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Renaissance 12 year old getting set for the fair

By Ellen M. Shehadeh


Point Reyes Light
June 1, 2006


Twelve-year-old Andrew Caramagno of Point Reyes Station is a guy with diverse interests and abilities. His mother, Linda Rodoni Caramagno, one of his major fans, describes her son as "multitalented." Andrew's modesty and reserve, however, hinder full disclosure, unless, of course, he is faced with prying questions from a curious reporter. Then slowly all is revealed. His shy smile, earnestness and the orderly way he organizes his stash of 4-H materials and awards and other treasures suggest a young man who takes responsibility seriously.


Although a 4-H-er for almost five years, not all of Andrew's skills were fostered by 4-H. Mentored by his father, Matt Caramagno, Andrew ties a mean fishing fly and neatly sorts them in a special plastic box. He carefully explains the structure of the flies, pointing out that they have no scent. Although a city slicker might think his tied flies are unique earrings, Andrew puts them to good use in the rivers of Dunsmuir in northern California where he and his family often vacation. Rainbow trout just can't resist, and Andrew not only catches and cleans the fish, but knows how to cook them as well. His preferred method is to wrap the fish in foil along with butter, limejuice and celery salt and throw the packet into the fire. His lemon bars are legendary, at least among family, and especially his grandfather. He also whips up scones and peppermint bark candy. Andrew honed these techniques in 4-H cooking classes.

Hunting with his uncle, Al Rodoni, is another pastime. So far it's been mostly birds, but Andrew is interested in moving on to deer. He has already shot a duck, cleaned it and cooked it for dinner. He practices shooting at the Valley of the Moon Trap Club in Sonoma with other 4-H-ers.


He harbors future plans for his uncle who he hopes will eventually teach him how to build a car. Presently, Andrew says, he just "tinkers around with motors."


This year in 4-H Andrew is making a redwood lawn chair with a plan his mother found in a magazine and ably assisted by his dad, Matt Caramagno. The chair is not fully completed as yet, but will be ready for First In Show by deadline. His father jokes that they might produce a batch of them to sale over Western Weekend and the large amount of work required could make the prices quite steep.


Andrew enjoys school, especially science and math, but he's "not into" history His talent for numbers means that next year in 7th grade he'll be taking 8th grade math. His taste in television reflects his native curiosity. He enjoys watching "I Shouldn't Be Alive" and "Deadliest Catch" on the Discovery Channel, James Bond films with Sean Connery and World War II movies, especially those starring John Wayne.


He practices baseball in his backyard, currently surrounded by a late spring garden virtually exploding with color on this sunny Point Reyes mesa property. No, Andrew can't take credit for this horticultural gem--it was expertly designed and tended by his mother, Linda. He's a big Oakland A's fan and attends many games with his family. Andrew also participates in the sport as part of the West Marin Little League, playing pitcher, shortstop and second base, but not all at once.

Not surprisingly Andrew sees a future as an auto mechanic or a baseball player. Perhaps he might also consider a career as a chef?