrating! We headed off to Stephen and Sylvia's ceilidh. They throw the best party on Sugar Mountain! We stuffed ourselves with pizza and had our favorite adult beverage ,while Bill played bodhran with a great group Piper Jones on the deck. All of us came back with lots of great memories. Thank you to our excellent crew - Millie, Kelsey, Jonny, Jamie, Jerralyn and Sara! We couldn't do it without you all! Our house reservations are already made for next year, and we can't wait to go back!


Virginia Watson