By Luella Dow

Shelly Wheeler always manages to find the bright side

Of Cabbages and Kings


Shelly Wheeler

Shelly Wheeler likes to claim she was a “wild child” growing up.

Everybody has a story to tell. Shelly Wheeler’s story ranges from periods of happiness to deepest hurts. Through it all she said, “I have looked on the bright side of things. I was born in Denver Colo. I had a rough childhood. We moved a lot. I would just get to make friends and we would move again.”

Shelly discovered a talent that has entertained many people. She said, “I love accents. I can do most of them. When we lived in Texas I picked up the Texas accent. I can do most of the southern accents. German accents are harder. I learned the English accent. My son in law has relatives in England. He said, I want you to do an English accent the whole time we’re going through this store.” She did it and received a lot of stares from the other shoppers in the store. Shelly said, “I have to practice a little then I’m OK to do it well. I’ve had fun with it ever since I was little.” Shelly also likes to garden and to sew.

Let’s go back to her childhood. Shelly said, ”I was a wild child. My brother and I sometimes ‘hopped’ trains. When a train was leaving the station and starting across a field we ditched school and ran alongside it. We jumped on the ladder that was fastened to the side of the train and climbed on top. My mother had bought a Chevy car with a racing engine in it. She saw us on the train and drove alongside it. She yelled, ‘Jump on the hood. Jump on the hood.’ We did and she took us home. Then she said, ‘Go get a switch.’” You know how that turned out.

The family moved to Utah. Shelly said, “My brother chased us around the house in the dark with a butcher knife. I ran outside and slammed the door. It caught my brother’s hand and he lost a finger. When my sister was five and I was 11 we were living in a motel. We went out back and began to play King of the Mountain. There was a broken bottle that cut her foot terribly. I grabbed the first thing I saw, it was a dirty curtain in the garbage. I had to have something and wrapped it around her foot to stop the bleeding. Later, we went to the mall where my sister accidentally bumped her sore foot on something and it began to bleed again. Once more it was my fault.”

Shelly had a stretch of working in a carnival. She had three children, two boys and one girl. There was a time when she lived in a car. Brandin, her son, brought her to Cheney in 2010. She said, “I’ve lived here ever since. One night she heard a voice, “Go to church. Go to church.” Her apartment was right across the street from the church. She decided to try it and discovered friendships and peace. “I feel like I had a guardian angel all my life. My daughter, Kellie and her baby are living with me. God is taking care of us. I can always find the bright side of things. I know the Lord has watched out for me.”

Luella Dow is a Cheney-area author. She can be reached at


Reader Comments