When Kevin O’Brien finished marching in last weekend’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, he packed his bagpipe in its case and headed for another musical engagement in Arlington. But when he got there, he made a startling discovery — he didn’t have his beloved instrument. He accidentally left it at the intersection of Payne Street and Duke Street, where he had parked before the parade began.
“I lost it through my own stupidity,” he said. “I drove off without it.”
O’Brien, who lives in Baltimore, is a member of the pipe and drum band of the St. Andrew's Society. He has owned the bagpipe for 40 years. He said that his love of bagpipes began when he saw “Unconquered,” the 1947 Cecil B. DeMille movie about the French and Indian War.
“I really like the sound of the bagpipes in that movie,” said O’Brien, a retired microbiologist for the Food and Drug Administration. “That movie really stuck in my mind.”
O’Brien, a Chicago native, began taking lessons as a 22-year-old. He bought the bagpipe shortly afterward, and has owned it ever since — until last weekend. On Monday, he filed a lost property report with the Alexandria Police Department and posted a note on a telephone pole near the intersection where he left the bagpipe on Saturday.
“I’m hoping that somebody may have picked it up for safe keeping,” he said.
Anyone who has seen the bagpipe can call O’Brien at 410-327-6637.