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Beer Tent The general discussion forum, and the place to start a new "beer-tent-like" Piping Related discussion...

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Old 08-20-2020, 10:49 PM   #1
Andrew Lenz
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Default California fires and bagpipes!

We have a massive fire going on in our county. Ash—and the occasional burnt leaf—has been falling constantly for two days both at my home and at my work two miles away.

My piping instructor had to evacuate where he was renting and he’s safe. But he called me and he’d had some things stored at a friend’s house—which burned to the ground. Amongst those things were family heirloom items . . . 100 year old family photos and letters from Scotland. Also lost in the fire were two extra sets of pipes. Including a lovely G&M silver and ivory set that were a gift to him from a late friend. Painful.

One of my staff got off worse, she lost everything that she couldn’t load into her car with 10 minutes warning and the only shoes she now owns are on her feet—her rented home burned up this morning.

48,000 people evacuated, 48,000 acres burning.

My family is not evacuating yet—the fire isn’t that close yet—but we’re prepping. My grandfather's pipes are already by the front door. I seem to be missing my second set (Souter)—maybe it’s at work hiding somewhere buried in my office—but that one is not sentimental.

If it’s not COVID, it’s fire. So crazy.

https://www.santacruzsentinel.com/20...aerial-attack/

Andrew
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Old 08-21-2020, 07:24 AM   #2
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Default Re: California fires and bagpipes!

Sorry to hear that, Andrew. It's not been the best of years, has it. You and your family (and pipes) stay safe!
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Old 08-21-2020, 08:31 AM   #3
EquusRacer
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Default Re: California fires and bagpipes!

Those are heartbreaking stories, Andrew. I'm sure that many who are not in our kind of 'community' would think "They're just instruments" [or photos, or....]. But those of us who are pipers, drummers, etc. understand how irreplaceable--on so many levels--these losses are.

I hope all will be well in your area, as well as everyone else who is in risk of losing homes, businesses and valued personal items. All the best. Michael
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Old 08-21-2020, 09:50 AM   #4
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Default Re: California fires and bagpipes!

In the fires two years ago, (Carr and Camp) two of our pipers lost everything, and several other band members were within a couple blocks of the fires. A friend near Reno came within a gnat's eyebrow of losing her farm and 30 sheep just last week. Scary times...
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Old 08-21-2020, 12:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: California fires and bagpipes!





Our hearts... share with all... for
these great losses borne...

Our hopes... enlarge... for the
lessening... of these travails...





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Old 08-21-2020, 09:06 PM   #6
William McKenzie
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Default Re: California fires and bagpipes!

Andrew thank you for sharing. My close friend grew up in Grass Valley and his parents as of yesterday have been evacuated. My Sister in law has also been asked to evacuate near you in Santa Cruz. Another friend of that same close friend above, she is also preparing to leave.

It's very sad. Please stay safe.
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Old 08-23-2020, 11:00 AM   #7
John Dally
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Default Re: California fires and bagpipes!

If there is a fund set up to help pipers who have lost their pipes in the fire to replace their instruments, please let us know.
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Old 08-23-2020, 09:01 PM   #8
Andrew Lenz
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Default Re: California fires and bagpipes!

William, sorry to hear about your sister-in-law, I hope she’s ok.

My parents and brother evacuated their homes now. The good news is that the weather has been not too windy and fog helps. The fire is now 8% contained and bulldozed firebreaks are now in place. And we are up to 1,300 firefighters working with more coming. The wind shifted and ash has stopped falling at our house today and it’s less smoky. We could open our windows for some fresh(ish) air. It still smells like a BBQ.

Thanks, John, if I hear of anyone losing their only set of pipes, I’ll post here and let people know.

My grandfather’s set is at work now and I played the last two evenings after closing. Last night, I played at the request of one of my staff who had never heard bagpipes live—he was delighted! So was another. She said I should play them at store events. I’m glad them got exposed to a tuned set of pipes! (My grandfather was a very experienced wind musician, but he never had the extra time beyond his community marching band commitments to give the pipes the time they needed to be played well, unfortunately. But had he never bought them, I’d have never learned to play—fate, perhaps!)

Andrew
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Old 08-24-2020, 09:25 AM   #9
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Default Re: California fires and bagpipes!

Andrew, you're a better man than I, playing with smoke around (even if it's diminished, which I'm glad to hear).

A few years ago, our band played at an all-day event on Mt. Hood, when there were fires all around. The combination of altitude and smoke was brutal!! (But we were being paid well!).

On a more positive note, I'm glad to hear that conditions have improved, and progress is being made, even thought little has been contained. We hope all will go well for you and yours. All the best. Michael
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Old 08-25-2020, 07:48 AM   #10
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Default Re: California fires and bagpipes!

Stay safe, friend! Hoping for the best
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