The Little Jewell Rascals – (seated) James G “Snook” Jewell, (standing) Richard E Jewell
and (baby Robert L”Bob” Jewell
Growing up we loved watching video’s of Our Gang also known as “the Little Rascals” which were originally written in 1922 by Hal Roach and associated Hollywood Studios, about a group of poor children and their adventures. Can’t you just imagine our Little Jewell Rascals behaving in the “relatively natural ways” as the series was noted for? Some of the main characters were: Alfalfa, Spanky, Buckwheat, Darla, and Froggy. These African American children held main character rolls: Matthew “Stymie” Beard (who replaced Allen “Farina” Hoskins) and Billie “Buckwheat” Thomas (who replaced Stymie). * Information from Wikipedia® a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization.
So much for the nostalgia, you’re really here to read about those cute little boys shown above. I believe the picture was taken about 1933 in Indianapolis, Indiana. While I really didn’t know the Little Jewell’s above at this stage of their life, I’m sure they were as adventurous and devious as the famous group. I met them just before I married my “Knight in Shining Armor” 53 years ago. The older two were just hard working family men who loved their weekend retreats with the “boys”. The baby shown above became a household name as the first African American to win the highest high school basketball player award (the Arthur R Tressler Award) in the state of Indiana; in 1951. If you don’t already know, basketball is and has been for many years very, very big in Indiana. Bob became a scholarship player in college and used that as the avenue for becoming a chemist at the Eli Lilly Pharmaceutical Company here in Indianapolis, IN.
Below is a composite taken from pictures in their funeral programs.
(top left) James Garland Jewell, b 10/2/1925 d 6/18/1990. Married Mary McGee 4/16/1949;
(top right) Richard Eugene Jewell, b 2/5/1931 d 9/8/2003 married Geraldine Pauline Williams 12/4/1948;
Robert Lee Jewell b 9/19/1933 d 8/12/1992 married Angela Annette Gulliford 6/29/1963
Susan (Susie) Ruby Long-Owendorff 1914-1977
Not many people know the name nor have they had the pleasure of living with their angel. My birth family had a need for someone to undertake the responsibilities of raising two children and my angel stepped up to the plate. My brother (Robert G. Bright 1940-1990) and I moved to Indianapolis, Indiana from Kentucky about 1941, with Susie. We were not adopted however.
My angel was the third child born to Mariah Anne Eldridge Long (1875-1953) and Knox Vertna George Leroy Long (Owendorff)(1875-1953) in Allensville, Todd County, Kentucky. I was told that Knox’s birth father was Tucker Owendorff, however he chose to use his stepfather’s (Ben Long) last name. Susie preferred and used Owendorff even though the other family members used the Long surname.
There are many stories I could tell about my angel but the most memorable, I believe, is about the “Night Susie died”. In December, 1976 Susie suffered a “grand-mal stroke” which left her completely paralyzed on her left side. Shortly after arriving at the hospital, she had a second one. She was holding on very well at that point and her prognosis was favorable. She had always said “I never want to be a burden on anyone” and she was beginning to repeat this phrase. I went to visit a few days before Christmas, she was in a very good mood and said she was going to walk again. She had been told that she could leave the rehab center for a few days if she wanted. Unfortunately, this could not be because our home would not accommodate a wheel chair and we had no way to lift and move her. I felt really bad about this situation and told her I would continue trying to work through this dilemma. On Christmas eve I had to share that we couldn’t find a way to take her out. I assured her that we would all visit and bring dinner. That Christmas was not merry for us or her.
Susie continued to improve, however she remained wheelchair bound. I was working outside the home, taking care of my family responsibilities, spending quality time with her and I was really very tired most of the time. One night I went to bed early and dreamed that Susie was standing before me saying “I told you I was going to walk again”. At that time, the telephone rang, a nurse said Susie had another stroke and didn’t survive this one. She was the last living member of her biological family. She and no one in her immediate family had children. I believe she willed her demise to follow her desire not to be a”burden on anyone”.