Sunday, August 08, 2004

A Double-Header

I had two weddings on the programme yesterday. The first one was just a short distance away in Long Beach, down by the lighthouse next to Rainbow Harbor. (The lighthouse seen from the sky in this shot.) By the time I arrived there was no parking anywhere near and I ended up in the parking structure belonging to the aquarium. This meant a fairly long walk by the Long Beach Aquarium, down around the fountains and past the new Pierpoint Landing building and up through the park to the wedding site next to the lighthouse. All full of crowds of people - lots of families - enjoying a beautiful summer day. And I remembered again what a great thing it is to be a piper. Show up in a kilt with a stand of pipes and the whole world is your friend. Everyone met my glance and smiled. Every third person said "hi" or "good morning". And I could hear the beginnings of explanations to the little ones about what a piper is and what he's going to do with that bundle of sticks. (I remember years ago carrying my pipes through the Newport Art Festival with some dancers and overhearing a very, very small voice behind me full of awe saying, "Daddy, what is that man in a dress doing with those guns?" Some serious cultural education needed there.) A beautiful day, friendly people, and I got to play some pipe music. And they paid me for it. Life doesn't get any better.

The second wedding went well, too. This time in a Catholic Church rather than next to a lighthouse. This parish has had some problems in the recent past but it gave the impression of a church that has turned the corner. The liturgy was reverent and there were notices a-plenty regarding pro-life activities, parish sponsored and otherwise. There was a weekly holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament for peace and the safety of our military people. Even some catalogues for Ignatius Press. And finally there was a notice for this sponsored by the Legionaires of Christ. Yes, Virginia, there is a Catholic surfing camp.

Hey, it's California, dude. And the heart of "The OC." Chill.