A bright-eyed and effervescent youngster walked, some might even say marched, into the newsroom the other day and took up a position alongside my desk.

Her demeanor, her deportment, belied her obvious youth.

She had a singular purpose, a resolve that screamed confidence.

She was accompanied by her paternal grandmother, but she needed no such chaperone or liaison.

She thrust her right hand forward and said something along the lines of, “Hello, I’m Madison Murray. I’m a third-grader at Roosa.”

To be honest, I did not hear half of what she said.

She lost me when she offered, or demanded, to shake hands.

Kids, third-graders, little people, they don’t do that.

Perhaps her grandmother, the vivacious Mary Beth Murray, was a ventriloquist. A puppet master.

But there were no strings. Mary Beth Murray was an innocent, well-nigh invisible, bystander.

Madison Murray was running this show.

“I like to write,” she said matter-of-factly.

Her evidence was this sheet of paper, she said.

She held it with both hands, proudly and protectively.

She placed it in my hands, expecting me to grasp it, or caress it, in identical fashion.

“A writer, huh?” I asked. “Well, let’s see.”

I walked away, my curiosity focused on the paper.

Madison Murray, a sports fan, a would-be sports columnist, had been moved to commentary by the performance of the Claremore Zebras in their final game of the high school baseball season.

She had gone to the Class 5A state tournament in Broken Arrow last week as a fan.

She returned home a budding sports columnist.

If Madison’s surname is familiar, it should be.

Her parents are Pam and Mike Murray.

Her uncle is Matt Murray, head coach of the Zebras.

The Murray name has long been associated with baseball, athletics and Claremore.

This is the first time it has been associated with journalism.

Her words sparkled with a certain charm, glowed with a certain innocence, unusally insightful, for my way of thinking, for a 9-year-old.

I asked her a couple of non-descript, simple questions. Ice-breakers, mainly.

She answered, expansively and expressively.

She was as good a conversationalist as she was an observer of actions.

I asked if she might want to try her hand at additional essays.

“When do you want them?” was her instant reply.

Ah, eagerness. Youthful eagerness. An honest-to-goodness virtue of cub reporters.

I had that wide-eyed eagerness, myself, years ago.

But I was far removed ... far, far removed ... from the third grade.

Shoot, I couldn’t spell journalism in the third grade.

Madison Murray not only can spell journalism, she can do it up write.

At left is Madison’s first professional submission, headline and all.

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