Louise Winchell is not a native-born Montgomery Countian but has lived here longer than I am old.

Soon, Louise will have been in her beloved city for 66 years. Born March 21, 1920 to Charles and Margaret Bambury Weeks, she grew-up in Chicago, Ill.

A devout Catholic, she attended high school at Mercy. She went to secretarial school at DePaul, completing this course in 1939. After her graduation, she took several extra classes, then worked in the placement department for a few months, after which she worked at a food brokerage company (P.J. Murphy & Associates) for the next six years.

In 1942, a friend, Irene, and Louise went to a service center. Irene was supposed to have met a guy there and Louise really wasn't too excited about going, but she went anyway. When a good-looking, blond man came up to them, Louise thought it might be Irene's man, but the gentleman asked Louise for the dance. This began a relationship that would last more than three score and seven years.

Leonard Winchell was the good looking sailor and he would later tell Louise that he asked her to dance because she was the only one smiling. Louise smiles a lot! She said that she has no idea if Irene's man ever showed up but when she discovered Leonard was Catholic, that his days were numbered.

When Leonard returned from his World War II Navy career (the holiday season in 1945) they became close but it was not until Feb. 15, 1947 at St. Justin's in Chicago that they tied the knot and Louise followed Leonard back to Crawfordsville where he had been working as a watch maker for Frank Marter.

From a small store of their own in the Ben Hur building to their 103 N. Green St. shop, moving next door to 105 N. Green St. and then their beautiful 109 N. Washington St. place in 1971, both Leonard and Louise were loved by their adopted community.

Although Leonard has passed on, Louise lives a productive life in her 90s. She rarely misses a Saturday evening mass and still is semi-active in Delta Theta Tau Sorority (member over 60 years).

Most of her business life was of course tied in to the jewelry store but she also worked for eight years at the Union Savings & Loan which later became Main Source, a job that was supposed to last for two weeks.

She feels having done water aerobics for 19 years has helped her throughout later life.

An intelligent gal, Louise keeps up with almost all aspects of American and world events, has many friends and is a fabulous choice for this week's Around the County!