Meet Logan Weatherholt.
He’s right on the edge of being 12 years old.
It was high time I talked to a member of the oncoming generation. Might learn something, what with all the backbiting of the retiring baby-boomer bunch.
Arrowhead hunting is Logan’s love number one. He looks for them along riverbanks, especially on the Kentucky and Indiana side of the Ohio. Logan hunts with his dad, Charlie.
“Easy to find arrowheads?”
“Not easy to find…look for chipped flint or rock on the bank.”
“Fish all the time. Caught a 20-pound catfish.”
“Hunt deer. Two does under my belt. Use a 12-gauge or 20-gauge shotgun—kicks a little, but I’m used to it. Use a .22 rifle for squirrels.”
Right away, I’m wondering about Br’er Squirrel, Bambi, and guns in the hands of children.
“Hunters’ education,” Logan reminds me. “I have a license” to hunt and fish, he says, doubling his legs and feet up beneath himself for better thinking.
“Kill it, you eat it. Poachers shoot for the fun of it. They saw off horns. I love venison, one 90-pound doe was 60 to 70 pounds of meat.”
“Watch much television?”
“Don’t watch television—interested in too many things. My mom and I sit down and paint together, oil paints. I like to draw, love to draw. I look at it, then use pencils to make different shades of gray.”
Logan buys birdhouses for $3.00 and sells them for $20 to $30. I look at the boy and try to remember how I was when I was close to being 12 years old.
“What do you want to become?”
“I want to be an archeologist,” says Logan, not missing a beat. Science and art are his favorite subjects. With A’s and B’s he stays on the honor roll.
“St. Louis University. They have one of the biggest archeology teams in the nation.” Logan races upstairs to his room and returns with several issues of The Archaeological Institute of America.
“What about zoos?”
“Don’t like zoos. Don’t believe in holding animals in captivity.”
“Cities? What do you think about cities?”
“Don’t like cities. More peaceful in the country—fresh air—the city is polluted with diesel fuel and gas, not a pretty sight. There are trees in the country and animals and the smell of fields of corn and soybeans.”
When Logan was 7 years old he created an oil painting, Purple Mountain Majesty. I keep reminding myself that this kid is 11 years old.
“What do you like to read?”
“National Geographic, Hardy Boys books, Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn.”
“Now, what about girlfriends? You have girlfriends?”
“No girlfriends. Not for me.”
Well, I could remember and identify with that, but I suspected Logan could have a platoon of girlfriends if he didn’t think it was more fun to hunt and fish and make money in the birdhouse trade.
“Sports? Do you like sports?”
“Love sports! Basketball, baseball, football.”
I, the 73-year-old cynic, look across the table at this 11-year-old wonder kid, and I’m thinking I’ve been blessed to have come upon such a wonderful youth in my own twilight time, when a whole lot of baby boomers have retired and gone off to play shuffleboard.
“Logan, do you have a certain way of looking at the world? I mean, what would you say about your parents, but especially how you see yourself.”
“My parents take care of me. I don’t have to do much—mow the yard, sweep the floor, wash dishes.”
“I try to behave. If I’m bad, I should be disciplined.”
“A final word?”
“Children should be loved…I hope you like what I do, and I’m going to stay with what I do.”
With that I close my reporter’s notebook, giving thanks that I don’t have to call the network and say, “No story here. Where do you want me to go next?”