The Farmer's Wife: Learning the story of 'Field of Dreams'


After all the wind and thunder and tornado activity last Thursday eve, the weather really settled down and we've had some wonderful days of less humidity, lower temps, and milder breezes instead of wind. I'm lovin' it!

There is a fellow in Omaha who likes to have a showing of classic films and invite someone who starred in the movie to be there and for that person to answer questions from the audience.  

This past week, the film was Field of Dreams, and his guest was an actor named Dwier Brown, and of course, I've never heard of him. But the book sounded interesting, so I ordered it from the used book site. Actually, when I got it last week, I felt bad when I read the inside cover. It was a gift to someone named Andy, and signed by a number of folks. It should be a keepsake.

Anyway. I imagine most of you have seen it, and I thought I had. It's about a farmer who builds a baseball field on his farm, complete with lights, because he hears a voice telling him if he builds it, they will come! I knew the ghost players come out of the cornfield, but I learned there was a lot I didn't know about the movie, so I rented it.

Wow! Two flower children have a child of their own and buy a farm, even though the guy, Kevin Costner, certainly has never farmed. He's out digging something in a very nice looking corn field when he hears the voice. And it gets stranger after that! He has a beat up VW van left from his Berkeley days and goes to Boston to bring back James Earl Jones. From there, they drive to Minnesota to find another ball player, learn he is also dead, but Kevin meets and talks to him.

The whole thing culminates with lots of deceased baseball players using the ball diamond, and when a catcher takes off his mask, Costner says it's his dad in his younger days. The movie closes with them playing catch, and headlights coming in the lane.

What intrigues me, and a lot of other people, is the fact that Brown, who actually had only a five minute part, is recognized almost everywhere he goes and men, perfect strangers, come up to him to share their stories. There have been reconciliations, forgiveness, games of catch, and one minister preached about the movie, saying it is about redemption.

Whatever it's about, it touts baseball as the quintessential American pastime, even claiming it can do miraculous things for us all. And if you are looking for a special book as a good summer read, I can heartily recommend If You Build It, by Dwier Brown.


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