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Bouncing Back: Sound Effect, Episode 179

Courtesy of J.J. Harrison
Rodeo clown J.J. Harrison gets trampled by a 2,000-pound bull at a rodeo in Hobbs, New Mexico. Listen to his story and others on this week's episode of Sound Effect, "Bouncing Back."

This show originally aired on June 1, 2019.

This episode of Sound Effect, “Bouncing Back,” features stories about people who take the hits and come right back for more. We meet a Walla Walla man who became a rodeo clown to scratch his cowboy itch. Then, we meet a legally blind Seattleite who experienced Tokyo with his other senses. An East Side Tacoma woman shares how her experience hitting rock bottom informs how she gives back today. Hear how two rival, “real-life superheroes” fell in love. And, in the full broadcast of the show, meet a woman who helps fellow women of color heal through writing.


When J.J. Harrison fell down in front of a charging, 2,000-pound bull in Hobbs, New Mexico, everything seemed to slow down. "I just remember thinking this could be the end," he said.

It wasn't.

Hear how this Walla Walla resident shifted from aspiring teacher to rodeo clown, and why — in spite of the punishment he takes — he keeps bouncing back.


In 2018, Chris Jeckel decided it was time to visit Tokyo. He just ended a four-year relationship, and was struggling to find his footing. Tokyo seemed like the perfect place, he said, to "shake things up."

“Seeing” Tokyo for Jeckel, who is legally blind, was more about tapping around the city and letting the experience wash over his senses. Listen to Jeckel describe his delight at losing himself in the overwhelm of the city — and finding unexpected peace in a quiet moment.


Thirteen years ago, Sheree Cooks could not have imagined herself being so active in the community: starting a nonprofit, giving talks about race and equity, shaping the health and well-being of her community.

Cooks says that none of the work she does today would have been possible if she hadn’t hit rock bottom. Her child’s tumor — and, later, her own health problems — changed everything. Hear how a serious illness put a young life in jeopardy, and how this experience made Cooks re-evaluate how she was going to live her life moving forward.


Krystal and James Marx have both experienced hardships that never fully left them: in her case, it was poverty and homelessness as a kid; for him, it was combat-related PTSD.

Their relationship, and their healing, began on rival superhero teams that shared bad blood.

So when their romance began budding, it shook Seattle’s “Real Life Superhero Movement” to its very foundations. Krystal and James Marx tell their story.


Christy Abram is a self-described “hugger” who makes sure she’s present in all her conversations. It’s important to her that you feel heard, because that wasn’t the case for her for the longest time. Especially when she was a teenager.

Abram shares the trauma she dealt with back then and the years that followed, she discusses how writing become key to her survival, and she talks about the initiative she founded that helps young women of color use the powerful tool in their own journey of healing.

Kevin Kniestedt is a journalist, host and producer who began his career at KNKX in 2003. Over his 17 years with the station, he worked as a full time jazz host, a news host and produced the weekly show Sound Effect. Kevin has conducted or produced hundreds of interviews, has won local and national awards for newscasts and commentary.