Iowa - Local History
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid
A Memoir
Paperback      ISBN: 0767919378
From one of the world's most beloved writers and New York Times bestselling author of A Walk in the Woods and The Body, a vivid, nostalgic, and utterly hilarious memoir of growing up in the 1950s.

Bill Bryson was born in the middle of the American century--1951--in the middle of the United States--Des Moines, Iowa--in the middle of the largest generation in American history--the baby boomers. As one of the best and funniest writers alive, he is perfectly positioned to mine his memories of a totally all-American childhood for 24-carat memoir gold. Like millions of his generational peers, Bill Bryson grew up with a rich fantasy life as a superhero. In his case, he ran around his house and neighborhood with an old football jersey with a thunderbolt on it and a towel about his neck that served as his cape, leaping tall buildings in a single bound and vanquishing awful evildoers (and morons)--in his head--as The Thunderbolt Kid.

Using this persona as a springboard, Bill Bryson re-creates the life of his family and his native city in the 1950s in all its transcendent normality--a life at once completely familiar to us all and as far away and unreachable as another galaxy. It was, he reminds us, a happy time, when automobiles and televisions and appliances (not to mention nuclear weapons) grew larger and more numerous with each passing year, and DDT, cigarettes, and the fallout from atmospheric testing were considered harmless or even good for you. He brings us into the life of his loving but eccentric family, including affectionate portraits of his father, a gifted sportswriter for the local paper and dedicated practitioner of isometric exercises, and of his mother, whose job as the home furnishing editor for the same paper left her little time for practicing the domestic arts at home. The many readers of Bill Bryson's earlier classic, A Walk in the Woods, will greet the reappearance in these pages of the immortal Stephen Katz, seen hijacking literally boxcar loads of beer. He is joined in the Bryson gallery of immortal characters by the demonically clever Willoughby brothers, who apply their scientific skills and can-do attitude to gleefully destructive ends.

Warm and laugh-out-loud funny, and full of his inimitable, pitch-perfect observations, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid is as wondrous a book as Bill Bryson has ever written. It will enchant anyone who has ever been young.
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid
A Memoir
1st Edition    Hardcover      ISBN: 076791936x
From one of the most beloved and bestselling authors in the English language, a vivid, nostalgic, and utterly hilarious memoir of growing up in the 1950s

Bill Bryson was born in the middle of the American century--1951--in the middle of the United States--Des Moines, Iowa--in the middle of the largest generation in American history--the baby boomers. As one of the best and funniest writers alive, he is perfectly positioned to mine his memories of a totally all-American childhood for 24-carat memoir gold. Like millions of his generational peers, Bill Bryson grew up with a rich fantasy life as a superhero. In his case, he ran around his house and neighborhood with an old football jersey with a thunderbolt on it and a towel about his neck that served as his cape, leaping tall buildings in a single bound and vanquishing awful evildoers (and morons)--in his head--as The Thunderbolt Kid.

Using this persona as a springboard, Bill Bryson re-creates the life of his family and his native city in the 1950s in all its transcendent normality--a life at once completely familiar to us all and as far away and unreachable as another galaxy. It was, he reminds us, a happy time, when automobiles and televisions and appliances (not to mention nuclear weapons) grew larger and more numerous with each passing year, and DDT, cigarettes, and the fallout from atmospheric testing were considered harmless or even good for you. He brings us into the life of his loving but eccentric family, including affectionate portraits of his father, a gifted sportswriter for the local paper and dedicated practitioner of isometric exercises, and OF his mother, whose job as the home furnishing editor for the same paper left her little time for practicing the domestic arts at home. The many readers of Bill Bryson's earlier classic, A Walk in the Woods, will greet the reappearance in these pages of the immortal Stephen Katz, seen hijacking literally boxcar loads of beer. He is joined in the Bryson gallery of immortal characters by the demonically clever Willoughby brothers, who apply their scientific skills and can-do attitude to gleefully destructive ends.

Warm and laugh-out-loud funny, and full of his inimitable, pitch-perfect observations, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid is as wondrous a book as Bill Bryson has ever written. It will enchant anyone who has ever been young.

Allen College
Allen College
Paperback      ISBN: 1467124249

In the early 1920s, Waterloo businessman Henry B. Allen donated $200,000 and 80 acres of land to the Allen Memorial Hospital Association to establish a hospital in memory of Mary, his wife. The hospital opened in 1925 and was operated by the Deaconess Hospital Association of the Evangelical Church. The School of Nursing was founded in 1925, but a lack of resources during the Depression forced the hospital into receivership and the school was closed. Hospital management was assumed by the Lutheran Good Samaritan Society in 1938, and the school reopened in 1942 as the Allen Memorial Hospital Lutheran School of Nursing. In 1989, the school became Allen College of Nursing, a degree-granting institution. Today, as Allen College-UnityPoint Health, it offers an associate degree in radiography; bachelor of science degree in nursing; bachelor of health science degree with majors in diagnostic medical sonography, nuclear medicine technology, medical laboratory science, public health, and dental hygiene; master of science degrees in nursing and occupational therapy; and two doctoral degrees in health professions education and nursing practice. Throughout its 90-year history, Allen College has remained faithful in its mission to prepare health care professionals for their roles in society.

Along Iowa's Historic Highway 20
Along Iowa's Historic Highway 20
Paperback      ISBN: 1467112909

US Highway 20 was designated a federal highway in 1926. For the first half of the 20th century, it was the most important east-west road across northern Iowa, extending from the Mississippi to the Missouri River. The road connected 13 counties, four major metropolitan areas, and many smaller communities along its route. Fortunately, the historic two-lane road remains almost completely intact and can be driven much as travelers did in years gone by. Along Iowa's Historic Highway 20 celebrates such a trip, illustrated by more than 200 antique postcards that show the personality of the road: town and city scenes, rural vistas, rivers, bridges, and historic sites. Not to be forgotten are the tourist courts, hotels, diners, and gas stations that made travel possible.

Altoona
Altoona
Paperback      ISBN: 1467111686

Founded in 1868, Altoona was once just a small town on the prairie at least until the planes, trains, and automobiles came. Trains started crossing this town as planes made their way to the Altoona Airport, and the construction of Interstate 80 on Altoona s north edge brought many tourists. The growing community has become known across the state as the Entertainment Capital of Iowa. Altoona is home to Adventureland Park, Iowa s largest amusement park, as well as Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino, and it hosted the state s first municipal airport, Hanna Air Field. Various innovative individuals called this community home, such as Robert Townsend with his single-pass color printer and George Kurtzweil and his idea to grow the first acre of hybrid seed corn. Altoona s history espouses a unique combination of small-town Iowa traditions and progressive thinkers that make it unforgettable."

Amana Colonies: 1932-1945
Amana Colonies
1932-1945
Paperback      ISBN: 1467115401

The Amana Colonies were founded by members of the Community of True Inspiration, a Pietist sect that originated in southwest Germany in 1714. Beginning in 1842, members of the sect migrated to New York and founded the Eben-Ezer Society, in which land, shops, and homes were owned communally. Members worked at assigned jobs, attended 11 church services each week, and received food, clothing, and shelter. Beginning in 1855, the community relocated to a 26,000-acre tract in eastern Iowa, where they founded the seven Amana villages, each with its own church, school, general store, craft shop, and barns. A disastrous fire, economic downturns, and a growing dissatisfaction with communal life led the members to vote to reorganize as a separate business and church organization in 1932. Images of America: Amana Colonies: 1932-1945 examines a time when the Amana people worked to preserve aspects of their traditional religious and cultural life while, simultaneously, learning to embrace American life and the waves of people who visited these unique villages in growing numbers.

Anamosa
Anamosa
Paperback      ISBN: 0738598933

Anamosa is in the heart of Jones County along the Wapsipinicon River. Initially named Buffalo Forks in 1838, the town was platted as Dartmouth and incorporated as Lexington. In 1842, a Native American girl named Anamosa passed through with her family and endeared herself to those who met her. At Edmund Booth s suggestion, the town s name was changed to Anamosa in 1851. Gradually, it incorporated Strawberry Hill, a small settlement to the east. Grant Wood was born just east of Anamosa and is laid to rest in Riverside Cemetery. He is best known for his painting American Gothic; the dour woman and somber man, who is holding a pitchfork, is an iconic image of the 20th century. Anamosa is now a thriving community and was named the Pumpkin Capital of Iowa in 1993. It is the only Anamosa in the world."

Appanoose County
Appanoose County
Paperback      ISBN: 0738598992

Appanoose County has a unique heritage, yet it shares a common legacy with all rural Midwestern communities. The boundaries were drawn in 1843, and pioneers from the East came and staked their claims. Jonathan Stratton, the surveyor who platted an addition to Ann Arbor, Michigan, that would eventually become the University of Michigan, did the same with the county seat, Centerville, and remained there. Coal was discovered in the county and became the primary industry for over 50 years. Waves of immigrants came to the area for work in the mines, changing the landscape of the populace forever. Even as coal mining faded away, the diverse culture of the residents remained. These people of Appanoose County maintained a strong work ethic and a positive attitude that pulled them through tough times. They took pride in the community and celebrated their great fortune to live in Appanoose County.

Art of the State Iowa
Art of the State Iowa
Hardcover      ISBN: 0810955504

This is one of a series of compact books designed to celebrate the essence of each of the 50 United States, illustrating and describing its natural wonders, historical and cultural milestones, industrial innovations and personalities who have helped to shape the state's distinctive heritage. The illustrations encompass fine and folk art, architecture, crafts, and photographs of people and places. Also included are lists of museums, historical societies, tourist attractions and a perennial calendar of events.

Atlantic
Atlantic
Paperback      ISBN: 0738584290

The history of Atlantic is rooted in the story of unrelenting entrepreneur Franklin H. Whitney. His passion inspired a strong and enterprising breed of men who embraced his vision and settled in the lush hills and valleys of Cass County, Iowa, in the decade following the close of the Civil War. The railroad provided the impetus for rapid growth and prosperity, and Whitney s vision of a new city became a reality when his recommendation for a depot site was approved. Within six days, Whitney s agent, Thomas Miller, had built the first house from which Whitney ordered furrows plowed to the railroad grading. Atlantic was thus born. The town grew rapidly, and by 1869 civic and social organizations, churches, newspapers, banks, schools, and businesses were thriving. Atlantic also had its share of shady characters, outlaw gangs, and disasters. The photographs and stories in this book provide a glimpse into the lives of Atlantic s intrepid developers and the city they established in the valley of the Nishnabotna."