Was he really here? Could it have been a week? Time really shouldn't speed by so quickly - but it did and he was here and it was a week. BUT what a week. From the brunch at Don and Beverly Cameron's in Charlotte to the last farewell a week later in Atlanta we were charmed, delighted, entertained and captured in heart by Donald the Younger of Lochiel. If you missed it I am truly sorry and if you were there you know the feelings. As I sit here trying to put into words for all, the happenings of that week in October I decided to write the highlights. But the entire week was a "highlight" - I think, oh, I will tell so and so or such as such and then I think of several other things and finally decided that it is impossible to write it all. If you missed Stone Mountain or the gatherings in Charlotte and Knoxville just ask the next time we are together and I am sure you will be properly informed of all the wonderful days during Donald's stay. I am going to give it the old college try and write a few memories for you to re-live or to enjoy for the first time.
I think so often of...
Brunch at Don and Bev's when Donald was fighting jet lag - but true to the Cameron man he hung in there. Wasn't it fun to see Carolina Camerons on that beautiful Sunday morning.
and - the wonderful view from Dan and Jane's balcony, the walk through Boone and a picture taken of Donald, Dan and Lee with two North Carolina indians (which ones are the indians). The graciousness of Hugh Morton when he took us on a tour of the animals at Grandfather Mountain and then a drive along the breathtaking bridge that will be the final link of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Tourists from all over have pictures of Donald, Dan and Hugh as they fed the bear cubs.
and - Donald's stay in Knoxville was such fun, a tour of our beautiful city and the open house in his honor when he delighted all with his wit and humor. Our sons and their friends were most taken especially when they learned that Donald knows Jackie Stewart.
and - the drive over the Smoky Mountains on a simply glorious day when the leaves were at the peak of color, a picnic beside a mountain stream where we ate leftovers from the open house and reveled in the delight of being together, Bob and Anne Taylor, Donald and Lee and me. A magic, golden day to hold dear for years to come.
and - arrival in Atlanta to a grand gathering of Camerons at Dan and Donnas with testimony to the fact that Cameron ladies are great cooks.
and - days at Stone Mountain, surrounded by kith and kin from far and near. Hugs and kisses and the skirl of the pipe and the flash of the Cameron tartan, pictures being snapped, the weather holding glorious, the tattoo, the Sponsors Reception, the games themselves, the fun and good food at the tent and always that special bond when we are all together.
and - I could go on and on but I think you have gotten the idea - he came, he conquered and we loved every minute of it.
I am including (1) a paragraph from the Stone Mountain Chanter and also (2) a paragraph from Bob Taylor's letter to Donald - they said it so well:
(1) The thirteenth celebration of the Highland Games at Stone Mountain, far from being unlucky in any way, was exceptional in being happy and memorable for us Camerons. This was because we were able to welcome Donald the Younger of Lochiel in our midst. We now have some idea of how Bonnie Prince Charlie took Edinburgh by storm, for Donald charmed his way through his clanspeople of the southeastern states. I hope he didn't have to pay excess baggage for the number of hearts he took back with him. Even the skies regretted his departure. The rain started the day he left and has been almost continuous since. Donald, we love you. Haste ye back!
(2) Now, if I might address Lady Cecil: we of the Grandfather Mountain and the Stone Mountain Branches of Clan Cameron thank you most sincerely for sharing your Donald with us for those all-too-few days in October. It was a very special event for us, and one which shall mark the years in our Clan Cameron Association, as have the visits over the years of Lochiel and Lady Cameron. Our only regret was that we could not at this time be honored by your presence, also. We do, indeed, look forward with great anticipation to a time when we may be privileged to have all of you with us.
In the short time Donald was here, we abused him mercilessly, but he endured admirably as could be expected of so stalwart and gracious a gentleman. I have not the words to adequately express the range of intellectual and emotional responses he engendered among us, but, in short, your Donald is now loved and admired by all who had the pleasure of even a little time with him. Provided we could have had the rest of you, too, we would have wanted to keep him!
Donald, we very greatly appreciate your coming. Please come again soon.