Saturday, October 07, 2006

Kirkin' o' the Tartan

I used to work in an office. It was a fun office, full of crazy wacky and clever folks. Working for D&T in Glasgow opened my eyes to all sorts of stuff about the world.

Just before I left Glasgow for Princeton in September, I bumped into one of my old D&T colleagues. He was a guy who left D&T to travel the States with his girlfriend selling shoes at Scots Highland conventions. Seriously! At the time we were told there was a market for this kind of thing. People just lapped up the traditional Scottish Highland dress thing, and, if you are going to wear a kilt, you need the right kind of shoes, right?

I thought about Nick yesterday as I read an invitation to preach in South Carolina, at a Kirkin' o' the Tartan event. The invitation came through the seminary. A former student was looking for 'a real Scot' to speak at an event in his church. Apart from Prof Torrance, I'm the only real Scot here, at least among the student population.

Yikes! I've been here one month, and already I'm buying into the whole thing! A funny little providence makes all this seem appropriate. I'm at PTS through the Peter Marshall Bursary scholarship, set up between Trinity College, Glasgow, and Princeton Theological Seminary. Peter Marshall was a Scot who came to America as a young man in 1927, became a Presbyterian minister, and ended up as chaplain to the US Senate in Washington D.C. Marshall, to some extent at least, contributed to the Kirkin' o' the Tartan tradition in the States.

So, I'm stepping into the breach, and carrying on the testimony to Scottish pride of place in the US. Jack McConnell can be proud - I just hope I look as good as he did on my own big day in tartan.


flowerstarkles said...

That's the first time I've heard of that! Sounds interesting! I'm sure you'll do great!

Nick said...

Well, well, well. it appears I have followed your digital trail. Can't say i've ever tried Irn-bru, but I do look forward to it!