Your Turn with ... Charles Bell

Charles Bell
Posted: Mar. 8, 2013 4:09 pm Updated: Mar. 29, 2013 6:15 pm


When I was a kid, I wanted to be ... a military pilot. World War II was under way, and several relatives who I admired were fighter or bomber pilots.

What would you rather be doing right now? I enjoy woodworking and outdoor projects, especially if they are with our children and grandchildren.

Shhhhhh! Don't tell anyone that ... my first job after college was with the FBI, and then in law enforcement consulting for several years.

Other than your wedding day and the birth of your children, what was your proudest moment? When all of our family was together for our 50th wedding anniversary and when our daughter, who has a reading challenge similar to dyslexia, successfully completed her master's degree in special education at Quincy University.

It really stinks when ... I meet people and they continuously are putting other people down.

What word in the dictionary would your face be next to? I hope others would put it next to one of the words in the Boy Scout Law. The first is Trustworthy.

I always laugh when ... I think of the things I did as my eyesight deteriorated with macular degeneration before having successful eye surgery at Quincy Medical Group and Barnes, like the time I was introducing myself to the lady at church and telling her about our children. She replied, "You don't have any idea who you're talking to do you?" It was my wife, who had gone in while I was parking.

Invite any three people, living or dead, to dinner. Who are they? My parents and grandfather, because I respected them, valued their advice and have so many questions I wish I had asked when they were living.

At the end of a really long day at work, I like to … relax and visit with a friend or family member.

People who knew me in high school thought I was ... a fairly good student with an equally good ability to get into trouble.

My most unforgettable brush with greatness was ... when I spent a half-day interviewing Sargent Shriver about the future of Special Olympics and how the Peace Corps came about ... and an invitation from President Reagan to Washington.

I would drop all my plans tonight if I had the chance to ... spend time with our children or grandchildren.

If someone gave me a million dollars, there is still no way I would ... feel comfortable not giving a lot of thought to how I spent or invested every dollar of it.

America should be more concerned about ... electing leaders with leadership ability and legislators and congressmen who know how work to together, respect the U.S. Constitution and compromise intelligently. We have a multitude of major problems that were created by a majority more focused on their own self-interest rather than the good of the country.

I'm OK if there's ever a national shortage of ... books.

When I'm on the Internet, I always go to ... the NOAA website to check out tomorrow's weather and the website of the grain company near our farm.

What is the most useful piece of advice you have ever received? My father encouraged me to think things through, not be afraid of failure or criticism, learn from mistakes, and not to quit when you believe you are right.

When I'm cruising down the road, I'm likely listening to ... Chet Atkins, the news or just the sound of the vehicle and wind.

I always get sentimental when ... I see a young person with a disability or life-threatening illness.

The older I get, the more I realize ... my elders were right. Time does go faster as you get older.

If I had one "do-over," I would ... take every opportunity to ask a lot more questions of my parents, grandparents and others I respected, when they were living.

My favorite item of clothing is ... jeans that are well broken in and I can work or relax in without worrying about getting wrinkled or dirty.

If I've learned anything at all ... it's that the great majority of people are honest, helpful and friendly if you treat them with respect.


Charles Bell, 74, grew up in Stronghurst and attended Monmouth College, John Marshall Law School and Western Illinois University. For several years, he worked in law enforcement and related consulting for local, regional and state agencies. He returned to the family business and retired after 30 years of newspaper and printing company ownership and management in Iowa and Illinois. He has since worked as a part-time consultant with the Two Rivers Regional Council of Public Officials and the Great River Economic Development Foundationn, as well as individual companies. He and his wife, Sally, have been married for 52 years, and they have one adult daughter, five adult sons and seven grandchildren.


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