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Back to where it all started – Costa Mesa

Dear Friends,

Linda, Ashley & me on the airplane

Linda, Ashley & me on the airplane

It’s seems to be a trait of mine that I’m always late in getting the “Beaton Path” newsletter out. Such is the case for this edition. It was Memorial Day Weekend, over two months ago, that I’m reporting on. This was my first trip by air since my accident five years ago, not a short one-hour drive, but a four-hour flight to California. The Scottish Fest at Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa (Great Los Angeles area) is my flagship Highland games where I started performing thirty-six years ago. Needless to say, it was a very emotional experience with many friends and fans there to greet me. Linda and I took along our young, student nurse/caregiver, Ashley Probst, to help us out. She was marvelous; we couldn’t have done it without her!

On Saturday we arrived at our parking location in the Fairgrounds and during the short 150 yard trip to my Sales Booth we were stopped countless times by folks who’d been waiting to speak with me. A short time later, the Opening Ceremonies were held in the Main Arena where I was introduced by the Chieftain, Tom Reoch, as the Honorary Chieftain. I had prepared a speech that was expected to last for approximately eight minutes, but was asked by Tom the day before to limit my comments to two-three minutes. I conveyed this information to the crowd and took advantage of the time afforded to me to announce that my “CDs were available for sale at my booth directly outside of the Main Arena”. This was “vintage” Beaton hawking his wares and was met with both laughter and clapping.

Following the Opening Ceremonies, there was a rededication of the “Alex Beaton” Stage. The first dedication took place in 2012, but I was unable to attend due to health reasons, so Tom wanted to rededicate while I was there. Bad Haggis with Eric Rigler was on stage performing prior to the Ceremony. Eric, a close friend of mine, played the Uilleann (elbow) pipes for “Braveheart”, “Titanic”, “Avatar” and many other feature films and TV shows (The Outlander). As the “Titanic” is one of Ashley’s favorite films, I asked Eric to perform the theme song and dedicate it to her. She was very moved. He also was asked by Tom to speak a few words during the Rededication and his words meant so much to me.

The entire weekend was successful and the crowning glory is that I returned to St. Louis with no ill effects from my journey. If health permits, this means that I am able to make similar journeys in the future.

Photos of our trip are in a gallery at Costa Mess Scottish Fest – 2016. You can see some of them on my Facebook page.

I sold out of my CDs and DVDs that I took to these Games! Please note that my CDs & DVDs will, again, be for sale at Pleasanton (http://www.thescottishgames.com), Estes Park (http://www.scotfest.com) and Stone Mountain (http://www.smhg.org) and Seaside (http://www.seaside-games.com). As a reminder, some of my CDs are sold out and are only available for download from my website (www.alexbeaton.com).

Linda has been instrumental in helping to keep Glenfinnan Music going; she’s my partner here and in life. Linda has, and continues to be a wonderful, loving and caring wife. As you can imagine, it’s now been five years since my injury and she has had to deal with so many issues to keep me alive and strong – some issues known to only a few. I would not have been able to make the trip to California if it wasn’t for “my Linda”. In spite of the fact that I drove her and Ashley nuts with worry about getting a pressure ulcer, she was determined that I stay healthy so I could make the trip.

On a sad note, I’m still alive … (oops, Linda asked me to add this comment).

Seriously though, I share with you our sadness over the passing of two close friends, Karen Glasser and J.T. McPherson. I’ve known Karen since 1992, having been introduced to her by her long-time partner, Chris Chesser and saw her frequently as we lived close to one another during the time I lived in L.A. She was in the film business and, at the time Braveheart was made, worked for Mel Gibson’s ICON Productions. Throughout the time I knew her, Karen was kind, enormously generous of her time and attention to all who knew her and a strong advocate for animal rights. J.T. McPherson was one of the most unique individuals I have ever met in my life. There is so much that can be said of this man, from his unusual diet to his tempting powerful, distilled, peach-flavored drink; from his distinctly Southern accent to his great love of his beautiful family and his Scottish roots. They will be sadly missed.

In closing, I’m hoping that you aren’t experiencing misfortune with weather related storms and tornadoes. Given with what is happening across the country, we have little to complain about with our excessive heat and humidity here in St. Louis. Wishing you all good health and happiness and an enjoyable summer!

I expect to have another “Beaton Path” newsletter out in the near future; however, don’t hold your breath.

Love,
Alex

PS: I will not be attending the St. Louis Highland Games this September 24 as Linda and I planned to be out of town that weekend.

There are 13 comments .

Maureen Whitaker Clifton

I am so pleased you were able to to got Costa Rica CA! Nice to hear of it & sounds as if you did real well! Wonderful they did the rededication! Keep the faith, Alex! You are a trooper & inspiration to others! As ever, love,
Maureen – in Lewis Center, Ohio

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Lee —

Hi!
Some years ago I purchased one of your CDs at the Highland Games in Pleasanton at one of your live performances. Since then, I have played your CD when my grandson (now age 5) was in the car. There is something about your voice, the tunes, and the rhythm that he quite enjoys. As soon as I start the car, he says, “Grandma, put the Scotsman on.” You have given this little guy (and grandma) countless hours of uplifting music. Thanks!

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Barbara Stephan —

So wonderful to find your site, but so saddened to learn of your health challenges over the past five years. My family and I always looked so forward to seeing you at the various Games in CA. We frequented them in the 80s and 90s when my daughter was a highland dancer. We always looked forward to seeing you and hearing you perform. We also loved your VHSs and watched them many, many times. My son at age two (his 28th birthday is today) started watching them and you became a household name quickly. We often spent his Sept. 3 birthday in Santa Rosa. Tomorrow we are going to Pleasanton and will be thinking of you. We will miss your performance, but will never forget the joy you have brought us over the years. Barbara Stephan

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Terrill Lambert —

You often cross my mind, and when you do, I say a prayer. I hope you and Linda are well, and that you are able to enjoy each moment of each day. I’ve been a fan since I first heard your music back in 1989, I was 29 then, you’ve helped me through some tough spots in my life with your music. I’m ever in your debt.
Thank you.

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Paige Macmillan —

I was games chair for several years in Phoenix. I’ll never forget calling you on your cell about some last minute minutiae. You answered with a barely discernible accent, mostly to my California born ears it sounded native Ca! I got such a giggle out of that, it just made hearing you speak and sing even more pleasurable. We miss you as MC in Phoenix. It gives me great pleasure to hear you can come to some of the games.

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Sandra Zaninovich —

Darn I’m so sad that I missed seeing you in Costa Mesa! Had I known you would be there, I would most definitely have made the trip down there from West LA where I live, as I’ve done so many times in the past to see you. Still, I’m thrilled to bits that you are able to travel successfully and that the trip was a triumph for you. Please come again next year and I’ll be sure to be there! So much love and eternal thanks to you and of course Linda, and all best wishes for continued good fortune with your health.

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Russ Madigan —

Glad to see you doing so well. I hope to see you maybe next year at the Seaside Games. I am thinking about attending the Clan Campbell Society Annual Meeting there. I look forward to sharing a wee dram with you.

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Kim Uttenweiler —

Hi, Alex. I was just sitting here enjoying The Water is Wide” on Spotify. . . yes, I also have 3 copies on CD, along with everything else you ever put out.
Bob and I miss our get togethers when you would come to the Virginia Scottish Games. We think of you often and bless your wife, Linda, for her dedication.
Bob is in St.Louis today with a conference and I asked him to give you a call to say hello.
Bless you and keep the faith . . .

Kim (and Bob) The Redheads.

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Aspen & Russell Gay —

We are so glad to hear that you made that trip, Alex and Linda! We, too, are forever in your debt for providing us with such wonderful friendship and music. We truly love you both and pray that God bless you both richly. Much love and hugs.

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Christy —

I’m so happy to see you are doing well and traveling! I can say for sure I miss seeing you stop by the bird seed store here in Franklin, TN. My best to you and your wife, if you ever make the trip this way stop by and see your loyal friend! All my best to you, Alex!!

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Ginger —

I wanted to thank you for your wonderful music over the years. I have heard you in both NC and FL, but the most memorable was sitting in a tree on Biscayne in Miami, when I introduced my daughter to her (wee bit, as you called it) Scottish heritage. Please get well soon. You will always be in our thoughts.

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Patrick Johnston —

Alex,

Greetings from the Dominican Republic in the warm Caribbean! I only just heard about your accident and I am deeply sorry to hear of what you had to endure but I am happy to hear you are on this side of the dirt!

I am 46 years old from Nova Scotia, Canada but now built a beach bar in the Dominican Republic with a focus on folk music. I wanted to share something with you … growing up, I was ‘forced’ to listen to your music over and over and over by my Mother … which I most certainly regretted in the beginning but very slowly and over time you became part of my long memories of my youth and you became known to me as my “Mother’s Boyfriend” as she always was excited to spend the afternoon with you … wherever she was you were always there … right with me!

My mother passed away 7 years ago and just tonight I had a memory flash of you and your music and flipped on You Tube and then your web site … your voice / the spirit in which you sing and the way it made me feel tonight allowed my Mother to dance one more time for me down here on the beach ….

Thank for you for your voice, your music and I wish the very best in health moving forward. Long Live Scotland!

(PS – I remember one night you actually called our house when I was a teenager when my mother ordered a CD or something … I answered the phone and instantly knew it was you on the phone from your voice …. when I yelled for my Mother that ‘your boyfriend’ was on the phone … you should have seen her running for the phone … I will never forget that experience either!

Patrick Johnston

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Maureen McWilliam —

Glad to see you’re doing well. Maybe you can visit your old friends at the SE Florida Games.
We’d all love to see you.
Best wishes from Peter and myself.
Maureen McWilliam

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