Life in the Shadows

Greta Goblocks cautions parents not to avoid uncomfortable questions posed by children. Last week, Wooly asked her to explain the world’s oldest profession. Mrs. Goblocks answered that it simply referred to a “woman who labors in the dark.” Two days later, Wooly announced to everyone at the Wednesday evening bible study that his cousin, who works the night shift at a bowling alley in Castor, was a hooker.

Kitty Parr would like to remind the public that Castaway Books does not sell self-help books. According to Kitty, “The only people such trash has ever helped are the authors and publishers.”

Curly Dowd says if you rub flaxseed oil into your navel it’s easier to get the fuzz out.

The Buttonballs travel to Niniville, West Virginia, this week for a three-game series against the Brothel Busters, then to Gloverton for a day/night doubleheader against the first-place Fundamentalists. The next homestand begins Saturday when the Buttonballs will host the Alto, Ohio, Picnickers at Buckstone Field.

Last Friday, Cleb Bowman drove Gertilia Mayberry in the town car to visit her sister in Castor and forgot to remove the ambulance signs from the doors. When Gertilia returned to her house that evening, she found 37 get-well cards in her mailbox (along with an electric bill and a letter from her nephew). Someone had also cleaned her bathroom, washed her doilies, left flowers in her bedroom, and covered her kitchen counter with food. She appreciates the public’s concern for her health but says it’s Cleb Bowman’s responsibility to return the casserole dishes.

Nipper Keene tells me he has put all his stuffed animals into jars and then filled the jars with formaldehyde. “I want to keep them just as they are,” he says.

Leena Freeman says that while the congregation sang “Come Home, Disoriented Sheep!” during last Sunday’s service, she felt a tingling in her chest, her heart began to race, her stomach growled, and her eyes began to water. At first, she thought she’d been filled with the spirit, then she remembered she’d eaten Mexican food the night before, so now she’s not certain. She asks for spiritual guidance.

Gertilia Mayberry says that’s nothing: her stomach growled while she was having her hair cut at Myrtle’s House of Beauty, and it sounded like it said: “Remember Ed.” Ed was her late husband. She doesn’t believe it was a message from the grave.

Ned Hammer says the Castor County Fair once had a fortune teller who could predict the future by listening to stomach growls. “It only cost three dollars,” he told me, “and there was a line of men waiting to see her, stretching nearly to the three-headed pig. Five bucks ain’t much to pay to have a pretty lady rest her head on your stomach.”

Otto Hopp and his wife have returned from their vacation at the Callipygian Resort in Chillington, Michigan.

Girl Ed Hotchkiss says, “If you tape dryer lint over your door, salesmen and Mormons will get tongue-tied and will no longer stop at your house.”

(Send feedback or questions about Sycamore Shadows to or via mail at P.O. Box 326, East Liverpool, Ohio 43920. Visit for information on the 2017 Sycamore Shadows Yearbook. )