When a man calls your phone and asks you to join his clan, you may be tempted to hang up. But don't! That caller spells "clan" with a "c" not a "k." And if your surname is Guthrie, that caller is probably my dad.
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You see, the annual Southeast Florida Scottish Festival took place at Fort Lauderdale Stadium on Saturday.
The festivities include a parade of people who march behind banners representing various Scottish surnames. Each family name has at least one tartan (a multi-cultured fabric pattern better known as plaid) that is unique to them. Those who are seriously proud of their Scottish heritage wear kilts and sashes made of their family tartan, beret-like hats, and puffy Medieval-style shirts. Some even stash replica daggers in their knee socks, behind another little pop of tartan fabric.
My dear old pop is one of those people. But apparently dressing in costume and recruiting me, my sister, his wife, and my husband to walk behind the Guthrie banner isn't enough. He wanted more recruits. So he opened the phone book in search of Guthries. He dialed their numbers, and if someone answered, he introduced himself as the founder and president of the "Broward-Palm Beach Clan Guthrie Society." A few told him that they were a Guthrie by marriage. Or, actually, from the Irish branch of the family. One woman even felt the need to say that she's black. He wouldn't take any excuses. His response to all: "Come on down! I'll have a tent and whisky." At least eight promised to make the trip.
Alas, only two showed (a landscaper from Delray Beach and his wife). But boy did that Delray couple make Mr. Guthrie's day. As the bagpipes played, my father walked proudly in front of the Guthrie banner, huge replica sword hoisted above his head, eyes teary with joy.