Radio host Art Bell, who will be 62 years old in a week, announced last night that his Filipino-American wife, Airyn, had given birth to a girl, Asia Rayne Bell. Bell married Airyn last year and described her at the time as being in her “early twenties.” She had just finished teacher training in the Philippines.

Bell founded the Coast to Coast talk show on which he interviews guests on topics ranging from the paranormal to Middle Eastern politics. Bell’s late night show is broadcast from Nevada and has a following on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside where unemployment is high and people get into the habit of staying up late. Bell gets many Canadians on his call- in line; in fact they dominate the International Line he set up for listeners outside the U.S.

Bell announced at the opening of last night’s show that Airyn, 4 feet 8 inches tall, gave birth to the 8 lb. 5 ounce Asia by cesarean section. The baby was born on May 30th at 6 a.m. She was conceived during a visit to Hong Kong. Hence the name, Asia.

Bell says Asia is an “alert, advanced beyond her days” little girl. He says it seems like she is three months old. But he said he would not “dwell” on his new offspring because he knows that new parents sometimes do that and for those who are not the parents, “it probably bores them to death.”

Bell met Airyn in 2006, just weeks after his second wife Ramona, 47, died suddenly of an asthma attack in their RV in January. Bell told his listeners when he returned to the air that Ramona’s death had left him in almost unbearable emotional pain and he had even considered suicide. But after a few weeks of mourning, Bell began to sound upbeat on his show, almost giddy. At one point he repeatedly kidded a guest, theoretical physicist Lisa Randall, about how a woman so good looking could be so smart. He told her that he knew he was being sexist and she agreed that he was. He just didn’t sound like himself. But soon listeners would learn something:

He was high on Airyn.

An American friend of Bell’s who was engaged to Airyn’s sister in the Philippines, had Bell’s personal e-mail address and had given it to Airyn. Bell was not aware of this. But he began to receive e-mails from Airyn and they began to correspond. He fell for her. He went to the Philippines and after a couple of weeks getting to know her, married her in a double wedding with her sister and his friend. He announced to his listeners that he was in love, that he was happy. And he reminded us that “Life is very short.”

That was less than four months after the death of Ramona who was half-Filipino. Bell, who regularly interviews people who believe that the dead can communicate with the living, attempted to check in with Ramona before the marriage. If I’m making a mistake, he told her, “Kick my ass.” Bell explained to his listeners that his marriage to Ramona had been good, an experience that left him eager to marry again.

Bell has a grown son, Arthur Bell Jr., who was raped at the age of 16 by a high school teacher with AIDS in 1997, an assault that resulted in Bell Sr. leaving his talk show for a year in 2000.

To read the rest of this original article, see The Downtown Eastside Enquirer

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