MANCHESTER — The brother and sister laugh and joke with their mom that they're "celebrities" now and don't have to vacuum or help with dinner.
It'safter school on Monday, and they're basking in the afterglow of the annual 4-H awards banquet Sunday where they were named Mr. and Miss 4-H for 1992. They received congratulations from friends at school allday, and the phone hasn't stopped ringing with more people calling to talk.
Marti and Ben Fair are the first brother and sister to receive the honors together, and they know what the awards entail -- which is why they're celebrating now.
Of course, even the work they'll do throughout the year representing the county 4-H program probably will be fun for the pair. They share common friends and interests and can'thelp but tease and joke with each other when they're together.
Their hardest work will come this summer at the county 4-H fair where they will hand out ribbons every day, staff booths and otherwise be available to help.
Marti, 17, is a junior at North Carroll High School and is interested in veterinary science as a career. Ben is a 16-year-old sophomore and wants to be a forest ranger. Both have been in 4-H since they were 8.
They live with their mother, Ginny Fair -- a biology teacher at North Carroll -- and a menagerie of horses, dogsand cats on a small farm on Route 27. 4-H is a "second profession" for their family, said Ginny, who's also heavily involved in club activities and was a 4-H'er in Montgomery County.
"We just keep getting into things," she said.
The lamp shades in their family room arecovered with champion ribbons from 4-H fairs of years past. Framed pictures of Marti with her prize-winning horses are grouped on one wall. Pictures of Ben with his animals are on another wall.
The brother and sister also study, date and participate in school activities, but 4-H clearly dominates. They go to meetings several nights a week and always are working on one project or another.
The two are members of the Horse Force 4-H Club, where their mom is the leader and Marti the president, and the 4-H Outdoor Fun Club, where Ben is the vice president.
Marti was most surprised at being chosen Miss 4-H. She had been nominated for three years, but had not won. Ben, on the other hand, had been named the Mr. 4-H alternate last year.
Ginny said she expected her daughter to be the alternate, but when Marti's name wasn't called, "She looked so depressed."
When she was named the winner, Marti wasn't prepared.
"One of my friends said, 'Marti, you won.' I was in a daze," she said. "I must have had 300 people hugging me."
Ben, though not as surprised to win, was reminded of a promise he made last year.
"I said if I won Mr. 4-H I'd bake a cake" to enter in the cake auction at the 4-H fair. He's looking for recipes now.
Ashley Bair of the Pleasant Valley 4-H Club and the Carroll County 4-H Horticulture Club was named the Miss 4-H alternate. Bryan Harris of the Chevonaire 4-H Dairy Goat Club, the Carroll County Livestock Club and the Carroll County 4-H Beef Club was named the Mr. 4-H alternate.
Heather Hull of the Pleasant Valley 4-H Club and the 4-H Teen Council received the County Commissioner's Tray presented by Commissioner Donald I. Dell.