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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Sunday, September 15, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Night 50° Clear

Editor's notes

A man and his kilt

 

 

 

 

DUMBARTON, Scotland — I wore a kilt on Sunday. Not many Indiana-bred men are likely to do this, even in this sophisticated age.

I’m back in the United Kingdom for my fifth visit in the last 20 years. I signed up to take part in a six-mile Kiltwalk, an annual event to raise money for charities in Scotland. Someone of Scottish ancestry needs to wear a kilt to make the most of the walk experience, right?

  Volunteers had three options for the walk: 22.6 miles, 15 miles and six miles. Being of supposedly sound mind at age 69, I chose the shortest walk. I purchased a dark colored tartan kilt and black knee socks before I left Spokane and tried both on in front of a select audience of one. She approved of the look.

 The longest walk started off in Glasgow, but mine launched from Dumbarton and ended in Loch Lomond, about 15 miles from Glasgow. Getting to Dumbarton was simple, thanks to the UK’s excellent public transit system. My train left from the Glasgow Central Station and delivered me to the walk area in about 30 minutes.

The walk took about 2800 of us into the green countryside with long stretches aside the gently flowing River Leven. The paved pathway reminded me of Spokane’s Centennial trail. The route was mostly flat, the sky remained cloudy but dry and the temperature hovered close to 60 degrees.

Sunday’s walk was the first of four happening this spring and summer with others set for Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh.

 As for wearing a kilt, I was hardly alone. I found it quite comfortable, actually, and felt proud to follow Celtic tradition. The wind only lifted the kilt one time and I promise no children were in the vicinity. 

Upon returning to Glasgow by 2 p.m., I stopped by the bar closest to my BnB for a celebratory Scotch. The Waterloo is a gay bar, no matter to me. The bartender told me I had nice legs, so there’s that. One of the women patrons, seeing my Kiltwalk shirt and cap, thanked me for volunteering. A man outside the door of the BnB congratulated me on doing the walk. I appreciated the good vibes.

Walkers were invited to designate a charity of their choice if they were willing to  seek donations. I chose the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Scotland in memory of my daughter Kelly, who died from complications of the disease when she was just five months old. I was extremely surprised and pleased that my network of friends on Facebook donated nearly $600 to the cause. I will be forever grateful.

 

 

 

 

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Editor's notes