October 1, 2022

By Kathy Smith
Contributing Writer

One of the things I have noticed about Lee’s Summit is that once you make a friend, you usually keep that friendship no matter how long it has been since you have seen the person. For me, this kind of circumstance occurs when I am involved in a local event.

Several years ago the city of Lee’s Summit Historic Preservation Commission organized a walking tour of our beautiful, historic cemetery. We teamed up with Ben Jewell who at the time was the Debate Coach and IB History teacher at Lee’s Summit North High School. I have known Jewell since he was a young whippersnapper at Lee’s Summit High School. He was in the Debate and Forensics Program. My son Zack was as well. I always kept tabs on Jewell. I would often see him working behind the counter at the Hy-Vee on Rice Road. He was a stand out. Not only because he was a good worker but at the time his curly hair was cut into one of those hair-do’s that lots of boys had in the 1990’s. I think it was his trademark.

So when the HPC was planning our cemetery tour, we knew we needed the best speakers and top-notch researchers to put the tour together. We wanted to make the kids dress in clothing of the period which was the late 1800’s. Jewell knew a student named Emily Payne whose mother, Sharon made uniforms for the Color Guard of the band. I contacted her and this fine lady gave up her valuable time to create beautiful dresses for the students taking part in the event. The event was successful thanks to her efforts.

When it came time to create a baseball uniform for an exhibit in our History Museum, she was at the ready with tape measure and thimble. The exhibit featured George “Firebrand” Stovall, a prominent baseball player who was from this area. The replica uniform she made was outstanding.

Over my time working with Sharon, I learned about her passion for doll houses and miniatures. She also collects Barbie dolls and makes clothes for them. Her grandmother, Mary Solver was her inspiration. Mary and her husband Willard raised Sharon. They were a very loving family.

A few days ago Sharon contacted me about donating a dollhouse she redid. She wanted to donate to a charity that deals rescues pets. Sadly, Sharon has lost several pets over this past year this selfless, lovely person wants to donate the dollhouse in the name of her pets and her late grandparents.

Sharon gave me the grand tour of this stunning dollhouse she has created. Well, my dear’s it is truly a remarkable artistic endeavor. Sharon rescued a ramshackle dollhouse from the curb, waved her creative wand and voilà a beautiful dollhouse was created.

Sharon redesigned it, made the furniture and all of the accessories that a beautiful dollhouse should have. Darlings, it oozes class. It is just waiting for a five-year-old to start playing with it.

Sharon is also a miniature buff; her home studio is filled with examples of her work. Sharon’s family includes her husband John, her daughter Emily and a son Avery.