A well known and well liked Oregonian passed away and I was contacted for a bagpiper in Seaside OR. Although I am a bagpiper in Portland, I do travel throughout Oregon and Washington as an Oregon piper, when requested for a Seaside OR bagpiper, the commute was definitely in my range. The service was held at Seaside Christian Church at 88786 Dellmoor Loop Warrenton, OR 97146-7151. It turns out Warrenton is just a few miles north of Seaside on Hwy 101.
The funeral was scheduled for 2PM and as is customary, I showed up 20 minutes before the service began. It was a beautiful day, with hardly a cloud in sight and a slight breeze, a day you would be hard pressed to find on the Oregon Coast. Dressed in full uniform, with the Ancient Frasier tartan, I sought out the family who hired me to go over the logistics. The plan was simple and straightforward. I was to bagpipe in the Seaside Church near the conclusion of the ceremony. To create a sort of haunting effect, I piped from the back entry way for a bar of Danny Boy bagpipe music song, piping as I waltz to the alter. Once there, I turned, faced the family and the family members and continued playing Danny Boy one time through. I stopped my bagpipes at the end of the tune. I then restruck them back in and launched straight into Amazing Grace bagpipe song. I played Amazing Grace twice through in place and at the beginning of the third time through, I slowly began to march and return to the same point I initially started from.
Next came the honor guard and bugler player. It was a wonderful transition. Making eye contact with the Bugler, the moment I stopped, he began playing a beautiful version of taps while the honor guard marched forward carrying the United States flag.
I waited outside to thank the family members and friends as they strolled out the Seaside OR Church. I received warm thank you’s and deep expressions of gratitude. Lastly, I thanked the family for inviting me to pipe in Seaside OR. Pipes in hand and uniform glistening in the sun, I headed for my vehicle and a short while later I was back in Portland.