All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.

Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!



As a bagpiper, I play many gigs.

Recently, I was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service of a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper’s cemetery in the Nova Scotia back country.

As I was not familiar with the backwoods, I got lost and didn’t stop for directions. I finally arrived, but an hour late. I saw the funeral guy had evidently left, and the hearse was nowhere in sight. There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch.

I felt badly and apologized to the men for being late.
I went to the side of the grave and looked down and the vault lid was already in place. Not knowing what else to do, I started to play.

The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around.

I poured my heart and soul into the tribute for this man with no family or friends, and I played like I’d never played before!

As I started played “Amazing Grace,” the workers began to weep. We all wept together.

When I finished, I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car. Although my head was hung low, my heart was full.

As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say, “I never seen nothing like that before, and I’ve been putting in septic tanks for twenty years.”


  1. There is nothing more stirring or a bigger yank on the heartstrings than Amazing Grace played on the pipes. I listened to Andre Rieu on YouTube a couple of days ago. There was a video of him/his orchestra being joined by Scottish bagpipers. As they came through the audience playing Scotland the Brave, everyone is just on their feet clapping along with the pipers.
    Andre Rieu concerts are sometimes on PBS during the holidays. There was also a video of his concert at Radio City Music Hall that made me proud to be an American. That whole audience was so into the concert and so patriotic. You could tell that Andre was just feeling the goodwill of the audience.

    Nothing better than pipes except a well played violin.

  2. Personally I always thought bag pipes are what made "Back in Black" the pinnacle of Australian musical composition. :-)

  3. It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Want to Rock & Roll) has the best rock and roll intro ever done. It's like it's been stripped of everything unnecessary and distilled down to pure awesomeness. Then about half way through, the pipes kick in. Long time ago I'd pointed them out to my son. He couldn't discern them till I told him it was the things that sounded like cats dying. Next thing I knew, he was screeching "Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee", singing along with the pipes, in the appropriate pitch with such joy I had to join in. Years later, we still sing along with the pipes in that song.