Young people doing good things is so refreshing.
I helped judge photography Monday for the 4-H exhibits at the Platte County Fair. Those on the judging panel got more than pretty pictures to look at. You walk away with a strong dose of optimism, too.
That was true probably for all the judges in the Mack Myers Building who evaluated woodworking, cooking, sewing, poster boards and various other projects that young people had crafted or created. Some likely had a little help from their parents, but what can be better than a child and parent working on something together?
The 4-H program has always been about young people learning, gaining confidence and getting rewarded for their effort. You don’t hear much about these things unless your kids are involved. Because the public is generally addicted to dramatic, tension filled news, often with unhappy endings. Demand from the public, and something about human nature that craves excitement, creates this in news media and entertainment.
It did my heart good this week to read in The Kansas City Star that slam bang violent movies are losing money big time this summer because the public just isn’t interested. That’s a nice change.
But away from such hubbub, regular people do good things. That includes many youths.
Such as, the 4-H photography judges gathered near a table Monday evening to pick pictures that would advance to the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia in August. A large pile of blue-ribbon winners was spread out on the table. Moody flowers, old barns, joyous pets and interesting people were among the subjects. Some exhibitors were only eight or nine-years-old, others were up to the early and middle teenage years. Judges agreed, some of these kids are very talented at a young age. Regarding composition, focus and lighting, they studied their lessons well. There is a higher photo project level for the more experienced 4-Hers and a couple of those pictures were stunning.
“This is a picture I’d hang on my wall,” said one judge, who is a veteran professional photographer.
The difficult part of judging and picking a final group to advance to state is saying no to some wonderful photos. Actually, some red ribbon photos with good composition and thought, but minor flaws in exposure or focus, were pictures that could wind up in a long-treasured family album.