“Is this heaven?”
When I was dreaming up this blog last summer, I searched for movies filmed in Iowa and came across Field of Dreams. This is probably the first film people think of when it comes to the state, but it’s one of the rare Kevin Costner baseball films that I hadn’t seen, so it was news to me. (I wasn’t living under a rock or anything–I knew the famous phrase, “If you build it, he will come.”–but I managed to avoid it in cable reruns over the years, assuming it was a “dude movie”.) When I saw that the actual field from the movie is in Dyersville, about an hour and a half away, I knew I should finally sit down and watch this ’80s classic and plan a field trip.
Turns out you don’t need to be a dude. I pretty much bawled my eyes out by the time they play catch at the end. (Spoiler alert from 26 years ago!) Mostly, I think I teared up because it reminded me of my childhood. These are the kind of sentimental stories that made me fall in love with movies when I was a kid and want to pursue a career in this field. I can see why this movie means so much to fathers and sons everywhere, and I tried not to get choked up at the actual site when a man ran the bases with his little boy.
Unfortunately, the corn fields weren’t up behind the field when I visited, and later in July, the “ghosts” come out to play, so I didn’t get the full experience, but it was still neat. Because I’ve lived in so many different parts of the country, I’m always fascinated by local culture, and this farm and field feel about as Midwestern as you can get. There was a family that got there as I was leaving and they brought their gear and played on the field, so apparently you can do that as well. The whole thing made me feel so gosh darn American, that I bought a giant McDonald’s Coke for the ride home and blasted the ’80s music. For those of you who aren’t going to make it to Iowa anytime soon, you can live vicariously through my pics below.
If you’re ever in the area and want to check it out, here’s the information for the field. (Bookworms should also check out the novel the movie is based on, Shoeless Joe, by W.P. Kinsella.)