Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Why I Love My Job - Bowling Ball Field
During the recent Belger Arts Center opening, I met this wonderful man, who told me a bit about his bowling ball field in a small town south of Kansas City. In today's mail, I received the full story:
I have this little slab house on 28 acres in the country. I had a bowling ball a few years ago and told the grandkids who are onery as hell and bang around in this little house when they come to visit that a big bird had been on the property and they needed to go out on the trails I have mowed and find his nest. They came in all excited after they found it.
I thought this is kinda fun so I got a couple of bowling balls at a garage sale the next week and then when they came out I had two nests. Well, it went on for a year or two and I must have had about 18 bowling balls scattered around in nests all over the place and they came in after a search and yawned and said, "Grandpa, thems just bowling balls."
Well what to do with 18 bowling balls. I had a tent in the garage that the mice ate but the poles were functional so I took them up in this three acre field by the road and stuck them up in the thumb holes and people started stopping by asking what the hell is this? I went out after the mail one day and there were two bowling balls just laying there by the mailbox.
I kept adding to the collection and when I had over a hundred bowling balls somebody called the Kansas City newspaper and they came out and did an interview and put a picture of the whole silly thing on the front page. I got calls from all over. I did an interview with a radio station while I was on the crapper that morning. A lady from the next little town called and asked if I needed any more bowling balls and I figured she had a couple so I said sure and she showed up with bowling balls sticking up beyond the back of her pickup and dumped a hundred and twenty more. It seems her sister bought a bowling alley and closed it and opened a furnature store at the location and dumped all the bowling balls out on her sisters farm.
Today there are more than 350 bowling balls in that field and it has taken on a life of it's own. People are coming by all the time and whenever a friend comes by I save up my newly aquired bowling balls so they can put one up. I have everybody who comes by put one up of my most recent aquisitions so they can't talk about the crazy old guy with the bowling ball field because they are an accessory and put one up, too. We live 30 miles south of Kansas City, Missouri, outside a little town named Freeman.
There you have it. Well, except for the fact that it is a big deal in my little town that every new years eve I drop a bowling ball into a bucket of horse shit in front of city hall at midnight Rome time. About 5 in the afternoon here.
2018 Update: The Parkers have moved, so the bowling ball field is now closed.