His small hand reached out to shake mine as his father told him who I was, I could see the excitement in his little face and I looked at his dad with a puzzled expression.
We were at a Jenkins Kids Day event, Raymond “Pap” Brown and myself, and we had our wildlife exhibit set up showing people around. I first thought the young man, Cealan Riley, was just excited about seeing all the animals on display. He was wearing a camoufl age outfit, so I figured he was probably into hunting and was dreaming of hunting the animals on display as his years passed behind him. Then his father, Thomas, told me a story that still thrills my heart today.
Thomas and Cealan never miss a Struttin’ Time story. The two spend quality time together, and in my mind’s eye I see Thomas taking time out to read Struttin’ Time to Cealan. I gave Cealan a camo cap and he wanted me to sign it for him, which I did. We have kept in touch ever since.
Cealan is now five years old, in the first grade, and is an avid hunter and a great student. He loves to hunt, fish, camp, fourwheel, hike, and of course spend time with his dad.
I was thrilled to hear that back in the fall turkey hunt, Cealan got his first turkey. It was a gobbler. Could I ever write enough about how proud I am of him? I understand that he went to see Santa and got a mounted Kansas turkey fan from the old man in red. A trophy of a lifetime to be sure.
When I took December off from writing Struttin’ Time, as I do every year, Thomas said Cealan was worried. Not to worry, little buddy. I’ll do my best to keep writing if you will keep reading.