The Bess Jenkins Club held its annual Christmas luncheon Dec. 12 at Pine Bluff Country Club. The guest speaker was Bill Jones, president and chief executive officer of Sissy’s Log Cabin.

President Sandy Poore called the meeting to order and read the club motto. She thanked the hostesses, Scarlett Hatcher, Laura McCubbin, Jo Ann McGeorge, and Mary Shannon Fikes, who had decorated the tables with Christmas elves and greenery.

Lela Murray, program chairwoman, introduced the guest speaker, Bill Jones, son of Sissy Jones and late Murphy Jones.

Bill Jones and his wife, Sharri, have two sons, William and Wyatt, and two grandchildren. Under his leadership, along with that of Sissy and Murphy, the “old log cabin” has grown to five stores at n Pine Bluff, Little Rock, Jonesboro, Memphis and Conway, according to a news release.

Jones is an award-winning jewelry designer, a board member of national trade organizations, and a real estate developer. He began working at Sissy’s Log Cabin for his mother in 1984. Since that time, he has won many awards in the jewelry industry in Arkansas and nationally. On Oct. 12, 2019, the Jewelers 24 Karat Club of Southern California chose Bill Jones as one of its “Excellence in Service of 2019” honorees. He was recognized at the 75th Annual Dinner Dance and Gala at Beverly Hills, Calif.

The 24 Karat Club’s president said of Bill, “He has had a tremendous impact on our industry, and exemplifies a high standard of professionalism, business ethics, and a commitment to excellence, true to the 24 Karat Club’s mission.”

During Jones’ program, “Pine Bluff - Yesterday to Today,” he gave an overview of Pine Bluff from the way it once was to how it is today, as well as plans the city leaders have for the future. He entertained the members with stories of growing up in Pine Bluff, and his experiences while working at Sissy’s Log Cabin. He encouraged members to “stand up” for Pine Bluff with a positive attitude for all that is good about the town. His “pep talk” for Pine Bluff was applauded by the members during his speech.

Special guests were Sissy and Sharri Jones. A lunch was served to the members by the hostesses at Pine Bluff Country Club.

Meanwhile, the Bess Jenkins Club also met Nov. 13 at country club and speaker was Phillip McMath.

Murray noted that Nov. 11 was Veteran’s Day and she congratulated McMath on his service in the Vietnam War, where he served as a second lieutenant in the United States Marines. He was the platoon and company commander in the 1st and 5th Tank Battalions, according to a news release.

McMath, a retired Little Rock lawyer, is also an award-winning author and historian. He has published four novels and numerous articles and short stories.

McMath is a playwright who has written and produced four plays, the latest which was “Lincoln’s Dream.” The play was presented at the Weekend Theater at Little Rock in April, 2019. He is the co-founder of The Porter Fund Literary Prize, established in 1984 as a non-profit, supporting Arkansas writers and poets. McMath is the son of former Gov. Sid and Anne McMath. He and his wife, Carol, live in Little Rock.

McMath spoke to the group about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and the mysteries surrounding his death. He told of the events in the life of Lee Harvey Oswald that led up to the assassination, and described the many different theories that have circulated since Kennedy’s death. He told of the coincidences in the Kennedy assassination when compared to the Lincoln assassination.

Also at the Bess Jenkins Club, a short business meeting was held after the program. Secretary, Susan Westfall, called he role and read the minutes of the October meeting. Mary Lee Hall, treasurer, gave the financial report. The meeting was adjourned by President Sandy Poore.

The hostesses for the meeting were Sharon Wyatt, Helen Clement, Susan Westfall, and Barbara Tracy. The tables were dressed with white table cloths with a green printed table topper. The centerpieces were colorful ceramic pumpkins and other fall decorations celebrating the season of Thanksgiving. Dessert of pecan pie and coffee were served.