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Grandfather Mt. Games - Long

Cousins and friends:
In more ways than one, we had a blast at the Grandfather Mt. Highland
Games in North Carolina, Thursday, July 11 - Sunday, July 14.  Let me
assure you that Clan Sinclair was well represented and it was an honor
for me just to be in the presence of such a group.  Read on ......
If you attended the Stone Mt. Games "Sinclair" banquet last fall, you
will certainly remember Mary Susan Sinclair (Tennessee) performing for
us with her dancing.  Of course, Mary Susan is not only a local
champion, winning at numerous events, but among her awards she has won
the Atlantic International Championship.  This year she walked away with
top finishes, including Dancer of the Day at Grandfather Mt.  We are all
proud of you Mary Susan!
Chris St. Clair, our heavy athletics performer, also continues to do
very well.  Again, using Stone Mt. last year as a reference point, Chris
was the overall winner for the second time in the amateur class.  Chris
moved up to the Professional class this year and said that the
competition was fierce, he learned a lot, and finished strong at
Grandfather Mt. 2002.   He hopes to compete at Stone Mt. again in the
fall.  If anyone has any connections (hint, President Donald L.
Sinclair), we need to make sure that he is invited, as a pro this time).
You may not *yet* know Ron Sinclair of Marion, North Carolina.  Let me
tell you, he was there and in a very modest, unassuming way (not
necessarily characteristic of the Clan), he made himself known.  For
those who don't know Ron, he is a fine man and a pleasure to talk with.
Ron sang the National Anthem both Saturday and Sunday mornings and
performed at the Ceilidh on Friday and Saturday nights.  He has a
beautiful voice, range, and style.  On Sunday, we had many people stop
by the Sinclair Tent wanting to buy "one of his CDs".  Ron hasn't cut a
CD.  I think that I'll see if I can be his agent!
So, as you can see, the Sinclairs were represented with class and in an
excellent manner.  We still need to work on the tug-of-war. (grin)
Seriously, we can all be proud of these performers as they have excelled
in their fields.
Ok, speaking of "fields" .... it was an interesting trip.  We arrived on
Thursday, July 11, got settled, and proceeded to McRae Meadows for the
Torchlight ceremony.  I get chills thinking about it.  Well, perhaps for
a different reason this year.  It was cold, and did I say breezy?  A
front was moving through and this old southern boy was chilled!  When
granddaughter Kailey (4 years old) started turning blue, ... well, we
decided to leave.  It was 8:00pm and it would be an hour or so before
the ceremony started.  Drat! ...and I had my lines down pat.  Friday was
cool and windy and the crowd was light.  We had some friends and clan
reps that we had met at other games stop by the tent.  Friday was mostly
preliminary events and set up.  We got our banner, new flag, etc., set
up and ready for Saturday.  (Note: Thanks to Lisa Burns and Sara
Stribling for *making* the flag (engrailed cross)!  Lisa and Sara
attended Berrie's birthday event back in May and also brought many
photos that were shared during the Games!).  
Lynne and I attended the Sponsor's banquet on Friday night and had a
great time.  She said that she enjoyed my singing, as we danced to some
of the 60's-70's music, but cautioned that she wasn't sure if the others
on the dance floor enjoyed it very much.  Huh, what do they know!
Friday, July 12 was also our 32nd wedding anniversary.  Isn't she lucky
that I took her to the Grandfather Mt. Games and to the Banquet?  The
pipe and brass band, dancers, and dance band were super, as was Alex
Ready for Saturday?  We thought that we were ready for Saturday.  Up at
5:00am and at McRae Meadows by 6:15am.  A mist was in the air and it was
pretty chilly with a light breeze.  I quickly set up and continued, for
the first hour or so, to wipe the "mist" from the display.  Then it
started to rain, and rain, and rain, with intervals of "light rain" and
an occasional, brief, break from the rain.  The fog later rolled in and
at times we couldn't see the field from our tent.  Chris St. Clair said
that it was about that bad *on* the field as he competed.  By the time I
covered the tables, things were pretty wet.  Then I noticed that the
laminated photos were coming loose from the display boards.  There were
comments that the day might well be a typical day in Scotland!  The Clan
stuck together (almost literally) until about 4:30pm and we packed
everything and left for the motel to dry out.  Then it was off to the
Ceilidh to hear Ron Sinclair and boy, are we glad that we did!
Sunday forecast?  Light rain in the morning and "steady" rain to follow!
Hmmmm.  The forecast for Saturday had been partly cloudy with scattered
thunderstorms and we got rain all day.  Perhaps the forecasters would be
wrong again.  We packed everything and headed back to McRae Meadow.
What a nice day it turned out to be!  We had about two minutes of
sprinkles around 9:30am during the Church service.  There was no more
rain for the day at McRae Meadows.  We were very busy as numerous people
stopped by the tent.  You know, more than one person with a Sinclair
connection stopped by and commented that it was good to "feel connected"
to the Sinclair Clan.  In the hustle and bustle of life, it is easy to
forget about this wonderful "connectedness" feeling and sharing of
stories and information.  Those comments made our day as well!
We had about 20 Sinclairs march in the Parade of Tartans and I believe
we had 23 Sinclairs in the group photo on Sunday, including our very own
John Quarterman's brother, David Quarterman and his lovely wife Kathy.
Other Sinclairs were there for the weekend, but you know how it is
getting everyone together!  Ron Sinclair had to leave after performing
the National Anthem; Chris St. Clair and Beth were busy with the
athletics; and Mary Susan Sinclair and her family were busy with the
dance competition; and there were others ......
With all of the fun, meeting those in our "family", those interested in
the Sinclairs, showing the photos and talking about Rosslyn chapel,
Girnigoe/Sinclair castles, Prince Henry, Knights Templar, and meeting
and sharing with other clans was super and all that it was supposed to
be......  but, there was still something missing.  There was something
missing that I could feel deep down in my gut.  Our past President, Brad
Sinclair Barker and and his lovely wife Sindy were not in attendance.  I
had received an e-mail earlier that they would not be able to attend
this year due to some family travel but it really hit me as I was having
lunch on Sunday, just as I had the previous year with Brad ..... when I
thought about the two people who really introduced me to Clan Sinclair.
Brad and Sindy who were there to answer my many questions and offer
encouragement.  Brad and Sindy ... we miss you and hope to see you next
year if not sooner.  
As usual, I'll post some photos on my web site as soon as I can, for
those interested.  The rain and "compressed" Sunday kept the camera in
it's case for much of the trip.
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT:  The Charleston, South Carolina Games are
September 21 
http://www.charlestonscots.com/csghg/   This is a small, relaxed,
friendly games at the beautiful, historic Boone Hall Plantation.  Come
spend the weekend in historic Charleston and attend the Games on
I hope to see many of you at the Stone Mt. Games in October.  
Yours Aye,
Mel of South Carolina
Mel Sinclair
Commissioner, North-South Carolina
Clan Sinclair Association Inc., USA
h <http://www.clansinclairsc.org/> ttp://www.clansinclairsc.org