Idaville, which is in Anywhere, USA, has captured the mind of my 10-year-old son these days. Instead of being nose-deep in The Hunger Games or even Harry Potter, his imagination has been tickled of late by the mystery adventures of Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective.
On our walk to school this morning, he told me that he wanted to live in Idaville. When I asked him why, he responded, “It has so many criminals! And I want to help capture them!”
For those who don’t know them, the Encyclopedia Brown books are about a brilliant young boy whose father is chief of the Idaville police force, and Encyclopedia uses his encyclopedia-like brain to help his dad solve all the local mysteries. At the end of each story, the reader is asked to try to solve the mystery and catch the criminal. There is seemingly a great deal of crime in Idaville, America, and my son has been bending his brain to try to figure it all out.
A few minutes after this conversation, a local police car drove by us, and my son turned to me with a big smile and said, “You know what I like to do? I like to wave to police officers as they drive by.”
Put two and two together, and you have a recipe for an imaginative young boy who feels smart enough (like his hero, Encyclopedia Brown) to solve criminal mysteries, and trusting enough of the police force to know that they will back him up in his quest.
My guess is that Trayvon Martin did not make the same equation in his mind.