By Ashley Lodato

It was a weekend for bittersweet endings.

The Methow Valley Killer Whales swim team wrapped up what was both an unusual and a short season, celebrating with a SplashFest party at the Wagner Memorial Pool on Sunday. After losing the county championship for the first time in more than a decade (to Brewster, by 4 points, which is the equivalent of a single third-place finish), the Killer Whales took the narrow defeat with dignity and graciousness.

Although there were many excuses for why the Killer Whales didn’t bring home the championship trophy this year (they started the swimming season nearly three weeks late; they had to travel long distances to other pools; they were only able to train two or three days a week; many of the older kids had summer jobs that conflicted with the revamped swim practices; the team was about half its normal size due to pool and schedule constraints), the kids employed none of these. They simply congratulated the Brewster swimmers and celebrated their own successes, including the personal records that were set by every swimmer on the team this year.

Photo by Ashley Lodato Madeline Bosco with the Chase Award.

Photo by Ashley Lodato
Madeline Bosco with the Chase Award.

At the SplashFest party, Killer Whale coaches Bo Thrasher and Chuck Russell gave Madeline Bosco the Chase Award, which is conferred annually upon a swimmer who demonstrates courage, support, and commitment to the team, in honor of the late Killer Whale Chase Brandenburg. Madeline jumped in as a volunteer coach for the young swimmers halfway through the season, doing double duty both in the water and on the deck.

The general sentiment around the pool seemed to be that the disappointment of the championships was rendered insignificant by the sweetness of the personal achievements, athleticism, and camaraderie amongst team members.

Celestial Cinema wrapped up its fifth season with two perfect nights on the grass, warm winds, and a tapestry of stars in an inky sky above. On the second night, during the Star Wars film, the cosmos overhead seemed merely an extension of the screen, complete with a poster-worthy shooting star about halfway through the film. Looking up, you could imagine that those other galaxies were not so very far, far away.

Again, bittersweet, as Celestial Cinema founder Sarah Berns announced that it would be the event’s final year. After the movie I said goodnight to Sarah, long after the last guests had departed. Sarah had been working punishing hours for the better part of the past four days and most of the clean-up of Celestial Cinema still remained to be done in the light of the following morning; she was probably running on fumes. But her kids wanted to attend the midnight Harry Potter book release party at Trail’s End Bookstore and she was obliging. Closing the door on the magical event that she created, Sarah drove off to enjoy another delightful product of an individual imagination.


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