Volume 130, Issue 34

Friday, August 15 th, 2003


Rupert: Well, I...as much as I might like to...really I only stayed this long to help my friends get settled.

Dawn: We're not that settled, Giles.

Willow: We don't even have a place of our own, yet.

Buffy: Guys, let's not do this now, okay?

WPG: What do you plan to do here in town?

Willow: It's too late to get in right now, and our college transcripts got screwed up temporarily after the town sank, but I'd like to go back to school. Maybe next semester. Buffy's talking about going back, too.

Buffy: For the first time in a very long time, I've got the money, I've got people to help me look after Dawn -

Dawn: I'm seventeen. I don't need a babysitter. I could be a babysitter.

Buffy: Great. That's one more income. Claire, tell your readers we've got a babysitter for them. Anyway, even with disaster relief funds, insurance, and everything, I guess most of us will need jobs.

WPG: What sort of work would you all like?

Buffy: I've been working in the vegetable gardens out at the commune. At first, I grumbled a lot because it was hell on my nails and I didn't see any point in growing beets since I won't eat them. But now...for a long time, there's been a lot of death in my life. I'm sick of death. I want to make something live, y'know? I don't know what it'll be yet, but I want a job that helps something live. Plants, people, puppies; it doesn't matter what. As long as I go home at the end of the day without having watched anything die.

There is a moment of silence.

Xander: Then she'll kill us all with her cooking. (the others laugh) No, really, Buffy's a great cook. But seriously, I don't know. Carpentry was what I was good at. Now with the eye thing, I'm not so good with the depth perception, and that's not so safe around power tools. I'd still like to be involved with construction. Maybe I could work in the office, or learn to design stuff. In the meantime, I dig a mean ditch and I deliver a fast pizza. I'll take what I can get, until I can get something I want more.

Willow: When I go back to school, I'll probably find some sort of work study program, or get a job on campus. I'm not sure yet.

Dawn: Buffy probably won't let me get a real job. So, I guess I'll just have to sponge off her and maybe take the occasional babysitting or dog walking job.

Rupert: I have every faith in my friends. In the time I've known them, I've watched them face trials that would have made older, supposedly wiser people lose all hope. In every case, they've shown remarkable courage. Whatever they choose to do with their lives, I feel sure they will do well. They knew disaster was looming in Sunnydale, yet each made the conscious decision to stay and do their best to help others.

Buffy: You stayed, too.

Rupert: Yes, well, I couldn't sit back and let you all get yourselves killed, could I?

Buffy: Careful, Giles. Someone might think you're not just being modest if you keep being all self-deprecating like that.

Willow: We still don't know exactly what we're going to do, here, but we know we like it. We're just waiting to see what sort of adventures happen here.

Buffy: Will, what did I just say about adventure?

Willow: Quiet adventures, Buffy. Ones where nobody gets hurt and everything's okay. That's the only kind of adventures we want now.

Xander: Amen to that. Bring on the quiet life.

Dawn: And what could be quieter than a town where "whispering" is part of the name?

It's clear that all of these people have lost a great deal - possibly even more than they're willing to say. It is equally clear that these young people would be an asset to any community. Their courage in the face of adversity, their loyalty to one another, and their commitment to helping others is exemplary. I ask all my readers to join me in welcoming them to our community.

Oh, and if anyone's looking for a babysitter, you might think of Dawn Summers.

Courage of the
Human Spirit

by Claire Olney

The world was shocked last May when a sinkhole literally swallowed the small town of Sunnydale, California. Many of our residents sent generous donations to disaster relief programs that sprang up overnight to aid the victims of this terrible tragedy.

But what has become of the people who lived to tell the tale?

Five of them have moved here, to Whispering Pines, to rebuild their lives.

Rupert Giles

Rupert Giles, 49, is originally from Bath, England. He lived in Sunnydale for several years, serving for three of them as librarian at Sunnydale High School. He then opened a New Age store, but eventually returned to Bath. He was visiting with some former students when the city fell into the very Earth.

Buffy and Dawn Summers

He was staying with Buffy Summers, 22, and her sister Dawn, 17. Buffy was working as a guidance counselor at Sunnydale High, where her sister attended school. Mr. Giles had been giving the girls occasional help and advice since their mother died two years ago, and was a frequent guest in their home.

Willow Rosenberg

Willow Rosenberg, 22, was a student at UC Sunnydale. She and Buffy have been close friends since the Summers family moved to Sunnydale in 1997.

Xander Harris

Xander Harris, 22, is another close friend. He worked as a carpenter until an accident that resulted in the loss of his left eye forced him to quit.

This reporter recently had a chance to sit down and talk to these five people whose lives changed forever on a sunny day in May. This is what they had to say about the sinkhole, losing everything, and starting over so far from home.

WPG: It must have been a terrible shock when the town sank.

Buffy: Yeah, it was, but...we made it. Town didn't, but a lot of people sort of had a feeling something was coming and got out before the end. It could have been a lot worse. As it was...let's just say it was plenty bad. A lot of good people didn't make it.

WPG: Did any of you lose family or friends in the disaster?

Willow: Xander lost the most, I think.

Xander: It's okay, though.

Willow: No, it isn't. His parents wouldn't leave. And Anya -

Xander: I wasn't with Anya, anymore. That was over.

WPG: Anya?

Buffy: Anya Jenkins. His ex-fiancée. She died helping someone else make it out alive. He said she was amazing.

WPG: What about the rest of you? Did you lose parents? Friends?

Dawn: I still don't know what happened to my friends, Kit and Carlos. Or Janice. Or Melinda. I never heard anything. I hope they got out okay. But Buffy's ex-boyfriend, Spike, died.


WPG: How do you feel about that, Buffy?

Buffy: It was...it's complicated. I don't really want to talk about it.

Rupert: Luckily, though, Willow's parents were out of town at a psychiatric conference when disaster struck.

WPG: If your parents are still alive, why did you decide to come with the others, Willow?

Willow: I couldn't leave Buffy and Xander and Dawn. They needed me, and I needed them. They're...it's not like they're family. They're more than family. My mom and dad are both psychologists, and they keep trying to figure out what group I am. These guys know me. They don't care how normal or abnormal I am. Besides, I'm grown up now. It's time to move out and be on my own...except that I'm with them. But you know what I mean, right?

WPG: Buffy, I know your mother passed on some time ago, but what about your father? Did he survive the disaster?

Buffy: He wasn't there.

Rupert: Buffy and Dawn's parents had been divorced for some time. For most of that time, their father has chosen to absent himself from their lives. I really don't understand why. We haven't been able to contact him. He doesn't seem to care at all.

Buffy: Giles, it's okay. Don't sweat it.

WPG: Well, let's get back to the sinkhole. I understand that when you left Sunnydale, you weren't alone.

Xander: No, there were a lot of people with us. Some pretty badly hurt. We found the closest town, whereupon the bus broke down and the driver had to be sort of carried to the nearest hospital, which, since we broke down about a block away, wasn't that hard to do. We dropped off the injured ones and walked to the nearest motel. That took a little longer. It was about a mile and a half. Then Giles and I repaired the bus.

Willow: The rest of us checked in and took long showers, 'cause nothing leaves you as grungy as the Apocalypse.

WPG: Apocalypse?

Buffy: We started calling it that. As a joke. Survivor's humor.

WPG: I see. How did you decide to come here? And what happened to the others?

Rupert: After they were released from hospital, or found family and friends who'd survived, most of the people we left with...left. Some went to Cleveland, some Las Vegas, some...well, you get the idea. At last, it was just the five of us and we had to go somewhere.

WPG: Yes, but why Whispering Pines?

Buffy: That was Giles. He knew some people in England who knew some people here, just outside town.

WPG: The commune?

Buffy: Yeah, that's right. So, we're here on the invite of a friend of a friend of Giles'. But it looks like a quiet town, and I think quiet's what we all need right now. Now we're thinking of finding a place of our own. Not that the commune hasn't been great. It has. Deborah and Elspeth and everyone have just been terrific.

Dawn: But we want some privacy.

Xander: And junk food.

WPG: What about you, Rupert? Are you staying, too?

This Saturday... Buy One, Get the Next One Half Price on all Garden Tool Accessories

252 University Way,



A body was stolen from Peterson's Funeral Home the evening before burial was scheduled. No suspect has been arrested yet.

The remains of Lisa Coleen Brown, 21, were stolen from the viewing room sometime between 9pm, Friday, when employee Vernon Yee locked up for the night, and 7:20am Saturday, when owner Joseph Peterson came to make the final preparations for the 10am funeral.

The body has not yet been found, and police urge persons who may have any information on this crime to come forward. They have set up an anonymous hotline for the purpose. The number is 555-1291. The Brown family is also offering a reward for any information that leads to the discovery and arrest of the perpetrators.


Animal control personnel were called out to Shady Hills Cemetery near Devil's Mouth Caves after a teenage couple were attacked by a wild dog Monday night. Neither witness was injured, though both were taken to Scobie Memorial Hospital where they were examined and the girl given a sedative. The animal has not been found, and animal control workers hope members of the public will come forward with any information they may have about the dog in time to prevent another attack.


Two teenaged girls were arrested for shoplifting from several merchants at Pine Cone Plaza shopping mall Wednesday afternoon. The unidentified girls stole a total of $86.73 worth of costume jewelry, candy, bumper stickers and other novelty items. Both were later released after they returned the items, apologized to the merchants, and agreed not to enter the mall unsupervised for the next month.


William Kinsey, age 27, was arrested Friday night at 11:27pm outside the Night Owl nightclub for drunkeness and public urination. When police attempted to arrest him, he made obscene gestures and waved his privates at the officer. Kinsey was also found to be in possesion of a small amount of cocaine and a switchblade knife.

Fred Elmore, age 39, was arrested Friday night at 11:53pm for public drunkeness after neighbors called to complain that he was singing love songs badly off-key outside the Pinetree Apartment building. Elmore was apperantly attempting to serenade his girlfriend, Kathy Blaze, 32. Miss Blaze was one of the neighbors who called in the complaints. Elmore was released from jail the next morning after he'd slept it off.

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