There are many different ways around the world of greeting guests. In some European cultures, respected or admired visitors are presented with salt and a loaf of bread. The Māori of New Zealand perform a ceremony of welcome with dancing, singing and hongi (a traditional greeting involving pressing one’s nose and forehead to another person). Those traveling to Hawaii are often met with a warm “aloha” and a beautiful tropical flower lei.
On Sunday, Nov. 4, 1979, TWA passengers landing in Tucson from Phoenix received a welcome, not reminiscent of bygone days in the Wild West (as might be expected in Arizona), but one that perhaps led them to imagine their plane had flown 5,000 miles off course to the land of haggis and whisky. Scheduled for that flight were newly hired OSC faculty member Angus Macleod and his wife, Ann.
Professor Emeritus H. Angus Macleod is of the Assynt branch of the Clan Macleod whose roots are in the highlands of northwestern Scotland. In honor of Angus’ heritage, director Peter Franken had planned a never-to-be-forgotten welcome for OSC’s newest professor. Two kilted bagpipers along with Rob MacLeod, Southwest Regional Representative of the Clan MacLeod Society, U.S.A., joined Peter and several other OSC faculty to await the plane’s 10 p.m. arrival.
As each passenger stepped from the plane, they were greeted by an anxious welcoming party and the skirling of bagpipes. I can imagine everyone must have felt a wee bit special as they walked the short distance from the plane to the terminal. Unfortunately, the Macleods were not among those honored. Unbeknownst to Peter, Angus and Ann had arrived in Los Angeles from England earlier that day only to discover that the airline had somehow unconfirmed their previously confirmed connecting flight to Phoenix. They were told they had no reserved seats on the plane.
Eventually, all was resolved. The Macleods secured seats on a later nonstop flight to Tucson and were met at the airport by Peter, without the bagpipe welcome, but with a good tale that would never tire in the telling.