Village Worthies

It's been a while since I've told you about some of the characters or “worthies” as they're often called, from our former village.  Some I've known, and some I've only heard stories about.

In the UK, and possibly in the Highlands especially, the drinking culture is strong.  I've never been much of a drinker, though I have nothing against it.  I'm more about the drinks that taste nice (bonus points if they can double as a yummy dessert), than about getting “leathered” to the point of not remembering whether I had a good time until I see pictures of myself on social media.  But up here there seems to be a sort of admiration for people who can hold their drink, and amusement and tolerance for those who can't.  Some folks are even a little bit suspicious of those who don't drink much or at all; it seems unfathomable to them. I certainly came up against that last mindset in my few forays into socializing in our old village!

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Deb Segelitz
Deb Segelitz was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and is astounded to find herself living in the Scottish Highlands, sharing life with her husband, a Highlander she stumbled across purely by chance on a blog site. They own a small business restoring and selling vintage fountain pens, which allows Deb to set her own schedule and have time for photography, writing and spontaneous car rides in the countryside. She is grateful to the readers of ANC for accepting her into the North State fold.
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26 Responses

  1. Eleanor Townsend says:

    There you are, Deb! Wonderful! I had forgotten, but now recall, ‘the worthies’. When I was a child and would visit my grandmother in Stevenston, on the coast near Ayr, we would regularly hear men singing as they returned home after their evening at the pub nearby. ‘The worthies’, my grandmother would say, with no ill intent at all. Love the stories, love the pictures. What am I seeing in the 6th photograph? Is there something in the water, or is it just the color?
    You paint pictures even without pictures. Love it all.

    • Deb Segelitz Deb Segelitz says:

      Thank you, Eleanor, I’m glad you enjoyed it, and that it prompted some childhood memories, too.

      That is just the color of the water, courtesy of peat. My husband and others lament the days when their water came from those peaty burns and rivers. “It was brown but you still got clean, and it tasted great,” they say. One friend, when he first moved to the area, thought they had free jugs of whisky on the bar until he discovered that it was just peaty water!

  2. Beverly Stafford says:

    As always, such a day-brightener to read your posts. Thanks, Deb.

  3. Matthew Grigsby says:

    Beautiful, beautiful writing as always! And the photos are always beautiful as well (that first one, of Bailey’s ice latte?? Want to try that!).

    Your words are so perfectly crafted that I always feel like I’m watching a movie in my head, the scene unfolding word by word as each bit forms part of the whole. I was utterly transported with this piece and was absorbed by your tales. Naughty, funny, sad, interesting…it’s all in here. We are so lucky to have you bring us these stories from so far away and I’m so glad I get to call you friend.

    That stone building with the red doors and window frames makes my heart ache. Amazing!

  4. Debbie Davis says:

    I felt like I visited your village and met the wonderful people you wrote about. Thank you for bringing them to life and sharing their stories.

  5. Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

    This was another lovely piece of writing, Deb, and as always, I love the photos. Thank you.

  6. sue says:

    LOVE IT!!! Thank you.

  7. Gayle Rice says:

    Go Maggie!
    Love the mermaid! Do you know who the artist is?

    • Deb Segelitz Deb Segelitz says:

      She is one of a series called The Seven Gates at Wick Harbor – this is what I found on the Wick Heritage site: “This is a row of seven metal artworks forming gates over the entrances of Wick Harbour’s salt cellars: the large chambers needed to store the salt used when packing herring into barrels. The gates were designed by artists Sue Jane Taylor and Liz O’Donnell and made by blacksmith Ian Sinclair, based on the drawings of Wick schoolchildren. They were installed in 2006 and add greatly to the interest of one corner of the harbour.”

      • Gayle Rice says:

        Thank you so much for the info. I love it when towns use childrens art!

        • Deb Segelitz Deb Segelitz says:

          You’re welcome! One day I want to get closer to each gate for some more detailed photographs. There can be a bit of traffic there though, so I’d have to be careful!

  8. Carolyn Dokter says:

    I love, love your letters to us, and also how Matthew describes them so beautifully!

  9. It’s always such a joy and a Deb lovefest when we get one of your columns. Today’s as usual, was delightful. Thank you, Deb. (And Carolyn is correct: These are letters to us. Lucky us.)

  10. Adrienne Jacoby Adrienne Jacoby says:

    As usual with your contributions. I never can decide whether to scroll through the piece quickly so I can see your wonderful photos, or to read the piece and enjoy them along the way. Being a proponent of the “desert first” league, I tend to look at all the pics then return to the top for a read. Either way I’m NEVER disappointed!
    I like that designation. WORTHIES . . . so much more an accepted part of the community than simply CHARACTERS.

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