Monday, December 04, 2006

The Hottest Ticket in Town

The Wing Centre has been somewhat distracted of late -indeed perhaps he has fallen a little out of love with the traditional sport- but then that’s perhaps because he’s been trying to create a balance sheet from scraps of torn paper some of which, it must be confessed, have been through Mrs Wing Centre’s washing machine. These bits of paper cause a mess too with lots of collateral clothes damage and so the Wing Centre has been having to undertake quite a large amount of penitential hoovering and dusting. It’s at times like these -and only at times like these-that he is happy to confess he’s rather glad that his time in the Glen colours yielded very few trophies and medals. Less to polish runs the logic- and how sad it would be to be Davie Anderson in Kingussie and have shelves of medals and presentation camans with nothing better to do than gather dust.
Another thing which has upset our correspondent is the ease with which Lochaber have managed to march up the Div 3 League Table without playing too many games. There were walkovers at the end and indeed an earlier walkover against Inverness also helped the Lochaber cause- but then the Lochabermen traditionally were lifters of cattle which did not belong to them: league points are only a modern extension of an ancient habit.
“They’ve been playing so well and making so many points last month ,what’s the betting Lochaber will get Team of the Month” said an old friend with a heavy helping of Glenurquhart irony.
“Never-they’ve got to win the games to do that,” replied the wing centre with his customary naivety.
But Lo it came to pass.
Not that Lochaber would have wanted it that way. Never!
Anyway back to the hottest ticket ,a copy of which has been taken from its keeping place in the Wing Centre’s book of pointless shinty memorabilia, carefully scanned and now heads this piece of prose. These ticket were so sought after that Donald Paul gave away every one he received so that when it came to the big night he had no document left to permit entry.
“I’m just going,” he said “I can’t see anyone keeping me out”
The wing centre couldn’t either.
The result of all this was that the century old hall at Blairbeg was packed on Friday 17th December 2006 for Alan Bell’s grand tribute ceilidh dance. Now Alan has already had a tribute in these entries with the frivolous suggestion that there were 71 other Alan Bells in existence. Not so but at the do there appeared a “doppelganger” who proceeded to take to the stage while the other Alan sat and watched open-mouthed from the floor of the hall. By Jove, this new Alan looked like the old Alan Bell, dressed like the old Alan, walked like the old Alan Bell but sang like Frank Sinatra about “Doing it my way.”
The old Alan Bell then collected a presentation caman from the new Chairman - coming from a commune in Abriachan he prefers a more plebeian title to that of President - who spoke well about Alan’s connection to the Glen.
Alan thanked everyone including Jimmac Mackintosh who had helped him damage a cartilage back in 1972 after a fine early Strathdearn win. Five of the illustrious brethren of 1977 were present and insisted on posing for a souvenir snap with the great man while the Balliemore Boys of ‘91 looked on with envy. Such are the delights of petty windups in a small shinty community but the company was united in admiration of the stovies and chocolate dessert provided by Mr Reid (possibly the most famous of the ’77 survivors) and his band of helpers.
Geordie Stewart was presented with an award for his many years of service ; young Ali Mac picked up the well deserved cup for young player of the year and flowers were handed out to the ladies who worked so hard to keep the club alive. Thanks therefore were due to Ann Fraser, Mary Macdonald, Janet Emery , Helen McLennan and Mairi Moffat and the wing centre re-iterates them here.
The night then continued with alternate bouts of dancing and throwing the pound coin at the whisky bottle : David Girvan seemed to be most expert at the pound coin trick so no doubt himself and his dad pass active evenings up on the farm practising this traditional skill.
Auld Lang Syne and the Jolly Good Fellow took down the nets on an evening of jollity and shinty fellowship. The lack of a trophy did rankle though- that, plus the thought the Beauly were in the promotion play-offs

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