With today being the 20th anniversary of the theatrical release of Field of Dreams, I thought this might be the time to confront one of my personal demons and make a confession "in print."
No, it's not that I didn't see the movie. Nothing like that. I've seen it several times. And if I'm flipping through channels and notice it's on, I'll watch. So I enjoy it, too. That's not what I'm confessing. The end made me cry like I was hormonal. "You wanna have a catch?" hit all those father-son issues - which I've always been a sucker for - right in the chest.
What I'm admitting today is this: I lived in Iowa for two years, and never once visited the actual "Field of Dreams."
I know, Shoeless Joe, I know. I can't explain it, either.
Iowa City is only a 90-minute drive from Dyersville, where the field is. (If my mother is reading this, it's actually a two-hour drive. Ahem.) And my two years at the University of Iowa included spending a summer there. Yes, I was taking classes the whole time (with a pretty heavy course load - really), but I couldn't have devoted a Friday or Saturday (or the random Tuesday) to making a trip?
However, I will point out that I did attend a lecture by the film's director, Phil Alden Robinson, when he visited campus, back in 2004 (probably to commemorate the movie's 15th anniversary). Does that take me off the hook at all? No, I know it's not enough.
Maybe the issue was that I would've visited Dyersville by myself, and thus wouldn't have been able to play catch with anyone. That may have led to some awkward situations.
"Excuse me, kid - can I borrow your dad for a bit? We'll be back in a half hour. Go play in the corn. I think I saw Lou Gehrig's ghost over there. Or maybe it's the dude who played Costner's dad, signing autographs. Oh, and I'm gonna need your mitt, too.
Okay, 'Dad,' I think we're about the same age, but let's have a catch."
If I had to name two things in this life that I truly love, baseball and movies would both be on the list. Yet I have to look at myself in the mirror each summer and try to deny the truth. When I watch Field of Dreams now, maybe those tears signify something else entirely.
"If you build it, he will come"? Apparently, the concept was lost on me.