Though the blue moon was fitting. Fair was tinged with quite a bit of melancholy as we were reminded over and over again, all weekend, that this was Primo's last fair. (The 4-H program extends into "year 13," i.e., the first year of college.) We have attended ten straight years of 4-H fair together, so this ending was more momentous than the end of high school because, as he put it, "I didn't attend high school for ten years!" Nor was high school so enmeshed in our entire family's calendar and operation that entire summers were built around its immutable, immovable presence smack in the middle of the season, with everything to be planned around it, as 4-H fair is.
We still managed to have the usual great time together. Lots of hard work as always but plenty of time for play. Campfires on Friday night under the full moon. Pie-eating contests under the shade trees.
For the first time, they went head to head in the pie-eating contest; the first place winner was glad to come out on top in pie eating, at least.
And there was the costume contest. Always the costume contest. Stuart and Kevyn (her real name) Minion took fourth place.
Hard to say if Terzo or I was most saddened about Primo's time in 4-H coming to an end. The future of the sheep show is uncertain, with few members left with sheep. Terzo's fair experience will likely look much different than Primo's. Which is fine, of course. He has been doing it for ten years, too, so a little change isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Primo may think it's his last year, but there is no way that the 4-H program is going to let him (and his good friend G.) off that easily. They are getting quite polished at their sheep-shearing show; Primo narrates and answers questions while G. shows off his considerable skills. They've already been invited back for next year.
Though it will all look a little different, for all of us.