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Mrs. Quintrell

November 23, 2006

I became involved in 4-H when I was about 10-years old.

In addition to having a monthly 4-H club meeting in our classroom at school, I also joined a “project group.”

A project group was a small group of kids, led by adult volunteer leaders who helped us various projects relating to our particular area of interest. My main projects were food and nutrition, arts and crafts and sewing.

One of the adult leaders of the project group was a senior lady named Virgie Quintrell.

Mrs. Quintrell and I became fast friends.  I loved her dearly. She reminded me of my own sweet Granny and she really went above and beyond the call of her “volunteer leader” duty to invest in my life.  In the project group, she taught me how to crochet, embroider and quilting.

She lived in a small house on the corner of Oak Grove and  Mountain View Road in Benton. She had the most beautiful flower gardens that bordered these roads. She and her husband were also beekeepers.

I was actively involved in 4-H until I was a freshman in high school, but after that I found other interests. (mainly boys)

But I always kept up my friendship with Mrs. Quintrell.

Her house was only about 3 miles from my Granny’s house, so sometimes I would ride my bike to visit with her.

Sometimes we would just sit on the porch and talk, sometimes we sat at the kitchen table. But she never failed to pour me a glass of lemonade or iced tea … and put on some biscuits so we could have biscuits and honey (and butter) as a treat.

I loved going to her house.  Like Mrs. Quintrell, her home was also as neat as a pin, and completely comfortable.  She loved for me to stop by her house … as much as I loved to go.

I write on this today because I have been thinking lately about the people … THE FRIENDS … in my life that seem “unlikely” or random.  I suppose Mrs. Quintrell could be counted as that.

She was my friend from the time that I was ten years old, until I was about 20.  I remember living in Colorado Springs, and Mrs. Quintrell just weighing heavy on my mind.  I didn’t call her or anything … but soon after experiencing this feeling, my aunt called to tell me that Mrs. Quintrell had a stroke and died.

My heart was broken.  I could not help but wonder if she ever knew how much she meant to me … how much I appreciated the investment she made in my life.

She was a sweet, lovely lady.  Prim, proper and so mannerly.

Her husband, Mr. Quintrell, was quite lost without her.  For many years afterward, I would check on him and he would drop by my office in the courthouse to visit with me.  After he died, their neat little home was sold.

The beautiful front yard is now a fenced in dog lot.  The grass is worn out and it’s only dust now.  No zinnias, marigolds or peonies adorn the roadside.  And there’s no longer any honey for sale.

But every time I drive by … I still think of the hot biscuits, honey and butter, and sweet iced tea that I shared with my sweet, sweet friend of my youth.

I sure hope that someday … I will be able to leave an equally lasting impression upon someone … like Mrs. Quintrell did for me.

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