A teacher who works on Saturdays. He is a retired paleontology professor whose home, full of bones, is open to the students each Saturday. An old man who knows his stuff. Archie can be confusing since he is a man of riddles. He is a mentor to Stargirl, often telling her "Star people shed light, not tears."
Archie, the neighborhood wise man and resident cool old guy, is a retired paleontologist. According to Leo, there are "bones in every room, every closet, on the back porch" (7.1). They're all trinkets he has collected on his paleontological digs. Some of the bones belong to him, and others he meant to send to a museum but kept instead. He justifies this by saying the bones would have sat in the museum's basement and would be much better appreciated at his house. Apparently, Archie is not too worried about sacrificing the rules for the greater good.
One bone in particular stands out: a 60-million-year-old rodent skull that Archie has named Barney. Read more about Barney here: http://stargirl.wikia.com/wiki/Barney
Not only is Archie a retired paleontologist, but also a retired college professor. While that technically means he doesn't have to teach anymore, he just can't resist the opportunity to impart some wisdom to his visitors. In fact, he even has a class that meets on Saturdays.
If someone told us to close our eyes and imagine a wise, older gentleman-professor, we would probably imagine someone who looks a lot like Archie. He smokes a pipe, speaks in riddles, and is just quirky enough to always keep our interest.
When Leo comes to Archie with questions or concerns, he never gives him a straight answer. Instead, he says cryptic things like this comment, which he gives Leo after the boy asks for the scoop on Stargirl: "You'll know her more by your questions than by her answers. Keep looking at her long enough. One day you might see someone you know" (7.50). Um, what? Of course the more time passes, and the more Leo ponders, the less Archie's profound statements sound like nonsense. Funny how that happens.
Interpreter Of Star GirlEdit
Lucky for Leo (and for us), Archie is very familiar with Stargirl. In fact, she has been visiting his house for several years now. As it turns out, Stargirl's mom would bring her daughter over so that she could have another teacher when she was being homeschooled.
But even Archie hasn't totally figured Stargirl out. While he is able to give Leo some basic facts about her background, and help him understand that she is, in fact, genuine, that's about all he has for our narrator. The fact that the oldest and wisest among them cannot really figure Stargirl out may make us wonder if it is possible to figure her out at all.