El Deafo Extras: The George and Barbara Bell Show

26 Aug

I dedicated El Deafo to my parents, because they are awesome. They drive me crazy, but I’m crazy about them.


They’ve been married for over 50 years. They met at UVa. My mom felt sorry for the shy boy who was sitting at a table at the cafeteria all by himself. So she married him.


Dad is a doctor, and at 82 he is still practicing.

Paging Dr. Bell, Dr. Bell you have a telephone call...

Paging Dr. Bell, Dr. Bell you have a telephone call…

Mom is a retired nurse (and a dedicated volunteer for All Things Good).


Mom is the one on the far right. That poor kid!

Here they are as they appear in the book:

Chapter09VERSION4Here they are in the early eighties, when a lot of the book takes place:

Mom and me. 1980 or so.

Mom and me. 1980 or so.

My sister Saray, Dad, and me. Les Miserables are done eating and are ready to keel over.

My sister Sarah, Dad, and me. Les Miserables are done eating and are ready to keel over.

Here are Mom and Dad as of yesterday, modeling their very best phony smiles (of which all of the Bell family are masters).

Dad, also known as Father, Papa San, and DaddyMan


Mom, also known as Mama, Barbie, Mommie Dearest

Dad’s superpower is that he can diagnose anyone he sees in a restaurant, and at a good distance, too. “Gee, it looks like that fella has a goiter. He should get his thyroid checked” stated rather loudly is a frequent occurrence.

Mom’s superpower is that she can make any and all phone calls for anybody and GET IT DONE. Or is that “GIT R DONE”?

They’ve got plenty more amazing abilities, but one that is often overlooked is their joint superpower of having incredibly fine acting skills. Check them out in an old chestnut, a moving recreation of the classic Peter’s Home commercial for Folgers Crystals. Remember that commercial? If not, watch the real Peter here. Then check out the Sock Monkey version here. My parents are the best part! (Special thanks to Tom Angleberger for using his video-making superpowers for the edification of humanity!)

Thanks, Mom and Dad, once again. Thanks for making all the tough decisions.

Only eight more days! And guess what? New friend Lauren Castillo‘s beautiful new book, Nana in the City, will also come out on September 2nd! I am pretending that Lauren and I are twins separated at birth…probably more than fifteen years apart…but, well, wouldn’t it be cool? I’ll be Sharon and she can be Susan! I’m glad I didn’t have to fly to California in an attempt to reunite MY parents! Hey, Lauren! Let’s get together, yeah yeah yeah!

6 Responses to “El Deafo Extras: The George and Barbara Bell Show”

  1. jama August 26, 2014 at 6:41 pm #

    Enjoyed seeing and learning about your parents :). Awesome super powers!

    • Cece Bell August 26, 2014 at 6:47 pm #

      Thanks, Jama! I really appreciate you reading this stuff. Hope you’re well!

  2. Jess Stork August 26, 2014 at 9:10 pm #

    That is kind of a cool idea. I bet all people have interesting superpowers like that. I can think of one or two for my parents too.

    • Cece Bell August 27, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

      I bet your parents are awesome, based on what I know about YOU!

  3. Ken Jones August 27, 2014 at 7:11 pm #

    It is so enriching and extraordinary for an author to share such wonderful background with her audience. Every post you publish is compelling, heartfelt and heartwarming. Thank you very much. (P.S. My Mom’s maiden name is “Bell” and my daughter is named after my Grand-mom Bell. I agree those Bells do make great parents!)

    • Cece Bell August 27, 2014 at 10:10 pm #

      Hi Ken! Thanks for your kind comment. Bells are good! I hope your daughter is not named “Grand-mom.” Hardy har har. Really, though…your support means so much. Thanks for reading! I hope you’ll enjoy the book if you get a copy of it!

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