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Author Name: PremiumMLAllen 18 Comments
Date Added: December 05, 2008 15:12:20 Average Score: (Needs 2)
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Category: Prose Add To Favorites | Text Only
 
WHAT I GOT FROM THE SCOT
He was tall and lanky and seventeen. He waved goodbye to his mother and never saw her again. With the clothes on his back and his fiddle, along with his three older brothers, he was going west, to a new life. He was going to America. He would find his fortune in America. In Scotland he had been a poor man. In America, he would be a rich man. He was a brave and passionate and determined young man.
 
Along the way, he married my grandmother. Some say he was not much to be proud of. He was a violent man, and an exceptionally possessive one. He owned the land on which he stood for as far as he could see. Killed one of his brothers over it. Anyone who questioned him was met with hostility. He made the best wine in three counties and sold it for a good price. From a rocker on his front porch, with his shotgun across his knees, he drove away Revenuers. They say he could swear for half an hour and never repeat himself. He was physically abusive toward my grandmother and the eleven children she bore him. His neighbors did not think kindly of him.
 
But he was a hard working man and he provided well for his family. At night, by the fire, he drew out his fiddle and filled the house with the melancholic sounds of his soul, the sounds of Scotland.
 
He was the saddest man I've ever seen. They say I look like him. I'm tall and lanky, and have the huge brown eyes my grandmother says she fell in love with. I would fight to hold on to my land. In fact, I've had to fight my sister over it and, I'm sure, at the time, I was so enraged I would have killed her over it had she not backed off. Holy Redeemer, my grandfather lives in me. I have his ingrained love of the land and of melancholy music, his violent nature, and his unbridled passion for life which led me into a mad and hopeless love affair with a wild Caledonian poet.
 
Sometimes I think it would all be simpler if I lived a gentler, calmer life. But, not for me. Too much of the Scot in me. I've always been violent and passionate and possessive. And melancholy to the bone.
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'WHAT I GOT FROM THE SCOT' Copyright © Mary Lou Allen
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Comments:
Comment By: FreeGrace Winter Wolf on March 29, 2011 08:22:42 AM Report


This is another good one.  I love the land too.  I am glad you are here to share the love of the land with me.  I know now where I get it-I got it from you and the Scot.


I love you


Grace

Comment By: FreeThe Bag Lady on June 30, 2010 11:39:37 AM Report
Isn't it wonderful to know where our traits originate???...Indeed, that spark of passion for life and finding the very "enth" of everything that comes our way?....I am sorry about the eleven children and the need for his physical side to burst forth....ML, when you write, there is something reaches out from the page, grabs us, and we are locked on to your words...And, that is a good thing, as Martha Stewart espouses~!!.....I can truthfully say that I have never tapped upon a write from your penning that I didn't ADORE...You are an inspiration to all of us here at CP.....thanks for that...

Maggie.....readin' Allen

Comment By: FreeGrace Winter Wolf on December 27, 2009 03:21:23 PM Report

This is really a great story. I too have a temper and it go me into some trouble over something stupid.  That must have been the scot.  Maybe that story will make it to CP one day.  It makes me sad that great grandmother was abused.  She must have loved him deeply.   You tell your stories so well.  I love them and they are a joy to read.


I love you,


Gracie


ps I am possessive too don't you think about my land and some other things.Though I am not tall and don't have brown eyes.  You have the pretties brown eyes.  XOXO


Comment By: FreeGrace Winter Wolf on December 27, 2009 03:21:09 PM Report

This is really a great story. I too have a temper and it go me into some trouble over something stupid.  That must have been the scot.  Maybe that story will make it to CP one day.  It makes me sad that great grandmother was abused.  She must have loved him deeply.   You tell your stories so well.  I love them and they are a joy to read.


I love you,


Gracie


ps I am possessive too don't you think about my land and some other things.Though I am not tall and don't have brown eyes.  You have the pretties brown eyes.  XOXO


Comment By: FreeAmy on January 15, 2009 01:47:06 PM Report
Mary Lou

A pleasure to read this...You do such a great job bringing his character to life for the reader and I love how you tie your own nature to him.

~Amy

ps and I lol at the swear line :o)

Comment By: FreeKimber Turpin on January 6, 2009 02:16:22 AM Report
Such an excellent piece with revealing descriptions of you and your family. This is so raw, truthful and passionate to me.

Gypsy

Comment By: FreeRoger Bacon on December 30, 2008 07:11:22 PM Report
Swear for half an hour and never repeat.  Now I know where you have developed your writing craft in the language you use.  You have a way of bringing life to your words.  Always a pleasure to stop by. 
Comment By: FreeBruce A. Peaslee on December 28, 2008 10:41:40 PM Report
Mary Lou -  It is fascinating how, even though we claim to abhor what is worst in our forebearers, we often take on those attrubutes regardless.  There must be some thing in the waters of our lives.

 

 

---Poetrydad---

Comment By: Freeerma todd on December 19, 2008 03:32:51 PM Report
Wow marylou we need to write more, your work is so good and very easy to read. I love your honesty and you probably do have your Grandfather in you I hope you do. My Grandfather was German and Dutch and so laid back we wondered sometimes if he were breathing except, when he looked at you with those eyes very piercing and cold...brrrr  erma
Comment By: FreeCindy Bendel on December 18, 2008 07:10:46 PM Report
i need to stop by your page much more than i do marylou....you are an astoundingly talented writer and your heart and soul shines brilliant and exposed....loved your raw truth

cindy xo

Comment By: FreeLeonard Wilson on December 18, 2008 06:43:48 PM Report
In the end, we are all composites of those who came before us. Not long ago, I got a letter from an aunt I had never met and was struck by how similar her handwriting was to mine. I think you gave a fair account of the man, good and bad. Your stuff is always so real and readable, cuz. Must be the talent, huh? :o)...len
Comment By: FreeFLETCHER on December 15, 2008 12:37:19 AM Report
Your expression is so vivid. The pictures you paint with your words are a thing of utter beauty.

That my friend is the gift you have.

Fletch

 

Comment By: FreeJoe Petro on December 11, 2008 06:37:47 PM Report
I have missed the people of your worlds and enjoyed this tremendously. jp
Comment By: FreeAlison Storm Wolf on December 11, 2008 10:55:45 AM Report
They say he could swear for half an hour and never repeat himself.

now that's impressive!!!
Sometimes I think it would all be simpler if I lived a gentler,
calmer life. But, not for me. Too much of the Scot in me. I've always
been violent and passionate and possessive


Now I know beyond doubt how come we are soul sisters and kindred spirits I all all these things as well. Not for us the quiet pastures....no not for us...far too much life in us.

Mediocre was never our calling Ali x

Comment By: FreeSteve on December 6, 2008 10:46:54 AM Report

What an interesting story.


Comment By: FreeMicky McMaster on December 6, 2008 12:15:03 AM Report
Outstanding,Mary Lou
I love that your looking back at your grandfather and seeing yourself .Compelling  each of us to do likewise with amazingly similar results. lol

Micky :>D

Comment By: FreeShe Whispers on December 5, 2008 11:01:37 PM Report
We all are who we are... Your so open with your thoughts on this poem I appreciated it so much ... Our blood flows with our past ...it is what has made us who we are!!
 Hugs ~ She Whispers

Comment By: FreePelagic Mind on December 5, 2008 05:54:32 PM Report

Itís a difficult reflection to face, the line of folk going back to Adam and EveÖ But context is the key to understanding the past. My Grandfather was put into the merchant navy at 11 with his younger brother. Abused he joined the army to get as far away from the sea as he could, and sadistically took Chinese present lives in the Sino-Japanese war.


 


My Father fought in the boxing ring as a child when he wasnít fighting in the streets of east London, the War made him a hard and dangerous person to be around and he could not settle. A pioneering spirit drove him to Australia where he blossomed.


 


These men may have been considered as heroes by their counterparts, certainly some of their qua;ities were cherished in family history.


 


But the real heroes were the women around them, organising, making do, making things work. And in the case of my grandmothers they werenít allowed to vote until 1922 in England .. That isnít that long ago my father was born in 1919 and my mother in 1924.


 


So in context your grandfather was the product of his circumstances in his age, and the folk around him knew his heritage, his strengths and his weaknesses and would not have been shocked by it.


 


Mary Lou this is a significant write for you, itís a settling of matters in your mind and in your family psyche, the fact that you have done it in such wonderful prose is a blessing to the rest of us. It is a very poignant and professional piece of writing..


 


I appreciated it, I relate to it and I love itÖ


 


Your literary friend,


 


Bob     






 


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