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Grandfather Mountain Games
Avery County, North Carolina
1999 Games
Thanks to Michael Craig for this information
Click on images to see the larger picture!

Opening Saturday
"Opening Saturday"    The clouds were still cranky that day, having dropped rain onto the assembled gathering off and on for most of the morning.  Still, the enthusiasm of the kilted throng was strong.   You could hear the pipers and drums warming up around MacRae Meadow for the Scots were not to be denied! Come fair winds or fowl, the 44th Grandfather Mountain Games were going to unfold.
Highland Band
"Highland Band"    Scots are made of stern stuff indeed, ignoring the mist and gloom the band being to play.  And shortly after they did... the sun peered through the clouds, maybe just to see what was going on?   And who could blame him if he did, for the drums rolling off the surrounding mountain sides and the sound of the pipes stirred the very soul.
Clan Carmichael
"Clan Carmichael"   A couple of well turned out lads, who like many that manned their clan's tent were enthusiastic about their Scottish Heritage.
Clan Couples
"Clan Couples"  One of the visual treats of the games were the number of Scots turned out in their clan tartans.   A wholesome family oriented gathering, the games gave many the opportunity to discover the arts and culture from whence you came.
Clan Road
"ClanRoad"   Spreading around the meadow in a great circle were the Clan Tents.   What an adventure to view the proud tartans, motto's and coat of arms of the individual clans and their septs.  As you met with your kinsmen and delved into their history, it was amazing at how easy the converstation flowed, as if you had know them all your life.
ClanTents.jpg (62298 bytes)
"ClanTents"  Oh the stories told and tales remembered as the clan reunited once again. These gentleman seem to be having a grand time indeed.
"GrandFather"  Here are the games at their height on Saturday.   As you can see the weather is as capricious as ever. Grandfather Mountain rises in the background over the meadow.  You can almost make out the mile high suspension bridge stretching from peak to peak.
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"Pipers"   These fine gentlemen took time to let me make this picture. Their handsome attire was only exceeded by their pleasant manner and gift with the pipes.
Scottish Gentleman
"Scottish Gentleman"  A fine as example of a genteel Scotsman as you could ask for. We had a grand little chat about his recent trip back to the highlands.
Hay Toss
"Hay Toss".   One of the traditional Scottish competitions, calling for some tremendous strength to send a bale flying high in the air.
"Wrestlers"    This was as we say: "the Real Deal".  No gimmicks, no scripts.  All a contestant could wear was a kilt and the only cushion was mother earth.   When these powerful lads hit the ground, the mountain shook.
"Shotput"    I am not sure that "shot put" is the proper terminology as it looked and weighed more like a cannon ball to me.
Marathon Runner
"MarathonRunner"  One of the runners in this grueling contest coming down to the finish line.  This race is ranked as one of the toughest. Not only is there the distance involved but it's straight up the mountain side!
"Dancers"   After their competition, this band of lass's received their
Wee Piper
"WeePiper"  This brave young lad hung in there with the big lads through out the entire routine, even though his kilt almost didn't.
"Lass"  And while there was many a dashing male, sporting his kilt,
there were a number of bonny ladies as well.  As usual, their dress was more varied and individualized than their male counterparts.
Band Master
"BandMaster"  A candid shot of the master of the band, Lt. Col. (retired) Franz David Cone. He serves as the Games Commissioner, Piper & Historian for Clan Campbell Society (NA).
Seven Nations
"SevenNations"  With a fusion of Celtic and Rock music, this band was quiet the draw. They performed under a tent nestled at the bottom of a natural bowl where they worked their magic.  I had not heard them before but when the pipes starting blowing the audience came to their feet and when the fiddle player let loose they started swaying, but then he cut loose with a devil of a jig, burning that fiddle up all the while and the crowd roared and the energy never stopped.  It was a sight to see, little ones in diaper's and elder's leaning on canes...all mesmerized with songs that cut the age gap to a pile of sawdust.
Exit Gate
"ExitGate"  Bidding farewell to Saturdays' Festivities.   A half hour
later, Thor and his Hammer let loose another storm.
The Craigs
"The Craigs"   The photographer and his wife aboard the Norwegian Tall Ship "Sorlandet"   Questions and comments can be sent to:
"Spectators"  My lovely wife and sister waiting for the band.
A member of the Kennedy clan
A member of the Kennedy clan



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