Meet Our Neighbors
Beauregard P. Fibbs
Mayor of Shady Pines
Mayor Beauregard P. Fibbs tries his best to set a good example for the citizens of Shady Pines. Unfortunately, as his name implies, Mayor Fibbs sometimes has trouble telling the truth. Fibbs is a colorful character who underscores the importance of honesty for children of all ages. He really tries to do the right thing, and always apologizes when he doesn’t. In case you wonder what the P. stands for in his name, Zulah Talmadge could tell you. The two pals have known each other since childhood. If you ever hear her use, “Beauregard Percival Fibbs,” you’ll know the mayor is in real trouble! Known for his big, bushy eyebrows, bright red bow tie, and hearty laugh, the mayor is a good-natured person who loves to be in the spotlight!
Editor, The Shady Pines Gazette
Reporting the news comes naturally for Zulah Talmadge, editor of The Shady Pines Gazette. She learned her trade from a great teacher. Zulah’s dad was the editor of The Gazette the whole time she was growing up in the small Southern town. As a youngster, she was known as, “the little gal with the dark brown hair, all those sets of eyeglasses, and boundless energy.” Not much has changed. Except, she now wears high heels to make herself look taller, and slings a big bag over her shoulder when she’s on assignment. Zulah likes to carry disguises in case she has to go “undercover.” The budding journalist went away to college. She worked on big city school paper up north. When her dad got sick, and asked her to run things, Zulah jumped in her car and headed home to the Pines. Zulah continues to honor her father’s tradition of making folks aware of : “All the News That’s Fit to Report!”
Director, Shady Pines Community Center
As Director of the Shady Pine Community Center, Rita Mallena brings youthful enthusiasm and creativity to everything she does. People respond to her genuine interest in making the Center a hub of goodwill for everything involved. Well dressed and soft spoken, Rita often tells friends, she loves her job, almost as much as she loves her husband and baby daughter! There’s always so much going on at the Center. Rita and her staff make sure all of the activities are fun, and that everyone has a good time. They work hard to come up with new ways to bridge the generation gap. For instance, every week, Rita invites kids from Shady Pines Elementary next door to come over and let some of the older folks help them with their school projects. It’s so great to see everyone come together, learn from one another, and share some laughs. As Rita sees it, sharing and caring is what Community is all about!
The Quiet Scotsman
Harold is a decent, hard-working man who looks you right in the eye when he talks. He believes in doing a good job, loves to laugh, and doesn’t have to raise his voice to get attention. Harold walks with quiet confidence and leads by example. That’s how folks around Shady Pines describe the man who owns the town’s hardware store. Everyone seems to like the Eagle Scout who believes in always being prepared. Locals enjoy listening to Harold spin a story and hanging out at the Nuts N” Bolts hardware store with its old-fashioned soda fountain. Now, thanks to the mischief of Boomer and Halley, it’s Harold who is spinning!
Edna can still turn heads when she walks down Main Street. The former dancer is always neatly dressed, and her hair is beautifully styled. She loves to entertain at her house on Dogwood Drive across from Copycat Lane. You can bet nearly every meal will end with a plate of Edna’s blue-ribbon chocolate chip cookies – and their special ingredients. Folks around town love to share a story with Edna. She’s such a good listener, and her laughter is infectious. Edna works part time at Shady Pines Community Center. These days, her biggest challenge is handling the two, four-legged children running through her house!
Ray Robinson is a young boy who is mature beyond his years. He feels he has to be the man of the house because his dad is in the military and his duties often take him far away for long periods of time. Ray’s mom works two jobs to make ends meet. Ray is a quiet, shy, boy who studies a lot and makes very good grades. The other kids like him a lot. Ray’s dad instills in the boy a sense of purpose. So, you often see the youngster getting involved in civic projects. Fun for Ray is hanging out at the Community Center after school. He gets to play with Boomerang and Halley’s Comet when Edna Sanders brings her “kids” with her on the days she volunteers. Ray has a special bond with that silly cat, Halley. But he really lights up when that Aussie dog, Boomer, plays catch with him!
A Silver Streak
Halley is a cat, but not just any cat. She is elegant. From the time she was born into a well-mannered family up north, Halley was admired for her silver coat and distinctive markings. She has a white spot on her front paw and on her tail. Halley always knew she was special. The young daughter with the blond hair was her constant companion. She used to dress Halley in all sorts of fancy outfits. The mother and maid fed her tuna. Halley lived a pampered life. While on a family vacation, she jumped from the car and got lost. Now she has another loving home. These days, she is adjusting to her new family in Shady Pines. The Sanders are so good to her, but she has to contend with that dog, Boomerang. He just gets on her last nerve!
The Aussie Wonder
Boomerang is a dog, sort of. More than anything else, he seems human. Boomer was born on the U.B. Good Ranch in Texas. A full-blooded Australian Shepherd, Boomer’s pedigree is perfect for herding cattle – a job he’s learned to love. Boomer is quick of reflex and almost too smart for his own good. He knows he can round up humans before they even know what he’s doing! Besides playing “round-up,” Boomer also likes to try to get two tennis balls and a bone into his mouth at the same time. He was on his way to a dog show when he got lost and wound up in Shady Pines. Always a prankster, nowadays Boomerang is applying his special “talents” to the Sanders’ household. The results of his efforts are always lively – and pestering that female silver cat, Halley’s Comet, is just an added bonus!
Shawn "Scoop" Billingsley
Scoop, the Cub Reporter
Shawn Billingsley is a good student and a hard working guy. Everyone knows the tall, lanky, freckled, teenager by his big smile, hearty laugh, and his shock of red hair. He loves to be wherever there’s action. From the time he was little, Shawn could remember the facts about a story like nobody else. His friends started calling him, “Scoop.” The nickname stuck. He began as an intern at The Shady Pines Gazette. Now he’s a real reporter. He often wears a big coat with loads of pockets. Scoop fills them with extra pens, pads and anything else he thinks Ms. Talmadge might need in case she forgets something. She often loses her car keys! Scoop likes to keep up to date on the best ways to use technology to tell a story. It’s a good thing he knows about cameras, computers, and electronic gadgets, because he sure has to help Ms. Talmadge with all that stuff!
Kimberly Dunworthy loves working for the Post Office. She comes from a long line of mail carriers. In fact, one of her ancestors worked for the Pony Express. Raised in nearby River City, Kim is amazed at how friendly people are in Shady Pines. She enjoys meeting the people and the animals on her route. Boomer and Halley are two of her favorites. You will find Kim driving the mail truck or whipping around on her bicycle. Ask her what her friends say is the real meaning behind her name, Kim, and they’ll say “Keep it Movin!”