Chattanoogan: Rick Baldwin - A Year In A Kilt
commits to a year in a kilt.
At six feet, five inches, Rick Baldwin
has to shop carefully to find a kilt to fit.
own website called A Year In A Kilt.
was basically shy but the kilt experience has given him more confidence.
Scottish National tartan from Heritage of Scotland.
"The kilt will probably always be a part of my wardrobe," Rick
says, "Never run with a heavy Sporran."
I didn't know about all the equipment - like the kilt pin, I didn't know what that was for," admits Rick Baldwin
, a man committed to wearing a kilt for a year - maybe even longer.
"The pin is a decoration but it is really there to keep this," (he says, gesturing at the garment flap) "from flying up.
I get that from her
six siblings were kids, his
parents went Christmas shopping for them and they had to wait in their Volkswagen bus.
I felt a connection and it started the interest in who I was and where I came from," Rick
"I love finding out about family and my family's names - how everyone is connected.
Genealogy should be in every high school.
Sometimes you realize someone's family came from the same place your family did and it is a way of accepting others.
I love diversity and I love celebrating your heritage - no matter what your heritage is.
We are all kind of watered-down anyway," Rick
was a boy, he
wanted to be in show business.
Having an uncle with a traveling show, Rick
was taught to juggle and other tricks that were fun to him.
With a Southern Baptist upbringing, Rick
also searched his
heart and decided he
wanted to go into the ministry.
"I had this struggle in me - wanting to be a minister and wanting to be a performer.
I never really thought they may be the same thing," he
Being a Knoxville native, Rick
moved to Chattanooga in 2004 and started a company with his
now ex-wife called Imagination Atmospheres
"I work with a lot of churches; they are my biggest client base right now," Rick
is a theming company where Rick
creates themed environments.
Rick's creativity goes beyond performing.
He is an artist in various forms.
While living in Knoxville he
drew political cartoons for the Metro Pulse for about seven years.
Before that, he
had drawn for CCM
(Contemporary Christian Magazine), a national publication, and his
strips were viewed all over the country.
came to Chattanooga he
picked up drawing cartoon strips for the Pulse.
"I couldn't really get a grasp on Chattanooga politics when I came here.
Knoxville politics always seemed so much more fun to me and more complicated - there was so much stuff going on there and more to make fun of," Rick
The notion for wearing the kilt for a year came about in a random sort of way as Rick
was voicing ideas about it with his
Eventually, it came full circle with a website to follow.
has accumulated close to 15 kilts so far over the past year.
planned to begin his
year of the kilt on his
fiftieth birthday in April of 2012 but he
ended up beginning at the first of the year when it was still cold outside.
"I started wearing the kilt with long johns under it," Rick
"It was like 'kilt training wheels'," he
Though the summer months proved to be more uncomfortable, Rick
has welcomed the cool weather lately and says he
will not use his
training-wheel long johns this winter.
"Kilts are made for Scottish weather and this weather lately has been Scottish weather," he
"I have to say that I have gained a huge respect for women in how they get around in skirts.
I can't go to coffee shops and relax anymore.
I used to cross my leg over my knee and also, when you are wearing a kilt, everyone is looking at you.
If I am situating or crossing a leg over and I slip up with one wrong move, someone is probably looking!
went to Wine Over Water and wore a very royal purple kilt.
"I thought it would be perfect for a wine tasting event.
My girlfriend has purple hair and she
wore all purple too.
Wearing a kilt may not be a good idea for a wine tasting party though it is so entertaining to watch people have lots of wine and they seem less inhibited to say certain things," he
handles those situations by evading the question.
"I never tell them.
I like to leave it as a mystery.
A guy I met at the market is in a pipe band and also wears a kilt.
told me something that happens to him on occasion is that girls will ask if they could get their picture made with him.
They would say '1-2-3!' and the girls lift his
skirt up right as the camera flashed.
I understand the playfulness, but there is also a rudeness to it," Rick
How hard was it for Rick
to begin wearing a kilt?
There seems to be a tolerance for people who are different; I think that's kind of cool," Rick
Normally a very quiet and somewhat shy person, Rick
is now more outspoken and this experience has given him a lot more confidence.
"When you commit to wearing a kilt, you have to commit to the whole thing.
If I want to just run out for a second it is hard to put all this stuff on, so that is the one drawback.
But when the year is up I think I am going to keep doing it.
I think I will take this into my next venture," Rick
hopes to turn the kilt experience into a performance as soon as he
gains enough material for stories and a stand-up comedy routine.
To follow Rick's
Kilt experience join his
website at: www.ayearinakilt.com/
Chattanoogan: Rick Baldwin - A Year In A Kilt