By Ashley Lodato
The Methow Valley Killer Whales capped an undefeated season with a win at the Okanogan County Championships, held at Wagner Memorial Pool in Twisp on Saturday. Swimmers competed in up to seven individual events and two relays. The final relay of the day was a parent-child relay, where swimmers recruited friends and family members to join them in 200-yard freestyle relays. And to the surprise of some of the younger team members, most of these parents can really swim!
Typically the swimmers like to throw their coaches in the pool after the final meet, but this year the coaches beat them to it, jumping in the pool of their own volition and then churning out an impressively quick 200-yard freestyle for good measure.
Amelia Eberline was recognized with the Chase Brandenburg Memorial Award, which is given annually to a swimmer who demonstrates courage, support and commitment to the team. Congrats to Amelia and to all the Killer Whales for a strong and sportsmanlike season.
There are few things we Methow residents like better than seeing someone push through in the face of adversity, so it was with a bit of horrified admiration that several hundred of us witnessed Jasper Wood’s violin solo at the Chamber Music Festival’s closing concert, when, about halfway through the piece, his bow started coming apart. Obviously, we would have been sympathetic had the shredded bow in any way prevented Mr. Wood from playing the piece well, but on the contrary, it almost seemed like the broken bow strings fueled the violinist’s ability to deliver an amazing performance.
Professional musicians are obviously trained to ignore distractions — audiences coughing, things falling over loudly — but gosh, when you see the severed strings of your bow whipping back and forth freely as you’re playing, it must set off at least tiny alarms. To everyone’s relief, the piece ended not only without disaster, but with the audience members on their feet, applauding what was an incredible performance, made only more so by the equipment troubles.
Sometimes, living here, you forget that summers are not like this everywhere. Sitting in a barn listening to world-class classical musicians. Potlucks by the lake. Watching a rainbow-striped balloon rise from the valley floor at dawn. Camping near an alpine meadow. Snuggling in a blanket in front of an inflatable movie screen at Celestial Cinema. These are the things that fill our summers. How did we get so lucky?