Fortiter Et Recte (Boldly and Rightly)
Fighters from generation to next
Serving no King
Guardians to the bloodiest valley in Britain.
History remembers them as
Thoroughly cursed by a thousand words,
excommunicated by Archbishop Gavin Dunbar.
His proclamation never lifted,
carved in stone in Carlisle.
That blood runs in my veins.
According to my mother
who took me to Highland Festivals in Deep Creek Lake
and tried to convince me to play the bagpipes
but was content when I took up the tin whistle.
She told me the Scots loved West Virginia.
The mountains reminded them of home,
so they made a new one in our hills and hollers.
I didn’t believe until 23 & Me
confirmed she was right--their blood runs in my veins.
Grandma Elliott, good mountain stock,
played piano, guitar, dulcimer, and fiddle.
She was strong enough to survive
the sudden death of her first husband,
kept the farm running while raising four kids
without running water or heat.
But ancestry doesn’t build character, right?
Yet when I look at my father,
from whom I get my dark hair and brown eyes
my stubbornness and work ethic
my rebellious streak…
I cannot deny
that his blood runs in my veins.
Digging in dirt for roots makes my hands dirty.
Fill my blood with
Strength, boldly and rightly,
and a fighter’s spirit
Monongahela River’s morning mist
Wind from Cheat Mountain
Cathedral's deep wooded silence
A touch of mischief
Creativity and intelligence
My blood runs in my veins.