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April 2, 2017

"Field of Dreams":

People will come, Ray…. And they’ll walk off to the bleachers and sit in their short sleeves on a perfect afternoon. And find they have reserved seats somewhere along the baselines where they sat when they were children… And they’ll watch the game, and it’ll be as they’d dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick, they’ll have to brush them away from their faces… This field, this game… reminds us of all that once was good, and that could be again. Baseball, the Prodigal, and Paradise

Posted by gerardvanderleun at April 2, 2017 10:37 AM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

....I'm 69 y/o and I cry everytime that is written or said!

Posted by: TN Volunteer at April 2, 2017 11:40 AM

Vol, I'm 72 and the same thing happens - especially the passage where he meets his dad and asks him to play catch.

I never knew my father, who died going across France with Patton in 1944. Since there was nobody to tell me about him I've spent most of my life trying to find out who he was, which appears to be a pretty swell guy. I pray I'll meet him someday. I know he deserves it; I'm not sure I do.

Posted by: Rob De Witt at April 2, 2017 7:25 PM

Ever heard of a snack food product named "Bagel Bites"? I designed the Bagel Bite's owners custom home and as a symbol of his appreciation he and his wife invited me to the opening game between the Minnesota Twins and the Boston Red Sox at the first game ever at the brand new stadium in Fort Myers, FL. This was back about 1994 or so. How could I refuse?

I went, and was bored to tears in no time at all. I walked the bleachers, walked the interior, changed position hundreds of times in the seat but the boredom was insistent and increasing exponentially. Nobody else seemed to mind the extreme boredom. Finally, unable to tolerate the mendacity any longer I gave them an excuse and exited stage left.

That was the longest amount of time, in aggregate, that I have ever surrendered to professional sports.

There was a bright spot though.
The people I went there with ending up going into the dugouts after the game and meeting some of the players. One of them, Mike Greenwell, the shortstop for Boston, told them he wanted to build a new home and they referred him to me. So I designed an 11.600 sf log home for his family that was built on 120 acres of prime rural real estate right on the north bank of the Caloosahatchee River about 20 miles east of Fort Myers.

Your little story for the day:

I met Mike at the site, a very rough rural property that hadn't seen much activity since the Caloosa indians ruled the land in the 1100's. Mike and friends were already there and they met me at the road in a $100,000.00 Florida Swamp Buggy. Yep, all of them were rednecks, not that there's anything wrong with it. I'm very familiar with swamp buggies and this one was the best I had ever seen. Completely home made from scratch.

The main platform was about 20' long x 12' wide and about 10' above the ground with multiple steel diamond plate stairs to ascend to the top. The frame was 6" steel round tubing, welded.

This vehicle was powered by (2) rebuilt Cadillac 472 ci engines. Each engine was independent of the other and each was threaded through (2) 4 speed automatic transmissions. The final drive at the rear was 2.73:1. In low-low on both engines, at wide open throttle (very loud) the thing would go less than 3 mph and knock down 6" dia pine trees with no effort. It was a beast. It had 8' dia aircraft tires with 10lbs of pressure and would easily climb right over 4' boulders, ford deep creeks, and *swim* across ponds.

So I climbed aboard with clipboard in hand for taking notes and Mike grabbed it and threw it over the side and handed me a 16oz can of Bud. There were about 10 other baseball players onboard and everybody started laughing. I saw that there were built-in counters all around the perimeter of the platform and half a dozen 300 gal coolers bolted to the floor. Pistols and rifles were laying all over the place and the sound wasn't so loud up on top. A famous pitcher from a pro-team was having a loud discussion with another player when suddenly he stepped back, grabbed his crotch and said to the other guy, "SUCK MY DICK MOTHERFUCKER!", and everybody started laughing all over again.

The swamp buggy was controlled via a joystick that was a Winchester model 94 mounted muzzle down in the middle of the floor. Nudge it right and the behemoth slowly went right. There was a short lever sticking up from the buttstock that was the throttle. Most of the time the buggy was on autopilot and ambled along to the rear of the property some 3500' away at the river.

Along the way we would stop and Mike would tell me this was where he wanted to build the main house, the guest house, the boat house, the beach house, etc. I was capturing the coordinates on my Garmin for later implementation on the site plan. At the river beach there was a large cabana set up and a dozen Hooter girls were preparing and delivering food to an array of tables scattered about. Mike had recently partook of a hunting extravaganza in Kansas with a bunch of his NASCAR friends and had shot 165 ringneck pheasants which the Hooter girls were dunking in 6 boiling vats of propane oil cookers. They had all of the compliments and an unbelieveable amount of adult beverages of every stripe. While I had been to a number of party functions over the years put on by wealthy folks I had never seen anything like this. Very comfortable environment for my blue collar ass. Oh yeah, .38 Special was there on the temporary stage and a couple hours later Blackfoot arrived by way of several large boats from the river. Unfucking believable.

About 4 hours later I was delivered, about 3 sheets to the wind, back to my truck on the road and the buggy turned back into the wilderness with it's payload of drunk millionaires cussing like sailors and trying not to fall over the sides. Most of them had remained at the beach, unable to scale the stairs and were even having difficulty sitting up right in their beach chairs.

I shook hands with Mike, thanked him for the invite, and told him my people will contact his people the upcoming week to set an appointment in my office to establish some parameters for the project. I good time was had by all.

Oh yeah, word got around and the following year I designed a mega mansion for the football player Deion Sanders that dwarfed any home I had done to that point. From then on it was nothing but millionaire mansions as far as the eyes could see.

Posted by: ghostsniper at April 3, 2017 7:41 AM

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