Saturday, July 19, 2014

Travel Feet: Field of Dreams Movie Set

Travel Feet: Field of Dreams | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
View from the bleachers.
Summer and baseball go together like peanut butter and jelly, Bonnie and Clyde, road trips and rest stops, and my left foot and right foot. On our way back from a family reunion in the Midwest, Hubby and I followed our Travel Feet, and my cousins who had the directions in their car, to a slightly-off-the-beaten-path tourist attraction. We visited the set of the 1989 baseball flick, Field of Dreams. 

After fifteen years of spending many hot, cold, rainy, windy, dry, dusty weekends and weeknights sitting in seats along the first and third base lines, baseball holds a special, warm fuzzy spot in our hearts. While raising our boys, my Travel Feet visited many ballfields. So, yes, we thought it would be pretty cool to meander through the baseball movie set carved out of an Iowa corn field. 

It was more than pretty cool. It was magical. 

We expected to park, hop out of the car, use the restroom--it was a 3 1/2 hour drive from my uncle's house to the movie set--and run the bases. Then we arrived.
Souvenirs | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
Yes, we bought a few items at the
souvenir shop. 

The tourist attraction was relatively crowded. Lots of people milled about here and there. There were lines at the souvenir shop, which looked like a concession stand. There were lots of people on the field. There were people posing for pictures and walking in and out of the oddly tall corn stalks.

The one place without lines was the port-a-potty rest room area. Upon learning why there were no lines in that area, I decided to hold it in until we found a place for lunch. I did not have to go that badly, anyway.

Meanwhile, what was happening on the field was more exciting than ghosts coming out of the corn to play ball. What we witnessed was groups of strangers from all over the country playing a pick-up game of baseball. No rules, no age limitations, no arguing or kicking up dirt. Just folks sharing gloves, bats and balls while giving each other turns at bat, opportunities to run bases, and chances to field and pitch. 

Sitting on the bleachers, taking it all in, I was moved. Wouldn't it be great if people everywhere interacted with each other the way they did on this baseball field?
Interactive Movie Set | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
Best interactive movie set, ever! 

While there, however, we learned that the current owner wants to develop the Field of Dreams site into a sports complex with multiple fields. And while I'm all about having places for children to play sports, I believe it would be a great tragedy to tear down this particular movie set. It was the closest experience to world peace I've ever encountered. It was truly inspirational.

If they need to make more money, I have some ideas. They could sell concessions. Hot dogs, peanuts and apple pie pair well with baseball and hungry travelers. They could build a nice bathroom facility so tourists will stay longer and buy more concessions and souvenirs. They could invite famous baseball players to walk out onto the field via the corn stalks and play in the impromptu games with tourists. 

They built it. Twenty-five years later, they still come. There is something undeniably magical and special about that. It would be a shame to let it go. If you think so too, you can help. There is a Save the Field of Dreams Facebook page. And if you have not visited, you should consider routing your next road trip through Dyersville, Iowa. 

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, daughter & writer is the author of Thurston T. Turtle children's books. 
Email: mickibare (at)
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