Photo, Video & Story – Joseph Boyle
A couple days ago I was at Starbucks minding my own business when this guy named Richard, drove up in a beautiful 1980 Rolls Royce. What a fun car. We got to talking. He told me he had heard of me, the oldest living cub reporter this side of the Mississippi, from the guys in the Lakewood Starbucks Miata Car Club. We talked about my writing work with The Suburban Times.
After talking about Rolls Royces, 1934 Fords and motorcycles, we started talking about pogo sticks. Don’t ask me how that happened. He told me his son, Raven, rides a pogo stick to school.
Pogo stick is not something we normally think about during our daily travels. The very words, pogo stick, made me think of the red pogo stick I got when I was a kid. My pogo stick is stored up in the attic of my garage. I am tempted to get it down and see if I can still make it work 60 years later.
Starbucks barista Edra, who introduced Richard to me, told me talk of pogo sticks brought back wonderful childhood memories. She instantly could feel the little girl in her come back in her memory.
Then it hit me. I said, “Hey Richard, this could be a fun story for The Suburban Times. I would enjoy writing about a young man doing something constructive and fun. The three of us could meet at Starbucks. Raven could bring his pogo stick. We could capture some action film and conduct an interview.” Richard agreed to ask Raven when he returned home. Raven said, “That sounds like fun.”
To make a short story endless, we met today. Check out the video of Raven. Raven knows how to ride a pogo stick; that is for sure.
Raven is 11 years old and in sixth grade. He told me the pogo stick belongs to his neighbor. He borrowed it one day only 20 days ago. He has only used the pogo stick about 6 times. He likes a challenge, so after figuring out how to ride the pogo stick, he set a goal to jump 3000 times.
He made 2,607 jumps before quitting. He told me he might try for 3,000 again.
When you are age 70, like me, in the company of a 11 year old, it is an opportunity to be a positive mentor. With that thought in mind, I showed him how I do my reporter / writing work for The Suburban Times. We took video. I took interview notes on my MacBook Air. We talked about the importance of Raven learning to write, including spelling, grammar and punctuation. I encouraged him to learn the skills necessary for good writing even if he has no desire to be a writer
I followed that by challenging him to write a story. Guess what? He met the challenge.
Check out the very next Suburban Times article which is a story written by my new 11 year old friend, Raven.
Edra reminded us that Starbucks is the third place. Starbucks is a place away from home and work where good people gather for coffee, treats, conversation and positive chance encounters.
This chance encounter ended up with an 11 year old boy being published in the Suburban Times.
I like to see a young man do good things. Great work Raven. It looks to me that you have a jump on life.