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Robert Burns Lives!
My Grandson, Ian Shaw

Edited by Frank R. Shaw, FSA Scot, Dawsonville, GA, USA

I have two grandchildren, Ian and Stirling. Both have been taught about their Scottish heritage and are very aware of Robert Burns. They were thrilled last summer when my wife Susan, their Bonnie Gran, their parents, our son and daughter-in-law Scott and Denise, and I took them to Scotland to learn more about the auld country where their ancestors immigrated from the Isle of Jura off the coast of Argyll in the mid-1750s.

I recently purchased a coffee table book entitled A Celebration of Scotland by Janice Anderson with photography by David Lyons and placed it on a table in our great room. One day while Ian was visiting with us, I noticed him standing at that table thumbing through the book. He turned to me and exclaimed, “Papa, this is a picture of Robert Burns and his home we visited last summer”. He never turned another page in the book, leaving it open to the two pages of Burns and the auld clay biggin’.

Here in this house where there are over a thousand books on Burns and other writings about him including magazines, chronicles, articles, speeches as well as pictures, busts and Mauchline ware, that was a special moment for me, and to this day that book remains open as he left it. Maybe one day I’ll close it, but not anytime soon.

This is a wee story about Ian and a recent school assignment from his teacher at Hickory Flat Elementary School in Canton, Georgia, an hour’s drive from our home in north Georgia. I’ll let Denise, his mother, herself a school teacher, describe his project.

The class read a story about food from a different country.  Mrs. Sims (his teacher) asked the class to select an ethnic group and make a menu of daily specials.  Ian immediately said that he would make a menu of Scottish food.  Haggis was the first thing he wanted to put on the menu.  I suggested a few things.  He found a picture of the cranachan dessert in a cookbook and thought it looked good.

They also had to write a few lines about the food.”

This is Ian’s menu:

Scotch Bonnet

Daily Specials

Main Dishes……………………..$6.99

Haggis Nachos

Smoked Salmon Sandwich

Lamb Stew


Chips (fries)

Tatties (roasted potatoes)

`Neeps (turnips)


Scone with butter and jam




Hot Tea

Irn Brew (Scottish soft drink

As mentioned above by his mother, Ian wrote the following to explain his menu. I love his concept of hunting sheep. Like Scott, his dad, and his Papa, he loves a leg of lamb fresh off the charcoal grill.

The Scottish people eat haggis. It is made from beef, lamb, vegetables, and oatmeal. There is a lot of salmon in the lochs. It is easy for them to hunt sheep because there is so many of them on the hillside. They eat a lot of potatoes.

They bake scones which are kind of like biscuits. The Scottish people eat lots of shortbread. It is made with tons of butter. Cranachan is made from oats, yogurt, and raspberries. They drink hot tea. Irn Brew is really tasty. It is a Scottish orange soda drink.”

By: Ian Shaw

Ian will be ten years old on June 8th and he enjoys being the catcher on his baseball team. He was the only one in the league to catch every pitch for his team this entire season with the exception of an inning when he became too hot. He also enjoys taking one-on-one lessons from former major league player Joey Hamilton who spent eight years with the San Diego Padres and Cincinnati Reds. He and his sister, Stirling, eight years old, along with their Mom, have been taking tae kwon do for three years and are beginning the remaining classes for their black belts. He loves math and chess.

If all of this sounds like a proud grandfather talking, you can bet the mortgage on your house that I am! An article on Stirling will follow in the near future. (FRS: 5.20.10)

And here are some pictures...

Ian won 2nd place in chess today during the chess tournament. Ian's current baseball card
Left: Ian won 2nd place in chess today during the chess tournament. Right: Ian's current baseball card

Ian pictured with school project on Martin Luther King, Jr. during Black Ian pictured with school project on Martin Luther King, Jr. during Black
Left: Ian pictured with school project on Martin Luther King, Jr. during Black History Month. Right: Photo from book where Ian found Robert Burns and his home in Alloway.

Ian's school picture Ian admiring his first pocket square, a gift from long-time friend Iqbal Paroo from Kenya

Left: Ian's school picture.  Right: Ian admiring his first pocket square, a gift from long-time friend Iqbal Paroo from Kenya

Ian with his sister Stirling
Right: Ian with his sister Stirling after receiving their black and red belt in tae kwon do.

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