If the Barclays are a “good” example of an Odyssey family, the Rathbones are the complete opposite. Bart Rathbone, the father, wouldn’t stand up to scrutiny. There are few ethical questions that he’s inclined to ignore. From unscrupulously coaching a softball team to using shady methods to run his electronics shop, “The Electric Palace,” to coming up with all manners of get-rich-quick schemes, Bart affably stands for everything Whit—and the world of Odyssey—is against.
Ed Washington loved his job at a toy company because he was the perfect man for it. He is playful and energetic, sometimes even more so than his three children (Antoine, Marvin, and Tamika) and his adopted daughter Kelly. This personality has also helped him since he became the manager at Whit’s End in nearby Connellsville. Although Ed is a wise husband and father, he doesn’t hesitate to crawl on the floor to play with his kids.
Elaine is a stay-at-home mom, and Marvin and Tamika give her plenty of opportunities to perfect her parenting skills. Elaine and Ed are a wonderful complement to each other. She is more of a type A, while he is a type B. She gets more uptight about things, but trusts her husband’s judgment and has finally learned how to let him play and relax.
Marvin is the middle child in the Washington family. Marvin doesn’t get excited much, but seems to end up getting caught in some wild adventures anyway. Marvin tends to get into trouble when other kids pull him into things he shouldn’t be doing. But with his father’s love and help, he’s learning to stand up for himself.
Tamika is the opposite of her brother Marvin in pretty much every way imaginable. She is talkative, funny, outgoing, playful, and a tomboy. She can beat Marvin in every sport. She has lots of friends and is always the one who decides what they are going to do. Tamika loves to try new things, and is always up for any challenge. Of course, this oftentimes gets her into trouble, as she has a tendency to try something new and not consider the consequences.
John Avery Whittaker
“Whit” is an inventor, author, entrepreneur and owner of Whit’s End—an ice cream shop and “discovery emporium” where kids can be kids. His wise counsel, inventiveness and insight have made him a trusted friend and confidant to everyone in Odyssey.