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Baselines and bovines remind us that all is well

August 03, 2011

Last week, two outdoor events were playing out in Washington County, just as they have played out before, and just as they are played out each year all across the nation.

But this universal routine does not mean they’re not special.

In Maugansville, youths were competing in the Maryland State Little League tournament, where Conococheague lost its opener and then went on a five-game tear to capture the championship and earn a trip to Bristol, Conn., for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Tournament.

Out at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center, meanwhile, kids were showing off the two- and four-footed fruits of many months of hard work and scrupulous care, as they displayed their animals in exhibits and led them through the show ring during the county’s annual Ag Expo & Fair.

Needless to say, both baseball and country fairs are staples of American life — and they become all the more important as too many of us center our lives indoors in front of electronic screens.

Many of us show up for a mere week of prime-time sporting and agricultural performances, but this overlooks months and years of practice, hard work and attention to detail.

The stress was all the more intense this year due to record heat. Kids played ball under a summer sun and slept without air conditioning alongside their livestock in conditions that couldn’t have been comfortable. We salute them for their dedication and their ongoing pursuit of excellence.

We also salute their parents and adults who do a lot of behind-the-scenes work that is barely noticed or seldom reported. From maintaining ballfields to organizing fair entries, a multiplicity of small but important details goes into these productions. We also salute those who make it possible for our kids’ talents to be showcased in such a positive light.

From baseballs to bawling cattle, these summer weeks are comforting in their timeless regularity. Scenes from fairs and ballfields might not be so very much different from a century ago, and we know that the generations tick forward in orderly and productive ways.

To all those, young and old, who have had a hand in these events this summer, we extend our thanks for this annual reminder that all is well.

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