Shady Pines Remembers a Civil Rights Legend

Shady Pines Remembers a Civil Rights Legend

The Importance of Martin Luther King Day 

Just days ahead of Martin Luther King Day this year, Boston unveiled a new statue. I’m Zulah Talmadge in the Shady Pines Gazette nes office. “The Embrace” honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott King’s civil rights journey and their early years in Boston.

The reveal took place on the Boston Common in a joyous ceremony attended by Massachusetts’ political leaders and members of the King family.

The 20-foot high bronze sculpture is inspired by a 1964 photo of the couple embracing after Martin Luther King Jr. learned he had won the Nobel Peace Prize. Did you know about the civil rights leader’s connection to Boston?

MLK’s national holiday lands on the third Monday in January every year. So this Monday, January 16th, is a great time to help children set a respectful and kind tone for the year ahead.  

Martin Luther King, Jr. wanted to bring compassion, fairness and racial equality to all people throughout the 1950s and 1960s.

As a Baptist minister, Dr. King believed that everyone in America has equal rights. But, back then, people were treated differently because of the color of their skin. Dr. King worked on behalf of equal rights for all of us under the law.

“I Have A Dream”

On August 28, 1963, a quarter of a million people gathered at the Mall in Washington, D.C. to support Dr. Kings ‘dream’ of equality.

His “I Have A Dream” speech is still thought to be one of the most powerful in American history. He called on the people of our nation to come together and treat one another with fairness and mutual respect. Here is the one line that is often quoted:

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

The speech was effective. Two years later, The Voting Rights Act of 1965 became law. It gave people of all races the right to vote. Three years after that, Congress passed the Fair Housing Act of 1968. Unfortunatey, Dr. King didn’t live long enough to see those changes happen.

Civil Rights Leader Gets National Holiday

Because of his lifelong mission to create opportunity for all Americans, on November 2, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed Martin Luther King Day, into law, making it a federal holiday.

With Dr. King’s widow, Coretta Scott King looking on, the ceremony was held at the White House. Here’s part of what President Reagan said about Dr. King:

“He loved unconditionally. He was in constant pursuit of truth, and when he discovered it, he embraced it. He taught us that only peaceful means can bring about peaceful ends, that our goal was to create a loving community.”

Just In The Nick of Time

With all the angry political divide in our country right now, Martin Luther King Day comes just at the right time, don’t you think? His peaceful approach to intolerance was not only the right way to encourage change, it actually worked!

He made progress where others had failed. Dr. King remains a towering figure in American history. Maybe we should all pause on Monday and think about our own dreams for this country. What do the children in your lives see when they look to the future?

Here in Shady Pines, we do our best to treat our animal and human neighbors with kindness, respect  and caring. It doesn’t matter how old or young they are and where they came from. In our town, everyone matters.

What about you? What’s it like where you live?

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Storm Clouds Threaten Fun on the Fourth in Shady Pines

Storm Clouds Threaten Fun on the Fourth in Shady Pines

Could Storms Drench The Fourth?

It’s won’t be long now.  That very American holiday, the Fourth of July is right around the corner.  Excitement is building in the small Southern town of Shady Pines, but so are storm clouds.
This is the frst time our residents are welcoming visitors back to enjoy the festivities since the pandemic began two years ago.
As you can imagine, Mayor Beauregard P. Fibbs is thrilled. He loves to celebrate our nation’s Independance Day and to promote the good things about our story tellin’ town. Oh, and, let’s face it, he likes to ride in his big ‘ole car in the parade down Main Street.
Our mayor will tell anyone who will listen that we’re a tight knit community dedicated to kindness, caring and working together to solve problems. But one problem we didn’t plan for is brewing off the coast.
Tropical Storm Colin is churning in the Atlantic and threatening to deliver a wallop of rain and punishing winds over the holiday weekend. Those rains are already soaking the coastal regions in the South.
Mayor Fibbs and other Shady Pines leaders will  track this storm system closely to make sure they can still go ahead with everything that’s supposed to happen on Monday.

Monday’s Schedule

Besides the parade in the morning which is always a hoot, the Community Center is set to host an afternoon ice cream social for the kids.
Director Rita Morena says this year she’s adding water balloon tossing. The children will get into two straight lines as they form teams.
Then, each player takes a big step back from their teammate and tosses the balloon to them.
The opposite player must catch the balloon without popping it. If a balloon pops, that team is out.
“The idea is to have fun,” says Rita. “At the same time we show the kids the importance of teamwork to achieve their goals.”

Picnics and Sailing

Around 5 o’clock folks head down to Stonewall Park with their picnic baskets and coolers. A lot of our local business like Maggie’s Diner, Fred’s Corner Grocer and Cup ‘O Joe’s coffee shop donate food and drinks.
But everyone is encouraged to make somethig to share with others.  After all, sharing is a form of kindness. We’re all about that in Shady Pines.
Meanwhile, some teenagers will be taking part in the regional sailing races that are held on our lake every year on the Fourth. 
The folks attending the picnic in the park provide a built in cheering section for the kids and their racing boats.  And the winners of each division get a trophy.

Safety First On The Fourth

Once the sailboats are off the water and darkness falls it’s time for fireworks. This is one of our favorite traditions. We love to say, “Ah!” when seeing the explosions of color reflect off the lake.
It’s also a time to remind everyone that our pets and veterans can really be bothered by the sound of those booming explosions. Our small animals get scared, shiver with fear and look everywhere for a place to hide. If you know your neighbors have pets who respond negatively to fireworks, please be respectful.

Pets, Vets, and Kids

Likewise, men and women who have been to war, hear those sounds and it takes them right back to the horror of the battlefield. Look for a sign like this in front of someone’s house. If you see it make sure you don’t shoot off any backyard fireworks anywhere near their home.
Besides pets and veterans don’t forget to watch out for the safety of children as well.Shady Pines Story Town logo  Bottom line, in Shady Pines no matter what the weather or the holiday Compassion Never Takes a Holiday!
A Father’s Day Salute to Shady Pines’ Favorite Dad

A Father’s Day Salute to Shady Pines’ Favorite Dad

 A Father’s Day Gift of Love

We’re just days away now from an important date on the calendar. Father’s Day is celebrated nationwide on Sunday, June 19th.

In Shady Pines on this lazy Sunday afternoon in the Sanders’ home, Harold Sanders is feeling a little down.

He’s in the den slouched on his big, comfy chair watching his favorite baseball team on TV.

It’s late in the game and Harold’s guys are two runs ahead of the other team. What’s so bad?

Harold should be happy. But it’s the commercials that are affecting his mood.

Selling The Day

“Why do they make such a fuss about Father’s Day?” he wonders out loud. “It’s ridiculous.”

Harold’s wife, Edna, is across the room lounging on the couch. She’s looking through recipes in her latest cooking magazine while listening to the ballgame. “What’s that dear?”

Harold swivels and faces her. “I’m sick and tired of all the fuss these advertisements make to get people to buy the right gift for Father’s Day. What IS the Right gift? It’s just a way for companies to sell stuff and make money.”

Edna can see that he’s upset. “Honey, what’s really wrong?” she asks.

Harold turns the volume down on the TV. “What’s supposed to happen when your children are covered in fur? They’re not going to buy me a mower.”

When The Kids Have 4 Legs

Before Edna can answer, a silver cat in full flight charges into the room chased by a handsome Australian Shepherd dog. “Halley, you are such a pain. Give me my toy back!”

Halley’s Comet carries a small chew toy in her mouth. In one clean leap she lands on the wooden desk in the corner of the room. “I don’t see your name on it, Booo-mer-rang!”

“You know darn well that’s my toy,” says Boomer. “Dad gave it to me for my birthday.”

“Funny, I don’t remember that,” says Halley looking down at the angry pooch.

Boomer points at the toy. “Well look at it, will ya!”

Harold sighs, gets up, and walks over to the desk. He throws the birthday cake toy down to Boomer and slings Halley over his shoulder while stroking her back.  “Halley my girl, you love to taunt him, don’t you?”

Edna agrees. “Yes she does. Sibling rivalry just like human brothers and sisters.”

Harold delivers Halley to Edna’s lap and then gets down on the floor to address Boomer. He pets the dog’s head. “Boomer my boy. I love you but you don’t need to get so riled up. Halley lives for that.”

Harold moves over to sift through the toy basket under the desk. “He holds up Mr. rubber lizard. “C’mon Halley. Come here, girl.”

It’s All About Love and Kindness

Halley jumps off of Edna’s lap and trots happily across the room. Harold gives her the toy. “You know I love you, too, girl. But, please, play with your own toys.”

Harold looks over at Edna who is smiling. “What?” he asks.

“Do you know what a wonderful father you are? You show our kids love and kindness everyday. And they love you right back. Look at them.”

Harold still sits on the floor and realizes that his children are beside him.

Harold lowers and shakes his head. “What’s the matter with me?” he asks. “I have a wonderful wife and a couple of rambuctious, terrific kids who love me. I am a lucky husband and father indeed!”

Edna joins him on the floor and hugs him. “Yes, and besides that, they may have something for you next Sunday that you’re not expecting.”

Be Careful What You Wish For

Harold looks straight into her eys. “Oh, please tell me it will not be crawling, slithering or flying through the house. You know how our daughter likes to surprise us!”

Edna laughs. Boomer barks. Halley tilts her head and thinks about what “gift” she can catch and bring to dad. Birds are fun…

And that’s how we leave the Sanders on a lovely Sunday in the small Southern town of Shady Pines!

Shady Pines Asks: What Is Your Memorial Day Celebration Missing?

Shady Pines Asks: What Is Your Memorial Day Celebration Missing?

 Setting The Right Tone for Memorial Day


Hi everyone. I’m Mayor Beauregard Fibbs here today with a message that’s a little more serious than usual. You see I have a family member serving in the Marine Corps.

That’s why I’m asking you to use a slightly different approach to this upcoming holiday.

Memorial Day in Shady Pines usually includes a weekend filled with celebrations. It’s also a time to mark the unofficial start of summer.

Teach The Children Well

But there’s something beyond the parades, the picnics, and the family gatherings that often gets lost.

What about the true meaning of Memorial Day?

Do we tell the kids what this national holiday means to our country’s history, our nation’s warriors, and their families?

This is a really awesome learning opportunity not to be missed. Here are some ideas that can make it fun, too!

1) Create and fly the American flag

Help the kids make an American flag craft using construction paper or simply have your kids each draw their best American flag on paper. Staple the completed flags onto straws for flying.

If you own an American flag, you can teach older kids how to fly and fold the flag. There are 13 folds to the American flag and each has a special meaning. Hey adults, here’s where you may even learn something new too!

2) Visit and pay tribute 

You can visit a local Veteran’s cemetery or war memorial. To show honor and respect, bring flowers to place on a grave or at the memorial in remembrance of our nation’s fallen heroes. I’ll be doing this.

If you feel comfortable, as a family you can pray pray for the Veterans lost during service and sacrifice.

3) Sing a few patriotic songs

Why not teach your children America the Beautiful, the National Anthem or say the Pledge of Allegiance, and talk about the meaning behind each one.

Remind your kids to stand and place their hands over their hearts during these songs. This is a perfect way to show them the importance of honoring the sacrifices made by those in our military to protect our nation’s freedom.

4)  Observe a Memorial Day Tradition

Our nation’s flag is flown at half staff until noon to remember Amrica’s fallen soldiers. Aftern noon it is raised to full staff as a symbol to show hope beyond death and to honor the heroes that are still with us. Did you know that?

5) Take a Moment for Silence

Finally, in 2000, Congress passed “The National Moment of Rememberance.”  It asks that “Americans voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a moment of rememberance and respect.”

The idea is for you to stop whatever you’re doing and bow your head for a moment of silent remembering.

Or, you can listen to the playing of “Taps. It’s all done at 3PM local time as a symbol of national unity.


From all of us in Shady Pines Story Town we wish you and your loved ones a safe and meaningful Memorial Day weekend!

– Mayor Beauregard P. Fibbs

Shady Pines Gets Ready for May Day

Shady Pines Gets Ready for May Day

Some May Day Magic

You really know it’s spring in Shady Pines Story Town when the first day of May rolls around. In fact, it’s such a big deal our mayor, Beauregard P. Fibbs, is declaring May Day the start of a month long celebration.

“I Mayor Beauregard Fibbs decalre the month of May 2022 be filled with dancing, flowers, good food, and even better get togethers. We will start off with an event on Sunday, the first day of May, downtown at Stonewall Park. Vendors will sell everything from clothing to jewelrey, artwork, pottery and so much more. There will be live music and food trucks. Bring the family and let’s enjoy this marvelous month in a very Shady Pines way!”

Activities For Everyone

A group gathering is welcome news after folks around here had to spend so much time apart because of the pandemic. Now the small Southern town can kick up its heels at a party or kick back and smell those bright, wonderful, spring flowers.

Over at the Shady Pines Community Center Director Rita Malena has something she’s planning for the kids.

“That’s right. “We’re going to have an ice cream social for the kids on the first Friday in May. They’ll put together their own ice cream cones. We’ll have all sorts of flavors available like chocolate, strawberry and vanilla, plus rocky road, pepermint, and so much more.  After that, we’ll dance around the maypole.”

Maypole Dancing

The tradition of maypole dancing dates back hundreds of years. Traditionally the dancers split into pairs of boys and girls before beginning their routine. The dance creates a multi-coloured pattern which creeps steadily down the pole.

The dancers then reverse their steps to undo the ribbons. This is said to represent the days getting longer as summer approaches. But the whole reason for the pole itself is not really known. Some communities have a permanent maypole up all year round on village greens and in squares.

Over at the Post Office Kimberly Dunworthy is working on her own May celebration set for Thursday the 5th. Can you guess what it is? That’s right! Kim is organizing a Cinco De Mayo party. Kim grew up in nearby River City just over the McCaw River, but one of her best friends is from Mexico.

This party is sure to be lively, colorful and have really good food. We’ll have more on that, a Kentucky Derby watch party, and other goings on. But in the meantime, Happy May Day everyone!

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Shady Pines Salutes Veterans on Veterans Day

Shady Pines Salutes Veterans on Veterans Day

Giving Appreciation To Those Who Serve

Hey everyone. We’re about to celebrate a very important day for our nation, and for the folks here in Shady Pines. I’m Scoop the Cub Reporter for The Shady Pines Gazette. Veterans Day is this Thursday, November 11th. My editor, Zulah Talmadge, says this important holiday is one of the best opportunities to teach kids about the concepts of hope, sacrifice and courage. So I’m working on this story.

We have to go way back tothe year 1919 to find out how all this got started. It used to be called Armistice Day — a day to celebrate the end of World War I. The name was later changed to Veterans Day in 1954 to honor veterans of all wars.

It’s kinda sad to realize just how many wars the United States has been involved in, isn’t it? So many men and women have made a lot of sacrifices for the freedom we enjoy today. Any chance we get, we should recognize them for their service. This Thursday is one of those times.

Who Is A Veteran?

It’s important to know who we’re celebrating. So explaining who qulifies as a veteran helps kids understand the honorees behind the holiday. A veteran is a former member of the armed services or military. Branches of the military include the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, and veterans may have served during times of war or peace.

Do you have a member of your family is currently serving in the military? Or maybe a grandfather, aunt or distant cousin is retired from the armed forces? To get the conversation started, try to find a picture of them in uniform and explain the importance of their job to your child.

If you know anyone who’s a veteran, consider asking them to set up a time to chat with your child. They might be willing to show them their service memorabilia, photos or stories or even wear their uniform to help your child better understand the concept of what it means to serve.

Remember, veterans aren’t just friends and family; they’re everywhere

They don’t always wear uniforms or talk about their service, but that makes it all the more important to acknowledge them and the sacrifices they made, whether on Veterans Day or any other day.

What’s the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day?

I don’t know about you, but most people I know confuse Veterans Day and Memorial Day. But they’re really different. I did some digging and discovered there’s an important distinction to keep in mind.

I found some information from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.   Here’s what it said: “Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle.

“While those who died are also remembered, Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor all those who served honorably in the military — in wartime or peacetime.”

So, here’s the deal. I know we’re all busy doing other things. We sometimes forget to stop and appreciate all that we have and the thousands of Americans who have done so much to make our lives a little better.

This Thursday why don’t we all take a moment to remember that someone’s family member may be a long way from home right now serving our country. And their kids are waiting for them.

See ya next time!

Scoop, out