The Crepe Myrtles are in bloom and with their blooming they bring back happy memories of special people. I never see a crepe myrtle blooming without thinking of the late Jewell Bell. A jewell she certainly was. I always referred to the late Means Wilkinson as Mr. Greenwood and Jewell as Mrs. Greenwood. Both were involved in every thing that made Greenwood a better place to live. In the early days of the Greenwood Garden Club, Jewell appeared at my door early one morning holding, what appeared an arm load of stakes. As a money raising project the Garden Club was selling Crepe Myrtles. She didn’t ask me if I wanted to buy one she asked me how many I wanted. I will never forget her saying, “Oh, honey they are WATERMELON RED.” Today when I see one I can almost hear her saying it as if it was only yesterday. When I moved from Greenwood, in the corner of my front yard was a very large Watermelon Red Crepe Myrtle that was once one of the stakes Jewell sold me. Today I have even a larger one in my yard.

Jewell loved being a part of every thing. She loved her church, the Garden Club and the Eastern Star. I don’t think I ever saw her out in public without being dressed to the max and high heel shoes. Even with a freshly ironed house dress she had on her heels. I never saw her looking anything but neat.

The late kermit McNabb told me a funny story about Jewell and her husband Henry. It seems as if the McNabbs were friends with the Bells and some other couples and they had invited them all to their house for dinner. Quite often the McNabbs raised their own beef thus had the best of steaks. Henry loved steak. Jewell worked constantly encouraging Henry to lose weight. She limited Henry’s dinner to ONE steak. Knowing that nothing would keep Jewell away from her Eastern Star meeting Henry got the McNabbs to have their friends for dinner on the night of the meetings. They ate early so Jewell could attend Eastern Star. She reminded Henry that he was to only eat ONE steak. After Jewell left to go to the meeting Henry had all the steak HE WANTED. Jewell never knew. It was a deep dark secret among friends. Isn’t that what friends are for? As you drive around town among the older homes you most likely see crepe myrtles blooming bought from the Jewell of Greenwood many years ago and I’ll bet they are all WATERMELON RED.