The Ugly Duckling
There is a child's story about an ugly duckling. Do you remember that one? An old Hans Christian Andersen story, a mother duck hatches all her eggs. Among them is a hatchling considered truly ugly by the other baby ducks and other farm animals. It is different from the others. The ugly duckling is the focus of horrible verbal and physical abuse. But in time, the little ugly duckling grows up to be more beautiful than all its siblings. In fact, the ugly duckling is a full grown swan. Of course, there is much to be learned from this story, but for now, let's just focus on swans because they are part of the MacFarlane history.
(free image from Pixaby)
The majority of swans that you will find in Scotland are the typical white swan. The Black swan is native to Australia, but according to wikipedia, the black swan is now in the UK. Don't ask me how a black swan from Australia made it to Scotland, but let's just roll with it. And THAT brings us to the MacFarlane connection.
There was a story retold in Charles McKinnon's book Scottish Highlanders that a seer foretold of the demise of the MacFarlane chief line. According to the story, when a black swan appeared among all the other MacFarlane white swans in Loch Lomond, the chief would lose everything. The story goes on to tell us that a black swan did actually show up in 1785. Then the 23rd clan chief sold all of Arrochar, the lands that had been in the possession of the MacFarlane line for 600 years. He then emigrated to North America, and that was the end of the chiefly line.
CMW Elections Kick off
It is that time of year again when the Election Committee reaches out to voting members for nominations of names to serve on the Board of Directors. Please expect an email via survey monkey tomorrow, April 1st, asking for a maximum of 3 nominations to serve.
When CMW was started, it was suggested that we have a rotating Board of Directors. We adopted this idea because it keeps fresh ideas coming in to CMW, and won't allow any one individual or group of individuals to have control of our organization. Since inception, this has worked extremely well. As the process goes, nominations are opened on 1 April of every year, and then the nomination period closes on 11 April. This will be true for this year again.
We are an all-volunteer group, so we rely upon those who are willing to serve. Terms are for 3 years. A Board member may run again for an additional 3 years, but then they must sit out at least a year before serving again. Once the Board has been selected, the new members will convene in January of the following year to start the next term. And in January, the Board votes from among the 9 members to place the Executive: the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. And there you have it.
If you are a voting member (yes - this is one advantage of being a paying member, you are a voting member), please consider running for the Board of Directors, or nominate another voting member to serve on the Board of Directors.
CMW is a 501(c)3 corporation, and we are very proud of our ability to provide to our members ongoing information about archaeological discoveries we sponsor, game highlights, geneaology assistance, FtDNA participation, athletic/dance sponsorships, group trips to MacFarlane heritage sites in Scotland (2020), and more. Please consider sharing your time and MacFarlane interest with all of us.
Good Friends and Good Food
I am in New Mexico visiting family. It is a 14-hour drive from our little farm in Kansas to Alamogordo, New Mexico. I normally would drive it non-stop, but I made a very last-minute decision to leave about noon Saturday. So, I reached out to good CMW friend, Sandy McFarland Morgan, and asked if I could park my car in her garage and then I would wander out into Amarillo, Texas to find a hotel room. But Sandy extended an invitation to stay with her.
8 hours later, I drove into their driveway and secured my car in their garage (I was transporting my son's stuff that I really did not want available to the outside viewers). Sandy is an excellent cook, and she held supper until I had arrived. Her corn bread and beefy home-made vegetable soup were just what a traveler needed at the end of a long day. I had 2 bowls of soup while I enjoyed Sandy's banter with me. We discussed all sorts of things about CMW and our own family history research. I travelled extensively for my job, and hotel nights were the norm for me. But there is nothing better than staying in a home with friends.
That said, I will submit to you that there are places that I think I would like to stay, even if they are not with friends. Right? Such as the Turnberry Hotel. I have been toting around a magazine that my cousin, Sally gave me last year. Like most of us, she keeps stuff that she probably doesn't need to keep. This is a May 1986 Gourmet magazine. On the cover of this magazine that has a tag line of "The Magazine of Good Living," is the photo of a piper walking on the grounds. I suppose she thought because there was a man in a kilt with bagpipes, I'd be interested. She was correct.
The article, written by a Lillian Langseth-Christensen, has a facing page of the entire hotel as the backdrop for a golf scene, flag at the hole included. The grounds are spectacular with flowers and shrine to Robert Burns.
What is of particular interest to me in this article is the list of recipes. Scottish Tea Pancakes Turnberry Hotel, Whisky Cake Turnberry Hotel, Poached Peaches with Black Currant Sauce, Marinated Salmon Strips with Green and Pink Peppercorns. Amazingly, I just heard of pink peppercorns while watching a children's bake-off competition on TV.
But if you are an avid golfer, you probably already are familiar with Turnberry. There are 3 golf link courses, a golf academy, a 5-star hotel from 1906 and additional cottages and a lodge. Off the southeast shore is Ailsa Craig, a bird sanctuary for gannets and puffins. The stone on Ailsa Craig has been mined for years for curling (the sport, again, not your hair). The golf course here is where Tom Watson narrowly beat Jack Niklaus in 1977. Dubbed the "Duel in the Sun" the 18th hole on the Ailsa course has now been renamed the same to honor the event.
I am not going to pretend to know anything about Turnberry Hotel other than the opulence, the golf, the food and little more. So instead, I'll provide a link here. Now, don't get your political ire up, depending on what side of the aisle you land upon, but it is now a Trump property. Part of the Trump luxury hotels, I would definetly spend time there if I had the time and money. https://www.trumphotels.com/turnberry So if for no other reason than to enjoy the Turnburry as it has always been, I would invite you to enjoy the link provided to view the gallery of photos: https://www.trumphotels.com/turnberry/weddings Situated on the sea at the Firth of Clyde in South Ayrshire, Scotland, you will not feel cheated clicking through the pictures.
And of course, wikipedia has quite a bit of information about the use of Turnberry during WWI and WWII as an airbase and a hospital for the wounded. So go for the golf, go for the food, the history or just to take in the view. But when in Scotland, you might want to put this on your list of places to visit.
Photo from wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turnberry_(golf_course)