Two years ago, I brought my brother to two Portland Pirates games, two nights in a row. As it happened, the chorus and band from the middle school he’d just left when he came to live with me were performing the national anthem and America the Beautiful at those two games.
Two years ago, I came as close as I ever have to punching a twelve year old in the face.
Details are unnecessary, if only because I don’t want to perpetuate the poison these children had learned to put out into the world.
What matters is that, when I went to the Portland High School talent show last night, I saw not only talent, but personality, innovation, and courage on that stage. And in the audience. Not every act had it entirely together. Not every person who took the stage hit every note, pronounced everything correctly, or struck each chord they intended. But every single kid who got up on that stage was rewarded by their peers for the guts it took to do so, regardless of the accuracy of their performance.
Portland High School students, well played. You are going to represent our city well.