My Oldest Morrilton Friend is Gone

Pearl & Jim 1976When I was still in college before I moved to Morrilton, I met Pearl Newkirk Jones at Pauline Wright’s ceramic shop. I had watched a family member make ceramics all my life and wanted to make some. I drove from Conway to the shop at Pauline’s house and there was Pearl. We hit it off the first day and stayed friends throughout  my forty years in Morrilton. She was an artist and painted. She even gave private art lessons at her house. Later, she took up gardening and had wonderful flowers everywhere throughout her yard. We went on a couple of trips together and we always had fun. She was a member of DAR and loved her country and loved her family. She moved here years ago when he father became the manager of J.C. Penny’s. She had a wonderful personality and had a great laugh. One day when I went over

Pearl and Jim in 1976

Pearl and Jim in 1976

to see her she was cleaning out a storage shed. There was an old wicker settee frame. It didn’t even have a cushion. She said she was going to throw it away and asked me did I want it. I took it home and cleaned it up. I cut a plyboard seat to cover the old springs and upholstered a cushion for it. Later I had a piece of needlepoint made into a back cushion. She saw it one day at my house and said; “You know I think I want that back now.” Then she just laughed. She was a card! One day at her house she wanted me to go out to the storage building she was straightening up to use as an art studio. When we were looking for something I kicked something on the floor. When I looked down it was the head of a boy china doll.  It was covered in mud and I brushed it off. When we went inside she washed it and stuck it in her china cabinet with other Saturday antiquing with glenda 062antiques. She told me that someday it was going to be mine, but she had to find the doll body first. A couple of years later she called me and told me she had found the body in the storage room. She put that with the head in the china cabinet. About two years ago she called and said she had something for me. I went over and she handed me the broken headSaturday antiquing with glenda 063 and the doll body and said, “I don’t know what you are going to do with this broken thing, but I can’t take it with me when I die, so you can have it.” Then she just laughed and laughed. (I have been looking for a china repair person ever since.) She died this week and I am sad. I will greatly miss her and her wonderful laugh.

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About Jim Gatling

Artist: primitive watercolors, colored pencil. Quilter: Original designs, Scrap quilts. Craftsman: Woodburning, Recycling Teacher: Retired MHS, SHCS K-12 Part Time. Collector: Antiques, Quilts, Glass, Buttons, Petit Point, Needlepoint, Hankies, Figural Perfume Bottles. Son, Father, Grandfather, Neighbor, Friend.
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2 Responses to My Oldest Morrilton Friend is Gone

  1. Cynthia says:

    Pearl was one of many people in Morrilton who touched my life the years we lived there. She and I belonged to the Adelaide club and she has been one of my fond memories of the years we lived in Morrilton.

  2. Deanna Taber says:

    I, too, will miss Pearl. She was a one-of-a-kind person & there is a special place for her on The Other Side! See ya later, Pearl!!

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