Blue Ribbon Northcutts

Emma and Henry took a big step toward truly becoming Marinites (someone from Marin County, not the mineral) by competing in the 2012 Marin County Fair piano competition. Under the tutelage of their piano teacher, Kenn Gartner, they’ve become quite the piano players. They’d practiced the same pieces over and over for the last several weeks all in anticipation of the big day.

The night before their performance Marla and I were both uncharacteristically nervous on their behalf. What if they flubbed notes and froze? What if Emma’s exasperation with herself flared and she screamed on stage? (Sadly, a not-infrequent occurrence during practice.) Would we be scarring them for life when it came to public performance? Public speaking is something I’ve long dreaded and only through repeated and forced practice has it become tolerable. I’d hate to saddle them with that phobia all in the name of a silly blue ribbon.

Our worries were, of course, in vain. Emma and Henry performed beautifully and both walked away with first place blue ribbons. Both them, but especially Henry, were beaming ear-to-ear for the rest of the day. It was fantastic. You can see for yourself below!

We spent the remainder of the afternoon wandering the fair. The kids loved the 4H displays and the petting zoo. The Hambone Express pig races held them rapt for, well, minutes.

The fair was surprisingly lacking when it came to food, though. The normal fried insanity was shockingly absent. No fried Oreos? No fried Twinkies? No fresh, organic, local fried butter? Alas, we were forced to make do with funnel cakes and oysters on the half shell…

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