I have two grandchildren, Ian and
Stirling. Both have been taught about their Scottish heritage and are
very aware of Robert Burns. They were thrilled last summer when my wife
Susan, their Bonnie Gran, their parents, our son and daughter-in-law
Scott and Denise, and I took them to Scotland to learn more about the
auld country where their ancestors immigrated from the Isle of Jura off
the coast of Argyll in the mid-1750s.
I recently purchased a coffee table book
entitled A Celebration of Scotland by Janice Anderson with
photography by David Lyons and placed it on a table in our great room.
One day while Ian was visiting with us, I noticed him standing at that
table thumbing through the book. He turned to me and exclaimed, “Papa,
this is a picture of Robert Burns and his home we visited last summer”.
He never turned another page in the book, leaving it open to the two
pages of Burns and the auld clay biggin’.
Here in this house where there are over a
thousand books on Burns and other writings about him including
magazines, chronicles, articles, speeches as well as pictures, busts and
Mauchline ware, that was a special moment for me, and to this day that
book remains open as he left it. Maybe one day I’ll close it, but not
This is a wee story about Ian and a
recent school assignment from his teacher at Hickory Flat Elementary
School in Canton, Georgia, an hour’s drive from our home in north
Georgia. I’ll let Denise, his mother, herself a school teacher, describe
class read a story about food from a different country. Mrs. Sims
(his teacher) asked the class to select an ethnic group and make a menu
of daily specials. Ian immediately said that he would make a menu
of Scottish food. Haggis was the first thing he wanted to put on
the menu. I suggested a few things. He found a picture of
the cranachan dessert in a cookbook and thought it looked good.
They also had to write a few lines about
This is Ian’s menu:
Smoked Salmon Sandwich
Tatties (roasted potatoes)
Scone with butter and jam
Irn Brew (Scottish soft drink
As mentioned above by his mother, Ian
wrote the following to explain his menu. I love his concept of hunting
sheep. Like Scott, his dad, and his Papa, he loves a leg of lamb fresh
off the charcoal grill.
Scottish people eat haggis. It is made from beef, lamb, vegetables, and
oatmeal. There is a lot of salmon in the lochs. It is easy for them to
hunt sheep because there is so many of them on the hillside. They eat a
lot of potatoes.
They bake scones which are kind of like
biscuits. The Scottish people eat lots of shortbread. It is made with
tons of butter. Cranachan is made from oats, yogurt, and raspberries.
They drink hot tea. Irn Brew is really tasty. It is a Scottish orange
By: Ian Shaw
Ian will be ten
years old on June 8th
and he enjoys being the catcher on his baseball team. He was the only
one in the league to catch every pitch for his team this entire season
with the exception of an inning when he became too hot. He also enjoys
taking one-on-one lessons from former major league player Joey Hamilton
who spent eight years with the San Diego Padres and Cincinnati Reds. He
and his sister, Stirling, eight years old, along with their Mom, have
been taking tae kwon do for three years and are beginning the remaining
classes for their black belts. He loves math and chess.
If all of this sounds like a proud
grandfather talking, you can bet the mortgage on your house that I am!
An article on Stirling will follow in the near future. (FRS: 5.20.10)
And here are some pictures...
Left: Ian won 2nd place
in chess today during the chess tournament. Right:
Ian's current baseball card
Left: Ian pictured with school
project on Martin Luther King, Jr. during Black History Month. Right:
Photo from book where Ian found Robert Burns and his home in Alloway.
Left: Ian's school
picture. Right: Ian admiring his first pocket square, a
gift from long-time friend Iqbal Paroo from Kenya
Right: Ian with his sister
Stirling after receiving their black and red belt in tae kwon do.