I now live in and am also a loyal and true citizen of the United
States of America, a country that's made up of native born
Americans and immigrants from every country on the
globe. Civilized countries with strong ties like the United
Kingdom and the United States recognize the need to grant each
others citizens the rights of dual nationality. (Because, when
we spread our wings, get married and fly away, that doesn't change the status of our mother or our motherland.)
The United Kingdom is a conglomerate of nations that for
political reasons is comprised of Scotland, England, Wales and
Northern Ireland. Scottish law is different from English
law and there is no such thing as a Scottish or an English
passport although I hear that this may be about to change.
All of the people who are part of this consortium are called
British. I've never felt that I was born anything but
Scottish and I believe this sentiment is shared by all Scots who were born in the beautiful
country of Scotland, regardless of where fortune and
circumstance would take us. No
doubt the same feeling for the land of their birth
goes for those who were born in England, Wales and Northern
Ireland and for that matter those who were born in whatever was
their country of origin.
(Which is why the President of a country should be native born
in that country.)
Now at the request of my native American born grand daughter I pull aside the curtain and roll back the clock for
her to learn about her roots and the land and some of the values
of the people who were her ancestors and the "Pictish stoor" that begat me, her grandfather; to find
out about my mystic utopia and my Shangri-La, as I recall
for her the
wonderful days of my youth when with carefree abandon I roamed
Scotland's hills and its beaches, I sailed the sea, I climbed the
cliffs at Earlsferry and where on a tiny island in the sea I found
what always has been and always will be,
my special place.
all have seen the relatively authentic movie Braveheart about
the Scottish fight for independence and freedom and of how for
his effort the Scottish freedom fighter, William Wallace was
executed. Then as a warning to others not to emulate him, his
adversaries mutilated his body by chopping it into pieces that
were displayed around the country. True, that savage act
happened seven hundred years ago and this is a different time
but lest we forget, at an early age, the "Scots,
wha hae wi' Wallace bled", story of Wallace's fight for freedom is
burned into the heart and brain of every Scottish child.
enlightening book about medieval Scotland is "William
Wallace-- Champion of
Scotland." The author is Margaret Wallace. The
publisher of this book is Goblinshead of Musselburgh, Scotland.
the early immigrants to the colony that later became the United States were of
Scottish ancestry and those men and women played a large part in the
drafting of what became the constitution of the United States of
America as so declared by Thomas Jefferson on July the 4th in the year 1776.
Scotsman who inadvertently speeded up the process of the United States becoming
independent from Britain was Earlsferry's Lieutenant William Duddingston
who was the commander of His Majesty's ship, HMS Gaspee. In 1772
the Gaspee was assigned to patrol duty in Narragansett Bay, Rhode
Island. By the lieutenant's overly zealous harassment of the
merchants, the colonists captured the
Gaspee, set it on fire and
so destroyed His Majesty's ship. This event is considered to be the
colonists' first blow for freedom which four years later culminated in the 1776
Declaration of Independence. For reasons known only to the
Admiralty, Lieutenant Duddingston was later promoted to the rank of
Rear Admiral. He died on the 27th of October 1817 at his
Green home in Earlsferry, my home village. Another Scot of his era
and man of the sea was John Paul Jones who is recognized as being the father of the
United States Navy.
All dressed up on my 90th birthday.
I am now past my 91st birthday.
A light snow has fallen and the sun is shining just as it was
on that first day in Earlsferry so