Locals 2007: Logan Banning | SteamboatToday.com
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Locals 2007: Logan Banning

Logan Banning
John F. Russell

Logan Banning is an 11-year-old with a twist.

He plays hockey and lacrosse, but he also plays the African drums.

He likes watching movies, but unlike many of his peers, he’ll select a title such as “An Inconvenient Truth.”



He makes wallets out of duct tape and sells them for $20, but the money he raises goes toward adopting endangered African gorillas

“I’d like to see them not be extinct,” Logan said.



Logan isn’t sure why he is so interested in African culture, but he remembers picking up an African hand drum when he was 5. Logan now owns seven African drums of all sizes, including a djembe that he asked for when he was 6.

Most African drums are worn over the shoulders and played with the hands. Logan has played with African drummers 20 years his senior, but there aren’t many opportunities to play in Steamboat Springs, so he usually travels to a camp each summer. His favorite camp is Les Merveilles near Boulder.

“How tight it is determines the sound,” Logan said, explaining the difference between the heads and strings on his assortment of drums. “You play the same thing the whole time unless you have a solo.”

And Logan seems content to follow the beat of his own drum.

Beth Banning is environmentally conscious, but her son’s interests and motivation are self-made. She once tried to help foster Logan’s love of Africa by showing him scenes from “Gorillas in the Mist,” but he never finished the movie. The violent poaching scenes brought tears to Logan’s cheeks. But they also caused action.

Through the sale of colorful wallets, Logan has adopted – and potentially saved – eight gorillas. Their pictures hang above his bed.

“I feel like he’s my little Renaissance man,” Beth said.

– Story by Melinda Mawdsley

Photo by John F. Russell


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