Interview reveals Orabell’s story

A comment left by a Journal reader on a Facebook post has Natchitoches residents choosing sides and it all revolves around Miss Orabell Lewis. The comment that started it all was a complaint against Orabell dancing on the sidewalks, claiming this portrays a negative image for Natchitoches. Many people rallied behind Bell, defending her as a free soul and an important part of the community.

Setavion Combs, who’s working toward a degree in Mass Comm at Northwestern State University, saw this as a call to tell the true story of Orabell Lewis. He set out to interview her so people could hear first hand why she does what she does. With a little help from NSU student Colin Fontenot, Combs published the video on his Youtube page, Smack TV.

“I know how it feels to have a perception about you that isn’t true,” said Combs. “I have been in Natchitoches years and I knew nothing about her except what people would gossip about. I have a platform on my YouTube channel so I thought I would give her the light to tell her story and shed light on who she is as a person and as a known figure in Natchitoches.”


46 thoughts on “Interview reveals Orabell’s story

  1. Why didn’t the young man ask orabell about her stealing or about her numerous arrests because all she does is curse people out for no reason. He said give her money or just take her shopping, well hell she ain’t allowed in any store in Natchitoches because she is a THIEF…WOW WHAT A JOKE ..WE have all had awful things in our life but this woman is pure CRAZY AND A THIEF.

  2. She is not hurting anything by dancing. I actually look for her when we come in to Natchitoches. Love see her just simply enjoying life. All those that are getting defended needs to get some joy in their lives. Keep on doing you Bell and God bless you.

  3. This was such a great story. Thank you for taking the time to interview her and tell it. For a woman who’s gone through such trying times in her life, it’s a miracle she still feels like dancing. We will from now on never be so quick to judge someone else. Dance on sweet Orabelle!
    Rich & Joan Demmon

  4. What a well done story! Natchitoches has always been a southern gothic masterpiece with special characters. So many of them have passed but their stories are still told under slow moving ceiling fans with cool beverages in hand. Ms. Bell Lewis will join the litany of other characters with whom our wonderful city has been blessed. Dance on, Ms. Bell. You are doing what we wish we could do occasionally, dance with reckless abandon like no one was looking.

    Please provide a web address for contributions.

    • Thanks Mr.Combs, I just wave at her, I dont judge, just dont want anything to happen to her, cruel people in thus world. Thanks for the interview and enlightenment!

  5. Leave her alone she’s not hurting a thing. If she were wrapped in Christmas lights holding a meatpie the city would build a park in her honor!

  6. Thank you for taking time to interview Miss Ora Bell. The difference between crazy and eccentric is all about perspective. Dance on if it makes you happy….life is short. Ora Bell is not hurting anyone. If anything she is adding life to our close minded community.

  7. Wow! What a fantastic human interest piece Setavion Combs. I’ve heard a few things that were negative about Bell. But, again, you can’t judge a book by its cover. I appreciate the time you took to get the Really Really Talk 💯 about Bell’s trials and tribulations. Truth to be told there are a lot of people in Natchitoches and worldwide who are suffering with some form of mental illness. So, get off your think your better than grits behinds and enjoy the music. Dance Bell like you never danced before. Life is short. Only God knows the Really Real 💯 story behind you so-called goody goodies. God is the Just Judge. If it doesn’t fit into your perfect little circle then it should be plucked out. I never will. I’m a square peg who never wants to fit into a round circle. ✌️out.

  8. Thanks, Mr. Combs, for such an elucidating interview with Ms. Lewis. I will see her now through different eyes. Natchitoches just became somewhat more charming for me today.

  9. Congratulations to Setavion Combs on a compassionate and thoughtful human interest story on Ms. Orabell Lewis. Her plight could be that of any of us regardless of race, creed or color. She harms no one to my knowledge and I am amazed at her energy. She has her own resources and asks no one for financial support. Every town, especially small towns, have many flavors of “local color”. Hell, southern gothic literature is full of eccentric characters and misunderstood people who exemplify the human condition that is the basis for Judeo Christian identity. I’m glad she’s a part of what makes this town whatever it aspires to be.

      • I have personally known Ora Bell a long time and she is being the best Ora Bell she can be! I TRULY admire her courage in this hellish world she has endured! I pray that she will continue to be a blessing to us ALL.

      • G. Rachal you need mental treatment she is expressing herself and she has that freedom to do so. You don’t know her so sweep under your doorstep before judging others!!

      • She is only dancing. A free soul and free country. No laws are broken. He whom is without sin cast the first stone.

  10. I was in tears cause she is a person like everyone else…thats full of life and I love watching her …at least she not hurting nobody physically…she makes me smile ….just let her be I say

  11. Glen, did you get arrested back then? I don’t think so. So why should she be arrested now. Who is she hurting? No one!

  12. Mental illness is real! I didn’t know her story but I know her family and they are good people. Who are we to judge? Dance on Ora Bell- be free and happy. Thank you for taking the time to talk to her.

  13. She should be arrested for the same reason the cops told us to Clear the parking lots on the Strip years ago, but then again we were White

        • This lady has schizophrenia. She can’t be arrested for her illness. There is something called an office of mental health advocacy who would be all over the police for that. Institutions have closed their doors to taking in patients with these problems. Family’s hands are tied. So many uninformed people in that city.

          • Oh, Kw, I’m so glad to find Natchitoches has another psychiatrist! We have too few in rural Louisiana! It’s amazing that you’ve been able to diagnose her as suffering from schizophrenia, or any mental illness for that matter, without any legally or medically-recognized assessment.

            Mental Health Advocacy ensures that people who struggle with mental illnesses are treated humanely and with respect. Basically, if someone is neither a danger to him or herself, there is no reason to institutionalize. And certainly mental illnesses are diseases, not crimes. It’s taken decades to establish laws and public policies that protect mentally ill people from wrongful incarceration.

            I’ll admit that I wrongly assumed too many things about Orabell, mostly because seeing her made me feel uncomfortable. Truth is, life has been exceptionally hard on her, and she hasn’t been blessed or lucky enough to have the treatment and support she’s needed. In the future, I won’t pretend I don’t see her because she’s different. I’ll smile and wave at her. She’s got more courage than most of us to dance no matter who’s watching.

    • If you are so OFFENDED by her dancing, find another route!!! I hope she dance as long as God blesses her with good health. THE BELLE!!!! I’m so glad there are more likes on this than there are haters.

  14. Orabell is a beautiful person, often misunderstood by many. She is one of the most realist and happiest people you can ever meet. Much love to “The Bell”

    • Rebekah, I consider a Natchitoches treasure. We have the lights, our festival, and Miss OraBell. Dance on, my friend. Well said! This young man is amazing for standing up for her.

  15. Beautiful story ..nonody knows what a true story is they just assume…i thought it was a delight to hear esp in these times because no one really knows..spread her cheerful attitude, dance n pray for her , dnt judge n assume..great story n i hope the best for her..glad this story was done…no one really knows the story of anyone …do not judge people thts not for us to do..God is our one n only true judge n he is the one tht knws our true hearts…nobody knows but none of us are perfect n never will be…jesus Christ is ..godbless her no matter what!

  16. The clip lasts 14 minutes. This young man did a great job with this interview. Miss Ora Bell is a long misunderstood stood woman who is willing to share her story. Our little town is full of people who think they can cast the first stone at anyone they don’t understand. This interview provides a great dose of understanding. Let her dance.

    • Why is everyone so ready to put someone down? Did you even listen to her story? She doesn’t hurt anyone, she is doing this for her mental well being ( dancing) so how can this offend anybody. Stop judging people and find out the reason things are the way they are. If you ask me…a bunch of hippocrates… Dance on Ms. Lewis

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