Friday, December 6, 2013

"Cheer Cheer Cheer for the Highlanders"

This little guy is representative of the Scottish Unit from the band from my old High School in Lake Wales, FL  At that time, the band was under the direction of Mr. Tom Bishop.  Mr. Bishop composed our Alma Mater and arranged a couple of "fight" songs for football games and was really good at his job. Mr. Bishop (from all reports) was an excellent Band Director, which was evident from the quality of the band.  I can't recall how many years straight that the Band received  Superior ratings at District and State competitions. Not being able to play a note on any type of instrument any more complex than a comb and tissue paper, I never personally experienced being in the Band.  But those that were, loved it, loved him, loved the music, loved his marching programs, and just generally loved all the aspects of the Band. 

During the Football Season, the band would present a new half-time show put together by Mr. Bishop for every home game.  While they didn't play at every home game, the Scottish Unit (which was exactly what it sounds like....bagpipes and drums and kilts) would lead the band onto the field playing a Scottish song the name of which I cannot remember at the moment, but it was very stirring and I would get a lump in my throat every time they started on to the field.  The Scottish Unit had uniforms that were completely different from the regular band uniform and basically looked a lot like this little cartoon character. I can't recall the name of the tartan either, but it was black and yellow with a bit of green and red.  The jackets and vests that they wore were black with gold/yellow trim, as were the traditional Scottish hats they wore.  (Photo below, sorry its black and white.  You just don't get the same feel as when you see them in color.)  The rest of the band was in creme colored uniforms with gold/yellow trim, and quite impressive on their own, but never so stunning as when The Scottish Unit would be out in front, and the rest of the band was stretched from one side of the field to the other!  They were the most gorgeous band I have ever seen OR heard....simple wonderful. 

The Scottish Unit
circa 1963

Mr. Bishop passed away quite a while ago, but the legacy lives on.....the Alma Mater is the still the same, I believe, and the Scottish Unit and the rest of the band looks just as stunning as always!  I'm so glad it hasn't changed very much; there is no sense in messing with perfection!

The reason I am writing about this tonight is really quite simple.  This year's football team is about to take the field to play in one of the semi-final games to determine the State Championship for their level schools around the state.  Kick-off is just about now!

Go Highlanders!! I should be there to cheer you on in person (once a cheerleader, always a cheerleader!), I wish I was there, and even considered going, but in the end, the timing just wasn't right.  Nevertheless, I am there in spirit, watching with bated breath, shouting myself hoarse, and on pins and needles as the boys play their hearts out.   Hugs and kisses to the players (both old and new) and I will have my fingers crossed all evening thinking about you.  Do your best, guys!

And if Mr. Bishop was still with us, you could bet that at half-time, the band would inspire everyone as the Scottish Unit took the field!


Sad to say the Highlanders lost,  I don't know the final score, but whatever it was it wasn't quite enough.  Don't feel bad team, there's always next year!!


  1. With fans like you, but of course they will win next time! :) How great of you to cheer them on. You are right. Once a cheerleader ..always a cheerleader!! :)

  2. The scottish people are very bound to tradition. In a way it is kind of nice. It brings back a lot of good memories year after year.

  3. Hi friend :) It is good to be back to my blog and reading yours once again, You have so many fun and interesting memories and I love when you share them. I will take a little time and read some of your past posts.....I am ready to get back in the blog loop with my friends♥

  4. Those uniforms are rather spectacular. What fun. That is really a great photo and worthy of cherishing.
    Thanks for visiting.


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