Courtney Ball

Archive - July 2014

Lorde Visits the Hairy Nation

My brother Chris told me a fun story today. First, a little background. Chris lives in Bloomfield, Iowa, a small county seat roughly twenty miles from the Missouri border. Several years back he read an old book about Bloomfield called The Rise and Progress of Civilization in the Hairy Nation. Not long after that, a woman he knew named Nancy...

Pastor Bucky and the Stinkers

Concept artwork for their first album, “Ode to Odor” Not long ago, Pastor Bucky was asked to be on the Youth Services Advisory Board for his county’s Department of Public Health. In his first meeting, the topic of discussion was the importance of teaching good hygiene to young kids. It was a pretty dull conversation at first, but then Molly...

Are My Kids Too Tame?

This morning my daughters chose to read a book together for fun! My father grew up in a house full of kids. He had four brothers and one sister, as well as several foster kids his parents took in for varying lengths of time. His dad was a United Methodist preacher. Methodist ministers are itinerant. This meant that every few years, the Bishop of...

Sunday Lunch at the Knouse House

These are stories about my great grandpa and grandma Knouse. My dad shared these with me when I visited with him last week. Wallace Hines was not a well-educated man. Most of his book learning came from the Old Farmer’s Almanac, which he read religiously and memorized sections of. He ran a strict house, and by the time his daughter Daisy became...

Chasing Chickens

Photo courtesy of Hannah White: friend, photographer, and owner of chickens When I was a boy, I loved to visit my grandparents’ house. At my mom’s parents’, I would play outside, pick fruit off the trees, or work on projects in Grandpa’s shop. At my dad’s parents’ house, I would explore the barn, play in nearby fields, and visit with...

Iraq War Memories

Recently I’ve been reading the journal of a friend of mine who was a Marine medic during the beginning of our second war with Iraq. The journal was a gift from his girlfriend (now wife), and instead of writing to himself, he wrote each entry to her. I am using this (as well as interviews with him and other soldiers I know) as research for the...