I was in the letters section and came across a delightful letter from 8-year old Morgan Hendley who writes:
"The story starts when I was just a baby. My dad would take me in a backpack when he went out with the dogs. As long as I can remember I have gone out with him and enjoyed the day, even when he dropped me out of the backpack headfirst into the hole he was digging! It's not like he meant it. He was pulling out the terrier, and leaned over a bit too far. I have gone every year, and it gets better and better.
"I love hunting with my dad. I am so happy when I am out hunting. He also hunts almost every week with his friend Greg D. Greg says I am their good luck charm. Last time I was out with them we caught 5 groundhogs! I think that is good luck.
"Now that it is summer, I will be hunting a lot more with my dad. I hope that some of you who read this will take your kids out hunting. My dad says it is important as one day I will need to do the digging. He is proud that I defend hunting to people that don't understand it, and people who say it is wrong. I know better. I have learned so much being outside, and I've seen a lot of things I wouldn't have if my dad didn't take me. I know I will hunt for the rest of my life."
When I got to the reference to Greg D., of course, I checked the byline and realized this was Jo's daughter, growing up fast and being raised right as rain. Congrats to Jo and Mrs. Jo.
I looked closely at the picture of young Morgan in the magazine; a real cutie with what looked to be strawberry blonde hair and two young lurchers by her side.
And then I remembered reading Rebecca O'Connor's "eight random things" post even earlier in the morning in which she said she was raised by her grandparents and that any man coming to woo her could forget about diamonds: come instead with an offering of a good falcon and excellent hawk dog.
An interest in field sports. Red hair. Women. An ability to write. Good parents and grandparents. That rare thing called common-sense values. Is it just me, or can you too see a bit of Morgan in Rebecca, and vice versa? And Morgan could not have a better model as a writer than Rebecca. Check out this story (PDF) of hers from The South Dakota Review.
Bottom Line: The future of America is so bright I may need to get new sunglasses. Is this a great country or what? .