While teaching in the Hinds Junior College English department, Laura Bell Lindsey, known as Bell, was a legend.
Local families wanted their college students placed in her classes. Students wanted to be in her class because of her reputation for good teaching. Those students who enrolled in her classes experienced awe and challenge. One student, recalling his experience in Lindsey’s class, tells of her demand for excellence from each student. While his final grade was low, he went to Mississippi State University and, at his first sitting, passed the required junior-level English proficiency test. To this day, after many years as a college teacher, he credits Bell Lindsey for her motivation and encouragement.
An avid reader, Lindsey accumulated an astonishing body of knowledge. She amazed her colleagues with her knowledge about many subjects. They always enjoyed her presence in the teachers’ lounge as she held their attention as she talked about such random topics as mythology, the Classics, world history, politics, literature and geography.
Some regarded Lindsey as a bit eccentric. Lindsey always brought her lunch in a small paper sack. Most often the lunch was a sandwich cut in half. Lindsey came to the lounge at morning break and ate half of the sandwich. At noon she came back and ate the other half. She then carefully folded the paper sack. For more days than anyone could determine, she used the same paper sack to bring her lunch.
Lindsey was physically petite, but she was an intellectual giant, teacher and a good friend to many.