Under the greenwood tree
- W. Shakespeare
Dell Dowling - A Tribute
by Lee Padgett
On May 25, 1976, a small group of people interested in promoting writing as an art in the Greenwood area met to form the Greenwood Writers’ Guild, under the auspices of the Greenwood Arts Council. Long-time Guild member Idelle (Dell) Elledge Dowling was one of those chartered members.
Dell was born in Greenville, South Carolina on January 9, 1915, and was married to Cecil Wyman Dowling in 1940. They had one daughter, Margaret D. Brown. Dell’s husband passed away in 1967 and she moved to Greenwood in 1972 from her home of many years in Spartanburg. Dell worked as the office manager for Cokesbury Garden Apartments late in her retirement years, frequently opening her home for Guild meetings when another meeting place could not be found.
A true Southern lady, Dell was known for her sweet iced tea, tuna salad, and pound cake, which she graciously brought to the Guild picnic each May. A fine artist and gifted writer, Dell enriched her adopted home of Greenwood with her talent and love.
On June 30, 2011, Dell passed away, having been a faithful member of the Writers’ Guild for thirty-five years and leading the Guild on a number of occasions as its president.
An excerpt from her last published poem, “March Winds,” which appeared in the 2004 publication of the Guild’s Scribblings, reflects the sentiments from Guild members upon Dell’s passing:
Soon Spring will come, in all its warmth and softness
And you will be gone,
Your winds no longer threatening.
I will grow new children but I will weep for those you took away.
Here's another of Dell's poems, originally published in 1989.
The bitterweeds flourished that summer
And the meadow preened in lemon butter.
We climbed the yellow hill and
Our footsteps left no shadows.
That summer we remember and smile,
And say, “How young we were.”
That summer of the bitterweeds—