Our bus driver for the first half of the tour has been David Kirchstein from Sheboygan Wisconsin. Dave is immensely experienced with this sort of tour and drove the last Scottish tour around the same route in 2007. Boy! Has he had some stories. Top bus driver and all round excellent guy, keeping us well provisioned with stuff and looking after all the loading and unloading of tour gear so we could head off and meet new people. With a nice dry sense of humour, he as offered commentary on the local communities we visited and insights into the views we should have been seeing when it was too foggy to see anything. It has been really well appreciated by all of us.
Once he drops us at Fargo for the flight to Chicago & Detroit, he’ll be able to wend his way home. Sincerely hope you get to do the next tour Dave. They will be in for a treat.
David is playing lead in Clive Thomson’s team Mull. He was joint Co-ordinator of tour gifts and also holds a judicial role. I’m wary of saying too much now about David since he has settled into that role rather too easily and has a keen eye. Whereas that it is a great thing on the ice, other times, it can be troublesome for us tourists. Before his calling to the bar, he was quite open about himself….
“I’m 64 years old and a retired Civil Engineer from Ayr on the Clyde Coast.
I have been married to Lillian since 1974 with two children, Shona and Ian, and one granddaughter Isla. I must mention our collie dog Heather!
I curl with six clubs: Troon Portland (past president and match secretary), Dalmellington Craigengillan (match secretary), Ayr Disnae Virtual (secretary and match secretary), Ayr CC (committee member), Construction South and Straiton. I have been nominated Vice President of Ayr CC. I hold an RCCC level 1 coach qualification.
Ayr Curling Rink is where I do my club curling.
I won the Scottish Gold Cup at Stranraer in 2013, and took an eight-ender at the same curling rink in 2012. I much enjoyed playing in last season’s Scottish Masters.
On tour I hope to play with and against similar minded curlers on the upcoming USA tour, enjoying the social aspects of curling and visiting new places which will surely make our tour a trip of a lifetime and something to remember.
When I’m not curling I am a keen hill walker and dog walker. I am a former rugby player/coach, and continue to support Ayr RFC and Glasgow Warriors.
Russ has been with us since the day we landed in Chicago and has been our courier on the first leg of the tour. His home curling club is Exmoor and whilst we were in that neck of the woods he was responsible for much of the organisation of the tour visit there. He said he’d be able to relax once we got on the road and it would all be a bit easier. WRONG! As a group, we really do need to be taken care of you know. As for looking after the cattle on board – you’ll have read of his problems with Sandy and the Portage Police Department. Nothing more to say here.
Russ made the last tour to Scotland in 2012 and for those who played against that tour, it’s been great to meet up with him again. He knows what is involved with a tour and he has been an immense help to us all, keeping us to the very tight schedule and been great with advice on how to deal with the rigours of touring. When we get to Saint Paul on Thursday 26th, we have a hand over to Bob Chandler for the remainder of the tour. Thanks Russ. You’ve earned a wee rest. See you at the finish line.
Since Sandy came back to us he has become a bit of a prima-donna, demanding stuff. As with any celebrity on tour, he has a whole list of things. We cannot have a beer but he wants one. He needs his own pizza and when there are important people around he has to get in on the photos.
As if that wasn’t enough, Denis Jorgensen of Curl Mesabi decides to mix things up for us by introducing a heifer to the tour bus. Thought I heard someone said her name was Floppsy. I sure hope they weren’t talking about Sandy’s performance. Gonna be some noisy nights I think for the ‘Keeper of the coos’.
On Tour, Gary is skip of team Jura. I’m sure he won’t mind me saying that at 43 years of age, he is by some margin, the youngest of our squad. That’s a good thing for the rest of us, bringing as he does some very welcome fresh thinking to tricky situations.
“I am part of our family-run bus and coach transport firm with my father and mother. My home is in Glenfarg, rural Perthshire with my wife Jenny, and two young sons Finlay and Max.
I started curling at the age of 15 at school and now curl for Auchterarder and Glenfarg in the Upper Strathearn and Loch Leven Provinces, playing mainly in Kinross and Perth ice rinks.
As Past President of Glenfarg CC and Loch Leven Province I was fortunate enough to curl against the 2012 US tourists. My father, David, was part of the US-bound 2007 Scottish Tour.
I have competed in various national championships over twenty years – the most unique location was on outdoor ice in the Alps at the World Corporate Games in 1996.
I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to join this curling tour and am looking forward to playing in a new continent and meeting new curlers.
My other hobbies include watching sports, in particular golf and football (I am a long-suffering fan of Scotland’s national football team!), cycling and keeping up with jobs on our property – especially those that require power tools.”
Let me introduce you to John who is playing second in Gary Rutherford’s team Jura. It is tempting to tell you loads of stuff about John but he sort of tells it well himself. For the tour, he has taken on the roles of Assistant Secretary and Diarist. Good call – and not bad for a chap of 75. We are assured of a good record of the tour.
“My home is now in Longniddry, East Lothian. I was born and raised in Galloway, South-West Scotland.
I am retired. My main career was as Secretary of The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland which presents Scotland’s annual national agricultural exhibition, and of related bodies.
I am married to Muriel. We have two sons, John and Alasdair, a daughter Isla, and seven grandchildren.
My ‘local’ curling clubs are Haddington and Aberlady, both in East Lothian. I do my club curling at Murrayfield Curling Rink, Edinburgh.
I am now President of Haddington, Secretary of RCCC Edinburgh Area Committee, and a qualified coach. Formerly on the RCCC Areas Standing Committee, Secretary of East Lothian Province, Aberlady President, and Secretary of the Edinburgh Organising Committee of the RCCC Indoor Grand Match 2015.
2015-16 was my best season so far. With Skip Willie Jamieson we got to the quarter-finals of the Edinburgh International Senior Men’s Championship. I played in two rinks which won RCCC District Medals. For the third time in ten years I was in an Aberlady rink which won the East Lothian Province Bonspiel. I won the pairs competition of two Clubs, and I took four of the five Aberlady Club trophies.
Travelling with my team-mates, making many more good curling friends, and learning how USA curling clubs and rinks are organised will make this tour one of the best bargains of my lifetime.
For leisure and recreation I have been developing and running a large garden, playing outdoor bowls and enjoying music.”
Malcolm is playing third in Alex Dixon’s team Tiree. He is our Choirmaster and Musical Director, although as far as we are concerned, that term ‘musical’ should be taken loosely. I’m hopeful that we will pleasantly surprise him before we head home. Born in Paisley and now living a whole four miles away in Kilbarchan, he tells me. “I am a Chartered Surveyor and worked as a property asset manager in local government for over 30 years. My last post was in Hereford, where I liked to tell the Councillors I was doing missionary work. I am 61 and have been retired for five years now and loving every minute. I have been married to my wife Susan for 37 years. We have three grown up daughters, Fiona, Morven and Eilidh and two grandchildren, Ryan who is six and Emma who was one in October this year.
I started curling over 40 years ago, for Stoddards (the carpet manufacturer, who made the carpets for the Titanic. I’m not sure whether that is good or bad) and Dunlop Curling Club, Ayrshire. When I returned from Hereford, I joined Blythswood Curling Club, Renfrewshire and curl at Greenacres Ice Rink. Former President of Dunlop Curling Club and currently on the Committee at Blythswood Curling Club.
Proudest moments were playing for Scotland in the Four Nations tournaments in 2014 and 2016. Best result was winning the Beefeater Tournament at Stranraer with Blythswood in 2015.
What I’m most looking forward to on tour is getting to know my teammates and having the opportunity to meet the host teams in the US. My other interests are that I sing tenor with Kilbarchan Singers and bass with Kilbarchan Parish Church choir, although not at the same time. I am also an erstwhile supporter of Saint Mirren Football Club.”
Alan is playing third in Callum Harvey’s team Iona and has been responsible, along with Alex Dickson, for all the arrangements to do with the tour kit. He has also managed the travel arrangements to and from the USA and is deserving of a heap of praise for making all that work so smoothly. Relating a bit about himself – “My home city is Glasgow. I am 53, a Financial Adviser and Company Director. I have three children, Alana, Lisa and William, and five grandchildren.
My three clubs are Cadder, Wishaw and Reform. I am Development Officer for my Cadder club.
Braehead Curling, on the banks of the river Clyde west of central Glasgow, is my main curling rink.
Having qualified (by the inevitable progress of the clock!) for the Scottish Seniors, I have played in the playdowns.
My aims are to have fun on the tour and to win back the trophy.
I enjoy golf, gym-work and kite surfing.”
Ian is skip of team Islay and is our tour photographer. The unfortunate thing about that is he is invariably on the wrong side of the camera to feature in the photographs. On the other hand, he is invariably on the right side of the camera to not feature in any photographs. So, all we have is this rare action shot and what he tells us. “I am 60 years old, from Letham, in the county of Angus.
I am a civil servant, married to Janice for 28 years. We have a son Murray 25 and a daughter Lesley 22, both of whom curl.
Most of my curling is done at Forfar Indoor Sports playing for Suttieside Curling Club and Dundee Civil Service.
I am Match Secretary of the Suttieside club, and Chairman of the Development Group of Forfar Curling Centre.
In 2016 I was proud to have been part of the Forfar Curling Centre Team who won the Maxwell Trophy, a competition for three teams of curlers from any of the Scottish Ice Rinks.
Most of all, on tour I’m looking forward to making lasting friendships with other tourists and to bringing the Herries Maxwell trophy back to Scotland.
I enjoy golf, walking and cycling.”
Today at 2:00 and tomorrow morning we will enjoy live coverage of the draws between Tourists and Duluth CC.
click Webcam tab;
Watch DCC webcam.
We will be playing on both left and right channels. Good curling.