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Friday, March 18, 2011

If You Built It She Will Come - Lulu Visits the Field of Dreams in Iowa

In her drive thru Iowa - Lulu detoured to see the Field of Dreams

The foul line where the players could not cross

Ray Kinsella's house and the bleachers where his little girl fell

Lulu threw me a curve yesterday when she called from the Field of Dreams

Lulu is visiting several school libraries in the midwest on her Vision Tour. After entertaining her Mom - Aunt - and Cousin here for 8 days - she hopped a plane to Minneapolis to visit a school. This was followed by a 250 mile drive to Cedar Rapids in Iowa - and then back north to Fort Atkinson in Wisconsin.

But what really surprised me last night was an email full of pictures of my favorite place I have never visited.

In 1989 - Field of Dreams was released during spring training. Kevin Costner starred in this epic movie about baseball and the relationships between fathers and sons. No film chokes me up with tears like this film. Imagine - taking a year off from work - to spend time with your sons while your wife attends Florida State University. Imagine buying an old Volkswagen van - and taking your fifth and sixth grade sons on a camping trip to see several spring training grapefruit league games - staying in the van to save money to buy the kids "wool" baseball caps. This was my mind set when I saw the Field of Dreams on that opening day with my sons at my side.

The movie was filmed on a farm in the middle of nowhere near Dyersville in Iowa. The film was pretty simple. A farmer plowed his cornfield under to build a baseball field. He was hearing voices saying, "If you build it he will come." He thought that the messages were saying to build the field for Shoeless Joe Jackson and the 1919 Chicago White Sox that were accused of throwing the World Series. If you have not seen the movie - I will not ruin the ending - but I defy any real baseball fans to watch it dry-eyed.

Anyway - Lulu's travels from Cedar Rapid to Wisconsin took her near Dubuque - and her GPS directed her 40 miles off the beaten path to Dyersville and the Field.

Yes - the baseball field and the farmhouse are there. Yes - you can walk on the field and take all the pictures you want. Lulu was alone as the wind blew across the prairie. As I listened to her describe the place - the corn field - the farm house - the bleachers - I could almost hear the voices as the wind blew through the cellphone. I could almost see Dr. Moonlight Graham stepping across the foul line to give up his one chance in baseball to become a doctor and save a life. I digress.

As quickly as it all started - soon the Field was disappearing in Lulu's rear view mirror. She had hundreds of mile to go to the next stop at Fort Atkinson in Wisconsin. But with that detour she fulfilled a dream of mine. I doubt if it could have been any better if I were there myself.

Field of Dreams

The road where "people will come Ray"

"Go the Distance"

Poster from the movie

This reminds me of the Bungalow Field back home in Pennsylvania where I played

"If you build it he will come"

Ray's Farm

Lulu had miles to go before she slept - but she added these miles just for me.

The Field of Dreams is 2 miles west of Dyersville. "Is this heaven? No - it's Iowa."

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