Shady Pines Reacts to Unruly Baseball Behavior

Shady Pines Reacts to Unruly Baseball Behavior

Unsportsmanlike Conduct

What is going on? Why do people act like this?  This is NOT the Shady Pines Way! I’m Zulah Talmadge, editor of The Shady Pines Gazette news. My Twitter feed is blowing up and we are getting all sorts of calls here in the newsroom.

Fans at a baseball game went crazy over the weekend in New York and we’re hearing about it!

Scoop the Cub Reporter is busy checking sports feeds at his desk.

“Ms. Talmadge the Breaking NewsYankees were playing the Cleveland Guardians in Yankee Stadium. The New York fans were making fun of some of the Guardians players in the outfield after one of them missed catching a ball. Then, the fans started throwing bottles, beer cans and other trash at them.”

Zulah shakes her head. “Don’t people realize someone could get badly hurt? And also, aren’t these professional baseball players supposed to be role models for kids?”

Scoop nods and cues up the scene to show Ms. Talmadge. “This is really bad.”


Zulah can’t believe it. “Watching it happen in real time is even worse. You can see the fans making fun of the players, calling them losers, and throwing trash at them.”

Scoop sighs. “Sports is about respectig your opponent. You’re supposed to win or lose with grace. That’s what my coaches always tell me.”

It’s Happening In College Too!

Zulah puts her hand on Scoop shoulder. “You’re exactly right Scoop. This was a disgrace. Our kids deserve better than this from the adults in their lives. That’s what my column is going to be about today.”

‘This is madness’: Texas college baseball player tackled by pitcher, as he was running bases after hitting home run.’

Before she can get back to her desk, Scoop is cuing up another video. “Wait Ms. Talmadge. There’s more. Here’s a headline from a college game where something else really ugly happend.”

Zulah puts down her glassed. “What now?”

Physical Attack By A Pitcher

Scoop reads from his computer screen. “In Weatherford, Texas a college baseball pitcher charged and tackled a player from North Central Texas after the guy hit a home run off of him.”

Zulah is in shock. “You’ve got to be kidding.”

“No, Ms. Talmadge,” says Scoop.  Once again:


“This is horrifying,” says Zulah. “Was the pitcher held accountable for his actions?”

Scoop keeps reading. “Yes. After the game, his team released a statement condemning the pitcher’s actions, saying he may get expelled from school as a result. Additionally, the Weatherford College police are investigating the incident.”

Zulah starts typing. “I want to know what our readers here in Shady Pines Story Town think about this behavior.  Here’s my question. What should be done to try to discourage this sort of behariour at sporting events?”


Have Some April Fool’s Day Fun without Mean Pranks

Have Some April Fool’s Day Fun without Mean Pranks

Be Kind On April Fools’ Day

What do you really know about April Fools’ Day and how it started? I’m Scoop the Cub Reporter and that’s the question we’ve been kicking around for The Shady Pines Gazette news. My editor, Ms. Zulah Talmage, and I are looking into this truly foolish day.

Zulah bangs her hands on her desk. “Scoop, first we talked to people around town and now I’ve looked through everything I can Google,” says a frustrated Zulah.

“There are all sorts of theories about how this blasted day got started, but nothing for sure.”

Scoop swivels in his chair to look at her. “I know. It’s weird. All I can find is that this is the day when people try to play clever tricks on one another. And some of those tricks aren’t very nice at all!”

No Harmful Pranks

“Yes,” says Zulah as she crosses the room to get another cup of coffee. “You’re suppose to be creative, but not mean. Like putting salt in the sugar container is not only a bad prank it can be harmful.”

Scoop thinks for a minute. “Yeah. If you put a bunch of salt in your coffee Ms. Zulah you’d start choking!”

Zulah holds her coffee and mug and points at hi. “Exactly. And that’s not funny.”

What Should You Do?

Scoop scans his computer. “It says here a prank should be something that requires planning, timing, and maybe a little acting. The whole idea is that when you shout, “April Fools’ Day” the person you pranked should at least smile if not laugh. Oh, and here are some jokes.”

Joke Time

Zulah nods her head in agreement. “OK. Scoop, why don’t you share some of the jokes you’re seeing?”

Q: What do you call a dog with no tail?  A: A hot dog!

Q: Where do sheep get their hair cut?  A: At the baa-baa shop!”

Q: Why is six afraid of seven?  A: Because seven ate nine!”

Upside Down and Turn Around

Zulah is on her computer searching for ideas, too. “Oh this sounds like fun for parents and kids.”

Turn some things in your house upside down like an empty wastebasket, a cup or a small stool. Then you ask the child to search for the objects and turn them right side up

Next, arrange some objests backwards like turn a TV face to the wall, the back of  a chair turned towards the table, and books with spines facing the back of the bookshelf. Can your kids find the backwards objects?

Finally, play turn-around tricks like making the bed with the pillows at the foot instead of the head, or change the seating arrangement around your dining room table and have the kids put it back the right way.

A Few More Thoughts

“I guess Ms. Zulah, it really just comes down to the Golden Rule,” says Scoop.

Zulah is scribbling notes in her reporter notebook. She looks up. “What do you mean Scoop?”

He cocks his head to one side. “It’s just like any other day. We should treat people the way we would like to be treated. You can have fun, but don’t hurt someone else’s feelings while you do it.”

Zulah lays her pen down. “Why, Scoop I think that is the best way to look at it. You write the article.”

“Thank you Ms. Zulah!”

“And remember Scoop, it’s April Fools’ Day NOT April Fool’s Day.”

Please Leave A Comment Below


Spring Arrives in Shady Pines

Spring Arrives in Shady Pines

 Spring Has Sprung

It’s here! Hi everyone. I’m Scoop the Cub Reporter with The Shady Pines Gazette news. Maybe you’ve noticed that I have a certain ‘spring’ in my set?

Yes, you guessd it. It is now officially Spring and folks all around Shady Pines Story Town are out enjoying the warmer weather.

Kids zoom around on their bikes and skateboards, the dog park is busier than ever, and folks with a green thumb are doing some watering and gardening.

I’ve been studying up on what makes Spring so special. Here’s some of what I found:

Fun Facts For Spring

The days are longer and warmer  during Spring because the earth is tilted towards the sun more. In winter, it’s just the opposite. The earth tilts away from the sun. That’s why the days are shorter and colder. Pretty cool, huh?

In the Spring and in the Fall the sun rises due east and it sets due west. That doesn’t happen in the winter or in the summer.

We live in the part of the world known as the Northern Hemisphere where it’s Springtime. But in Australia right now it’s Fall. That’s because they’re in the Southern Hemisphere.

Beside the grass starting to grow again and the leaves coming back on the trees, Spring flowers are blooming! Don’t be surpised to see dandelions, daffodils, lillies, tulips, iris and lilacs springing up.

You know what else? A lot of people use this time of year to really clean up their houses. That’s called, ‘Spring Cleaning.’

I found out that the term was first used back in 1867! So people have been doing a lot of deep cleaning for a really long time.

Oh, here’s another thing. You hear people talking about ‘Spring Fever.’ That’s because our bodies are trying the get used to the change in weather and maybe eating different foods.

For me, Spring Fever means allergy season is back. All those beautiful, blooming flowers just make me sneeze!

Why do you like Spring? Leave me a comment below!

Shady Pines Celebrates Dr. Seuss’ Birthday

Shady Pines Celebrates Dr. Seuss’ Birthday

 Hats Off to a Celebration of Reading

Oh, boy this is exciting. Look who’s visiting The Shady Pines Gazette news office!

Why it’s local author, Mary Jane McKittrick, here with me for a special celebration. I’m Zulah Talmadge and we’re saying happy birthday to Dr. Seuss.

This is an annual way for the National Education Association to remind kids about the importance of reading. Mary Jane wrote our Boomer and Halley books and is the founder of Shady Pines Story Town.

As you can imagine, when you have her and a whole town full of cartoon characters who love to tell stories, this kind of event is a big deal for all of us.

The Real Dr. Seuss

Why this date? Well, March 2, 1904 was the day Theodor Seuss Geisel was born. He changed his name to Dr. Seuss when he started writing and illustrating children’s books.

To quote Dr. Seuss: ‘The more you read, the more things you’ll know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go!’

Believe it or not, Dr. Seuss wrote more than 60 books, and managed to sell 600 million copies worldwide. His work was translated into over 20 languages by the time he died on September 12, 1991.

Adults reading a bookDr. Suess’ birthday inspired “Read Across America Day.” Organizers across the country believe reading is a “path to literacy for many young Americans,” saying it “begins with timeless traditions: being read to at bedtime, gathering in classrooms for story time, and attending events at local libraries with family and friends.” 

Reading Closer To Home

It’s interesting that our first family of Shady Pines, the Sanders, believes in reading to their kids everyday. Of course their children are four-legged since they never had kids of their own.A happy family hugging their pets

It doesn’t matter. Harold and Edna are devoted to Boomerang, the dog, and Halley’s Comet, the cat, just the same. 

Did you know that Dr. Seuss never had children either? When people asked him how he could write books for kids if he never had any of his own he would just say:“You have ’em; I’ll entertain ’em.”  

Nowadays March 2nd reading programs include more than just Dr. Suess’ books. In recent years there have been people who have been upset about some of the stuff in those books. FIND OUT WHY

Fun Activities

In our small Southern town we always stress the importance of kindness and caring for one another. We also like to have a good time when we do things together.

That’s why over at the Shady Pines Community Center we hear that Director Rita Maleno has some activities planned that will be a lot of fun.

For instance, if you are a fan of Dr. Seuss books then you might have read, Green Eggs and Ham. But do you know how to make them?

Rita told us we can share the recipe with you. Are you ready? Here it is: RECIPE FOR GREEN EGGS and HAM

Whatever you do to mark Dr. Seuss’ birthday and honor a day dedicated to reading, take it from us.

Shady Pines Story Town logoEncouraging reading and storytelling is a great way to inspire imagination and even to build character in kids.


We should know because we have the characters to prove it!

*Please leave a comment below



Shady Pines Brings the Scoop on President’s Day!

Shady Pines Brings the Scoop on President’s Day!

 Let’s Talk Presidents

Breaking News

Hi Everyone. It’s me, Scoop, your cub reporter from The Shady Pines Gazette news. President’s Day is coming up fast. Here in the news office, we’ve been kicking around ideas about what this day means to kids growing up today.

My editor, Zulah Talmadge, asked me to talk about my favorite U.S. president.

I had to think about that for a minute. I have two favorite presidents of the United States, if you really want to know. So, I’ll start with George Washington.

You may already know that Washington one of the founding fathers of this country. He was also named Major General and Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army on June 19, 1775.

He led the fight to gain our country’s independence from the British. General Washington not only became our first elected president but he left office voluntarily after his second term. By doing that, he introduced the idea of term limits.  

There’s one story about Washington that sticks with me. The actual event may not be true, but the lesson is a good one.

George Washington and The Myth

In school we learned the cherry tree myth is the most well-known and longest lasting legend about the first American president. In the original story, when Washington was six years old he received a hatchet as a gift. He didn’t mean to but he accidentally damaged his father’s cherry tree.

When his father found out what he had done, he became angry and asked his son for the truth. Young George bravely said, “I cannot tell a lie…I did cut it with my hatchet.” Washington’s father hugged him and said that his son’s honesty was worth more than a thousand trees.

President Abraham Lincoln

That story meant something because my parents are always telling me how important it is to be honest. And that brings me to my second, favorite, present. After all, Abraham Lincoln’s nickname was, “Honest Abe.”

Do you know that Abraham Lincoln became our 16th president on March 4, 1861? He was known for his honesty way back when he was a teenager like me. That’s really cool.

The future president was first called “Honest Abe” when he was working as a young store clerk in New Salem, Illinois. People in town say that whenever Lincoln realized he had shortchanged a customer by a few pennies, he would close the shop and deliver the correct change – no matter of how far he had to walk.

People were impressed with him and were soon asking him to act as judge or referee in various contests, fights, and arguments. According to Robert Rutledge of New Salem, “Lincoln’s judgment was final in all that region of country. People relied upon his honesty, integrity, and fairness.”

Honest Abe The Statesman

The other thing that impresses me about Lincoln is that he came from a very poor background and worked hard all his life. He was best known for his amazing ability to split wood.

As a president he led us through the Civil War, one of the darkest periods in our history. Here he is meeting with the Union troops.

Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg address at the site of a famous Civil War battle includes one of the most important notions about our country ever stated: “government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.” That statement still gives me chills.

So, what I would tell little kids who ask me why I like these presidents, I think these two men demonstrate what it is to be a leader. They also were the kinds of people we’d love to have as neighbors here in Shady Pines Story Town.

After all, the people who live in this small Southern town believe that we need to treat other people the way we’d like to be treated. Presidents Washington and Lincoln symbolize many of the qualities we all wish we had.

Why don’t you let us know what president you admire? Leave a comment below

Shady Pines Salutes an American Inventor of Possibility

Shady Pines Salutes an American Inventor of Possibility

From Poor Student to Genius Inventor

Here’s a story to inspire you to never give up on your dreams. 

I’m Zulah Talmadge, Editor of The Shady Pines Gazette news. Do you love your cell phone? How about movies or your digital camera? Well, we have one man to thank for those inventions and a whole lot more.

And you know what? When he was a boy a lot of people didn’t think he’d amount to much. 

Instead, he grew up to be one of the greatest inventors this country has ever known. That man was Thomas Alva Edison and his birthday is Thursday, February 11th.

We all see better in the dark because Edison invented a more efficient electric light bulb. Just try and imagine how different life was before his inventions.

Shining Light Into the Darkness

The only way families could communicate with each other was through letters, which could take weeks or even months to arrive. For light, people used candles or oil lamps, which were smoky and messy.

Edison not only invented things but he also made improvements to equipment already in use.  Way before the cell phone there was the telegraph. Edison made the machine smaller and able to send and receive four messages at time.

Those changes let people send messages quickly. In war time or emergencies, telegraphs saved lives. When the luxury oceanliner Titanic sunk in the Atlantic Ocean, it was a telegraph that alerted rescuers to the disaster.

But Edison wasn’t always a brilliant inventor.

The Young Thomas Edison

The young Thomas was a busy, curious boy who got into trouble at school. His teacher called him “addled,” which means slow or dim. That’s right. They didn’t think he was very smart. Edison’s mother was frustrated with the school.

Nancy Edison knew her son could learn. She decided to teach him at home instead. Her ideas worked. Before long, she had taught Edison everything she knew.

He started reading books from the library and teaching himself.

Born in Ohio, Edison’s family later moved to Michigan. In 1859, he took a job selling newspapers and candy on the Grand Trunk Railroad to Detroit.

From Poor Student to Self Starter

In the baggage car of the train, Edison set up a laboratory for his chemistry experiments. At only 12 years old he was operating a printing press and started publishing the Grand Trunk Herald.

It was the first newspaper published on a train.

Unfortunately he accidentally started a fire while doing one of his chemical experiments and they kicked him off the train.

Famous Inventor Who Made American Lives Better

Thomas Edison lived a long and productive life. He submitted his last invention for patent when he was 80 years old. In all, he had 1,093 inventions.

Some of his other best known inventions include the phonograph (which recorded sounds and played them back) and the movie camera. That’s right.  Every time you watch a movie you now know who made that possible.

The best thing about Thomas Edison is that he never gave up. Even when he tried something new and it didn’t work out, he just kept trying until it did.

Happy Birthday to an American who inspires all of us to have faith in ourselves and know that anything is possible!