Lucy Bell
Lucy Bell
Author, Educator, Naturalist

Coming Up: a boy's adventures in 1940s colorado springs

COMING UP A Boy’s Adventures in 1940s Colorado Springs by Lucy Bell with watercolor illustrations by Linda Martin, published by Ambient Light Publishers, 2018, is available on 100 pages. $11.99. In Colorado Springs, it can be purchased at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum Shop, the African-American Historical and Genealogical Society Museum, Poor Richard’s Bookstore and Hooked on Books bookstore.

This book features true stories from the boyhood of Oliver Bell, who was born in ColoradovSprings in 1933. The five chapters progress through the years, 1941-1945. Full of humor and adventure, the book also gives an accurate picture of what life was like in the black community at the time.

Each chapter features a history segment from the African American community of Colorado

Springs, and includes:

  • The Sachs scholarship for black students at Colorado College.

  • Saint Francis hospital as a tuberculosis treatment center.

  • Segregation of public facilities in Colorado Springs; when and how that ended.

  • The history of black churches.

  • How job opportunities for blacks spiraled downward after the death of founder General

Palmer who had championed equal rights for all citizens.

The book is addressed to young people ages 10-14, but will be enjoyed by anyone interested in this particular chapter of Colorado Springs history.

Endorsements for Coming Up: A Boy's Adventures in 1940s Colorado Springs

The Pikes Peak region is filled with natural beauty, but too often we overlook the people that inhabit the region—especially people who have been marginalized or forgotten. Lucy’s book reminds us of the richness, the power, and the impact of the contributions by black people that have called this area home. The Pikes Peak region is stunning—not only because of the mountains, but because of the people who have given it spirit, life, and art. Lucy’s book reminds us that black is indeed beautiful!
— Dr. Mike Edmonds, Vice President of Student Life/Dean of Students at Colorado College

In a book destined to become a classic, author Lucy Bell has opened a window on Colorado Springs’ colorful history that will delight readers young and old. Enhanced by the sensitively rendered illustrations of Linda Martin, COMING UP traces the coming-of-age experiences of Oliver Bell in the early 1940s. With pages full of mischievous boyhood adventures, unexpected consequences, and ever watchful neighbors; each chapter has a surprise ending, historic photos of the actual people in the chapter and fascinating information about relevant topics of the day. From the hidden tunnels under Saint Francis hospital to the untold secrets of an era when courageous citizens fought the scourge of the KKK, COMING UP is a tribute to Colorado Springs’ hard-working families who came to the city to give their children a chance at life in schools that welcomed all of them. Vivid, poignant, and always thought-provoking, COMING UP is a treasure.
— Kathleen F. Esmiol Author of Everybody Welcome: 'A Memoir of Fannie Mae Duncan and the Cotton Club'

I can’t imagine anyone better than Lucy Bell to reconstruct Colorado Springs in the 1940s and tell the story of Oliver Bell, a young black boy facing discrimination and segregation. Relying on her background as an educator and historian, Lucy has exhaustively researched the era through living histories, manuscripts and period photos. Lucy is a skilled storyteller and writer able to weave together compelling anecdotes of her beloved Oliver’s life with factual details of Colorado Springs as it existed at the time. I have eagerly awaited this book.
— Bill Vogrin Writer and journalist. Side Streets columnist, 13 years for Colorado Springs Gazette


Molly and The Cat Who Stole Her Tongue

Eight-year-old Molly can communicate with animals, but she hasn't spoken since her parents were killed in an accident, forcing her to live with her bossy Aunt Wilma. Her classmates bully her, chanting, "Cat's got your tongue!" Molly recruits Tony, a wise black Lab, and Rusty, a rambunctious cocker spaniel, to help her track down the tongue-stealing Cat. She gets her tongue back in a surprising way and just in time to save her town from catastrophe.

An often delightful, unexpected coming-of-age tale that unlocks the story behind a youngster’s silence
— Kirkus Reviews