Happy duck!

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This year’s 4-H Fair, held in late July, was amazing for me. Why? Because I had the privilege to be the judge of the photography projects.
They all blew me away. We have very talented young people in Perry County. They have vision, an artistic eye and some amazing photographic subjects.
It was a very hard task to judge them and it took me several hours.
How do you tell a seven-year-old what to fix in a photo? It’s what they saw as beautiful, or whimsical or just plain cool.
They had categories to follow, therefore I saw a lot of flowers, sunsets, nature, and I enjoyed them. It was the original works that caught my eye – flowers on a Volkswagen, all colors of electrical wires, a chicken in the snow. Great photos and, more than that, a great eye.
The Overall Champion so impressed me that I asked if I could meet him. It just so happened that he was there working and Diana had him come over to meet me.
I shook Mr. Israel Melchior’s hand, and we had a nice visit. I encouraged him to contact me anytime, if he was wanting to do some photography for the paper. His photos told a story, and that is what photojournalism is supposed to do for the reader.
I hope some of you had a chance to see all their work. Not just the photography, the sewing, the cooking, the animals, all of it.
I was a member of Girl Scouts, I never did belong to 4-H. The two organizations have much in common, but there are many differences. I admire all the hard work these young people put into their projects.
When I came back to pick up our chicken dinner later that day, I first stopped in to see all the other projects, it was so much easier to look at them and not “judge.” I believe the most fun though was the happy duck. She was two toned, soft fawn color and white, and she just quacked and quacked.. wait for it… and quacked. She put the biggest smile on my face as I walked away, and I was really glad it was a chicken dinner instead of duck as I headed to the American Legion.
I did the take-out for Carl’s and my dinner, and that was a whole other experience standing in line and visiting with the folks I knew and people watching the ones I didn’t.
I did learn something about Perryville and Perry County people though, they like dark meat.
The woman who was serving the chicken was a wiz at finding the dark meat, but she had to do a lot of transferring of the large chicken breasts to find it.
Now, I have always been a white meat person, and I really thought that was the majority of folks, but not here.
I made her day when I got up to her and said, “White meat, please!” She was all smiles, but then I had to order Carl’s, “Dark meat, please.”
All in all I enjoyed the 4-H Fair the most I ever have, even with the hard task of judging. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to see so much beauty and imagination if I hadn’t agreed to do it, and I even volunteered again for next year.
I ended the evening with a good meal I didn’t have to fix, and let’s not forget that happy duck.
Beth Durreman is the publisher of the Republic-Monitor. She may be reached by email at bdurreman@perryvillenews.com or by phone at 573-547-4567.

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