Citizens Report American Irish Culture

DOTL: Rolling along in a golf cart at the Scottish Festival and Highland Games

Danahey on the Loose, rolling along in a golf cart at the Chicago Scots Scottish Festival and Highland Games

With all the worrisome things going on in the world it’s easy to get into a funk.

Father’s Day weekend, I lucked into a fine antidote for that.

Having attended many a Chicago Scots Scottish Festival and Highland Games in Itasca, this year I volunteered to work a shift, doing whatever they thought might be a good fit for me – which would rule out kilt model.

Since I am not Bassett Certified, I can’t legally sniff out who can’t be drinking,  that ruled out serving beer. So they asked if I would like to drive a golf cart, taking people back and forth from two parking decks to the entrance.

The decks are a little bit of a haul from the fields where the caber-tossing, whiskey-tasting, short bread-shopping and haggis-eating happen. So event organizers have some golf carts running as a defacto, free service.

Your humble author, smiling even, while finishing up a shift at the recent Scottish Festival and Highland Games in Itasca.

On my brief lesson, a guy named Derrick told me the way to run a route was first to look for older people, people who looked like they were having a hard time walking or maybe people with little kids.

Past that, it was fine to fill the seats with whomever might be closest – because, as Derrick said, you never know who might actually need a little help.

Technically, we were only supposed to bring people from the garages to the ticket booth. But exceptions could be made Derrick said.

I did wind up making a few of those – for two sisters and a mom running late to a dance competition, for a couple where they guy had a hurt foot, to get him closer to where they needed to be, and to an elderly couple who needed to be by a vendor booth.

Just randomly asking people if they needed a lift meant getting a mom and a dad on the grounds in time to hear their son play bagpipes and hauling quite a few thankful people who said they did have leg ailments of all sorts.

Since this wasn’t Uber or A-1 Cab, nobody could call for a ride – and that made it a bit like playing God, getting to pick who to pick up.

I remained a benevolent deity, though, following Derik’s suggestions. Getting into the role, I even loaded luggage  -okay, a toy wagon, a stroller, a cooler, chairs, some signs and the sort of stuff people bring to or leave with at a fest.

It being a hot, humid afternoon, the passengers pretty much all seemed grateful for the service, if just for the shade and breeze the golf cart ride provided.

They put up with my dad jokes, and my only concern was remembering to divert my eyes when somebody wearing a kilt got onboard – which I didn’t have to worry about past that, as there was no rear view mirror on the golf cart.

Some of the riders even tipped me, and I gave the $27 bucks to the St. Andrew Society.

In short, it was a fun way to spend an afternoon, maybe even a merry, metaphorical one.

Half Scottish, half Irish, likes to drink and get into a fight with himself

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