INDIANA: The Climber

Although he is only 15, Roger Kerr is known around rural Brazil (pop. 8,400), Ind. as a boy with "quite a reputation." For one thing, he has smoked cigarettes since the age of seven without any apparent damage to his wind or—even more amazing—to his manners: he always says "please" and "thank you" to his mother. He is a fair hand at training dogs, and is smart in the woods. But he is best known for his talent at scaling trees and cliffs.

Even back in West Virginia, where the family lived before coming to Indiana, says his mother, "everybody...

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