Feeling at home

I live in a relatively small town in Florida’s most densely populated county.

Dunedin comes from the Gaelic name: Dùn Èideann, thus named by its Scottish settlers. It’s the Gaelic name for Edinburgh, their hometown in Scotland. It’s commonly mispronounced as a two syllable word: Dune-din (the first like the dunes of a beach, the second like the first syllable of the word dinner – or the din of battle.) It’s correctly pronounced with three syllables: Dun (rhymes with run) – E (like saying the letter) – din (again like the din of battle).

The video above is just one of the ways Dunedin embraces its heritage. It’s not a very good video, taken in bad light on my phone, but it gives you an idea. Both the middle and high schools feature a version of the Dunedin Highlander Band, both with pipes a plenty.

High school was not a good time for me, but one of the highlights was the band. Don’t laugh. Yes, the band. The video is of a couple members of the middle school band fund raising outside a local drugstore (can’t imagine why I’d be at a drugstore). They were playing a tune the high school band used as their march. They played it proudly as they entered the stadium and left (for football games). They played it at the end of half-time as they left the field.

And every time they played it I got goose bumps, cementing my status as a nerd. It was a thrill to catch them playing last night.

Amazing pipes

Some people hate bagpipes. I love ’em. The European settlers of what is now Dunedin were from Scotland, and their influence survives today.

The high school had a pipe band. They made Friday night an event – even if you weren’t interested in football. If their music didn’t get your heart beating faster, marching on and off the field, you didn’t have one to begin with. A friend of mine from another school – a rival no less – often said our band fired him up.

Some songs, like Amazing Grace, are ruined forever for me – unless they’re played on the pipes.

I always thought the name of the band was a little ironic though – the highlander band – considering the school always flooded when it rained.