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Robert Burns Lives!
My Granddaughter, Stirling Shaw

Edited by Frank R. Shaw, FSA Scot, Dawsonville, GA, USA

Stirling modeling her flower girl dress for an upcoming family wedding. Last week I gave you a brief introduction to my grandson, Ian Bascombe Shaw. Today I would like to present to you my granddaughter, Stirling Elizabeth Shaw. Stirling and Ian have both been taught about Scotland and her bard, Robert Burns. They recognize the face of Burns on a coin, a medal, a bust, a statue, or a picture in a book. One day I look forward to them enjoying a more in-depth relationship of the poems and songs of Burns. For now I am content that my ten-year-old Ian and my eight-year-old Stirling know who he is, that he was a poet and songwriter, and more importantly, the significant part he played in the life of Scotland...then and now.

Stirling and Ian, like most brothers and sisters like to tease each other and compete with each other on almost any topic. One morning at breakfast I put some haggis on the table. Ian loves haggis but Stirling not quite as much. Ian says to his father Scott, “Dad, isn’t it true if you are going to be a real Scots person, you have to love to eat haggis.” Scott replies, “Yes, son, you do.” Ian turns to his sister and says, “See, Stirling, you can’t be much of a Scot if you don’t eat haggis”. I then offer Stirling a bite of my haggis which she eats with a slightly perplexing look on her face. Five minutes later, Ian brings the subject up again, and I offer Stirling another small bite of my haggis. She takes and swallows it, looks me right in the eye and retorts, “Papa, I hope you don’t think I’m going to eat this stuff all day!” After everyone laughed, I admit that was the end of that subject.

Here is a wee article I asked Stirling to write for Robert Burns Lives! last weekend when her family was visiting our lake home, Waverley.

“Last year, I went to Scotland.  When I got there, I saw where Robert Burns
was born and died.  I walked to the church and saw his grave.

I am named for the city of Stirling.  It is fun to be named after a city and
castle.  Part of it was closed to be repaired.

While in Scotland, I saw the first Shaw's grave.  His name was Shawmor.  His
grave had six stones on top of it at one time.  Someone threw them into the
river.  Only five of them were found.  Some people say the stones were
cursed.  My family pulled weeds off of his grave.

Jura is where my family came from.  I took a ferry boat to Jura.  I was
surprised that the hotel did not have a TV.  I enjoyed having a cup of
Cadbury hot cocoa before going to bed.

I love Scotland!”

By Stirling Shaw

Stirling (center in white) during one of her soccer matches.  Her coach, Jay McRaney, wrote, "One of the greatest personal rewards this season was the look on Stirling's face when she scored her goal". 

Stirling alludes to a trip the six of us took last year during Scotland’s Homecoming. We did not travel with a group but simply struck out on our own, as a family, flying across the pond, renting a van and taking in as much of the auld country as possible in a week – Edinburgh, Rothiemurchus at Aviemore, (the old Shaw home place), Inverness, Stirling, Glasgow, Jura, (where our branch of Shaws originated), and Dumfries.

When asked how she liked Jura, Stirling told us she would like to live on Jura one day but she would have to be rich so she could afford to have her own television! Jura does have television but the hotel does not. Satellite television is as close to you as the click on your browser. We concluded our trip by traveling to London and Paris for a few nights.

So I was not surprised a couple of weeks ago after one of Stirling’s soccer matches when she asked, “Are we traveling to another continent this summer?” I’m afraid she will have to settle for California in October! Bitsy, as she is known within our family, is bold in her thinking and her imagination is just as big! She enjoys soccer, swimming and is approaching black belt status in tae kwon do for her age group. Stirling is also a creative child and below is a poem she recently wrote as a class project about her hands:

My Hands
By Stirling Shaw

My hands, my hands
I like my hands.
I can put my thumb on my wrist.
My hands remind me
That I am a good drawer.
My hands, my hands
They help me a lot.
If I did not have my hands
I would be lonely.
My hands, my hands.

Stirling Ian

(FRS: 5-27-10)

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