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Scottish Southerners: A Scottish Festival in Alabama

Over the weekend, my family went to a local Scottish festival. To them, it was just a nice Saturday morning outing. For me, it was a lomographic opportunity!

Photo by joefrank

People love history. They’re fascinated by it. But to many, what is even more fascinating than just plain old history is ancestral history. When you trace your family line back to find out that your ancestors were present during important events, history seem to take on a whole new level. Watching Braveheart and seeing the Scotsmen storm the fields of Bannockburn is a rousing experience, but when you add to that the idea of some of those men being related to you, it just makes it even better.

When you think of Alabama, you probably think of rednecks and people passing each other on the street hollering “roll tide” at the top of their lungs. Now picture this: a large, well-built man with a goatee, wearing a red plaid kilt and knee-high socks with gaudy yellow flames up the sides, picking up a large pole and heaving it with all his might in the Scottish “caber-toss.” These are the types of things that met my eye over the weekend. It was an interesting phenomenon, to say the least.

One experience was particularly memorable. While we were watching the Scottish games, I noticed some sheep on the other side of the field. I thought it’d make a great picture, so I walked over to them. I was using a 28mm wide-angle lens, and I wanted to get as close as possible so they wouldn’t just be white specks in the frame. After getting a few shots, I turned around and began to walk back. But as I was walking, some people started yelling “behind you!” I turned around to see the small herd running towards me, being led by an amazing Border Collie. The sheep came close enough to allow me to get some great shots of them, then just as I was about to be stampeded, I heard a sharp whistle from the owner of the dog. The dog responded by reversing the direction of the sheep, and they marched right back to the spot they came from.

Over all, it was a great experience. I got to try a Scottish Beef Bridie (which I had never heard of), hear some live Scottish Punk music, and had a great opportunity to use some of my beautiful Fuji Velvia slide film. Watch out for small festivals like this in your local area – they can offer some great photo opportunities.

written by joefrank

4 comments

  1. neanderthalis

    neanderthalis

    Totally dig the furry cattle.

    almost 2 years ago · report as spam
  2. dollymixture

    dollymixture

    Great article. I'm really interested to find out more about why this festival came about? What is the history between Scotland and Alabama? I love highland cattle too : )

    almost 2 years ago · report as spam
  3. megzeazez

    megzeazez

    I really love the colors in your photos! So beautiful.

    almost 2 years ago · report as spam
  4. joefrank

    joefrank

    Thanks for the comments! @dollymixture: I should have included more of the history of Alabama, but I forgot! Apparently, a lot of Scots and Scots-Irish settled in the South back in the day. The town that this festival is close to is even called Scotsboro, AL. It's just a part of their heritage that they're proud of, and I guess this festival is a time when they can get together with their clansmen who share that pride. I can't say that was the reason I was there, but that was kind of the spirit I picked up on while I was there :)
    almost 2 years ago · report as spam

Where is this?