L. BUDDY BLAIR
Founding member of the Central Louisiana Scottish Society
There weren’t too many fellas wearing kilts in Central Louisiana eight years ago. That’s when L. Buddy Blair started frequenting his new town’s local pub and attracting the attention one would expect from a man brave enough to don a kilt during the swampy summers.
But Buddy wasn’t alone – in fact, the bartender at the pub introduced him to another regular who was also of the kilted persuasion, and the two hit it off immediately. Over time the number of “Kilted Ones,” as the group called itself, grew to over a dozen strong.
Well, Buddy thought, with this many lads showing this much swagger, they should probably take it to the streets. The Kilted Ones were asked to present the Colors at a local Red Cross Banquet in consecutive years, adding a bagpiper to their ranks along the way. Soon, there was enough kilted camaraderie that Buddy helped start the Central Louisiana Scottish Society, aka The Krewe of Sgian Dubh.
The Krewe takes on comers from all walks of life, including active duty military members and local physicians. Buddy has a special appreciation for service members especially. “Bravery to me is running towards danger when most are running away from it,” he says. “Those men and women do this for duty and honor, and my life doesn’t hold a candle to those military and first responders who put their lives on the line daily.”
For the past three years, the Krewe has been able to live out one of Buddy’s dreams by marching in the Mardi Gras parade with their piper. The parade route even takes them in front of the pub where it all started, and Buddy’s Krewe always stops in to present their claymores and salute the establishment.
Seven years in, the group is up to 35 kilted men and many of their wives, who started an annual St. Andrews Ball with funds raised for local nonprofits like Coats for Kids and combat veterans groups. “We’ve formed lifelong friends and a bond as strong as you can imagine,” Buddy says.
Buddy never misses an opportunity to wear one of his three Sport Kilts that are made perfectly for the bayou climate. That’s what makes an Ambassador, after all: someone who gives back and represents bravery even in unexpected places.