The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Even In Loss, We Can Be Thankful!

by Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Publisher/Owner
November 22, 2023

This week was a long week for me and our family as we said our good-byes to my eldest brother this week, Charles Bell who died of cancer. Charles was 9 years older than me so there was some distance growing up.

I remember he was more serious, very smart, and worked alongside our father in the printing and publishing businesses and soon headed off to college while I was only 8 or 9.

He had his quirky music in those days. He and his college friends listened to - The Kingston Trio "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," and enjoyed the humor of the Smotheres Brothers, while brother David and I liked the popular Elvis Presley, and rock 'n roll music.

In 1959, while he was in college, he became addicted to the ABC television series The Untouchables. The series originally focused on the efforts of a real-life squad of Prohibition agents employed by the United States Department of Justice and led by Eliot Ness (the serious and handsome actor, Robert Stack) who helped bring down the bootleg empire of "Scarface" Al Capone, as described in Ness's bestselling 1957 memoir. This squad was nicknamed "The Untouchables" because of its courage and honesty; squad members could not be bribed or intimidated by the mob.

I feel this really influenced Charles in his choice to take law classes while joining the FBI for a short stint in Chicago. Living in Oak Park with his new wife Sally, Charles soon found the job was nothing like the Eliot Ness portrayed on TV and he returned home to the printing business.

Sometimes I felt Charles was too strict in his ways, but I admired his loyality and trustworthiness, his ability to stick it out going through so many chemo treatmens and illnsses, and his drive to not give up. That also was like Eliot Ness. And Ness finally got Al Calpone on income tax evasion.

Charles too, never gave up. He told me on our last visit when I suggested he give his jobs up, "but I enjoyed them!" I said but you can't do them. He explained, "I have people doing them until I get back!"

It was obvious this visit would be our last visit, but Charles was still taking care of business. He never gave up. Life gave up on him.

But having him for 85 plus years, that is a gift. For that I am thankful to God.

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for my family, friends, my wonderful staff, and community support I've been given. I pray in your struggles, you too, see the blessings that surround you.