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Housekeeping supervisor feels kinship with mall employees

February 24, 2001

Housekeeping supervisor feels kinship with mall employees



HALFWAY - Come rain, come snow, come sickness, Buddy is always there.

As daytime supervisor of the Valley Mall's cleaning crew, Buddy Shenk works six days a week. If someone calls in sick, Shenk comes in then, too.

He's even putting off surgery to remove a callus on his foot until he retires in 2002 because it would mean he'd be off his feet and away from work for at least eight weeks.

Shenk, 60, of Guilford Avenue in Hagerstown, has worked at the mall for 26 years, starting as a stock boy for McCrory's in 1974.

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The McCrory's employees were like family, with Shenk hosting an annual summer barbecue for them at his nearby 80-acre farm.

After McCrory's closed in January 1996, Shenk took a job at Good Humor-Breyer's Ice Cream in Hagerstown. He missed his friends at the mall so he returned to work for the mall's management company.

"I just like the people in the mall. All my friends are here and the office crew is nice," Shenk said.

Walking the mall with Buddy, it is obvious the feeling is mutual as he exchanges pleasantries with other workers.

"Everybody knows Buddy," said Betty Staley, 37, who works at various mall kiosks and stores.

"He always comes around with a smiling face. Always says hi. There's nobody like him.

"If you need a friend, he's a friend," Staley said.

- Julie Greene

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