Archived Story

Bell has a talent for children

Published 3:20pm Friday, April 13, 2012

By SANDRA THAMES / Community Columnist

Bessie Bell grew up in Bibb County the middle child of 13 children. Her mother preserved, canned and “put up” in some way everything grown on their acreage.

Bessie Bell works at the Perfect Place Child Development Center in Alabaster. (Contributed)

Bell’s father worked three jobs to keep his family off the welfare system. Many years later, after a very bad divorce, Bessie followed these same rules for her and her two sons: No handouts, be frugal, remake, redo, work two jobs and trust the Lord.

As a child, Bessie loved getting to go fishing at the creek with her daddy.

“The middle child sometimes got left out,” she said. “But daddy would drag me along most anywhere.”

Hard work and her parents’ advice — “Take care of yourself first or you won’t be able to take care of anyone else” — also helped her through her divorce.

As a child, Brownie, Butch and Jack (her three dogs) were her best buddies. The creek (her favorite place to go), good food and family were a big enjoyment for everyone.

After graduation from Bibb County High School in 1974, Bell took several advanced training classes in child care professionalism and management at Jeff State Community College.

Her babies at the Perfect Place Child Development Center (located across from Brooklere Pharmacy) dearly love their “Ms. Bessie.”

Convenient hours (quarter or half days, full or part-time) with home-cooked meals, indoor and outdoor play areas, free food and formula provided, computer learning and all the toys and learning aids one can imagine make this a special place indeed. The children are kind, courteous and seem very happy with their surroundings.

The soft music during nap time nearly put me to sleep. New to the Alabaster area, this daycare may deserve a second look or fill a special need for your family.

In 2001, love found Bessie on the highway with a flat tire. Flat tire fixed, phone numbers exchanged and Bessie is now married to her good samaritan. As far as “best friends” go, it’s her four sisters, even after all these years. Prayer and daily meditation are her connection to God and “her babies.”

Bell would love to live in the Sudan and work with “those neglected babies…that would be wonderful,” she says. “God put me here to love babies. It’s my best talent.”

Community columnist Sandra Thames can be reached by email at

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