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Steve Birdsall

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Field Of Dreams

A story of fathers and sons


My sons and I watched the movie Field of Dreams quite a few times, me, probably closer to 50 times. The movie sight was in Dyersville, Iowa and as you can imagine, surrounded by cornfields. Interestingly, this location was picked after almost one hundred locations were looked at. They wanted just the perfect location, long winding driveway, big farm house and surrounded by cornfields. While planning my trip, the movie sight was circled on my map of Iowa almost from the first day I thought about my journey.

This journey was and is about Prostate Cancer and the importance of early detection. However, it’s also about Steve, and my journey through my cancer experience. I wanted to be at the Field of Dreams because of my love of baseball, my joy in coaching youth baseball and probably a little about my relationship with my own dad. We all waste time in our lives, it happens, you move on, and without really seeing it, you throw away a small part of your life. My years coaching kids was some of the best years of my life, but I spent too much time arguing with my dad and working too many hours, time wasted.

I was in awe as I drove up the long driveway to the ball field and big farm house.  Getting to walk out onto the ball field was awesome. I went out to the outfield and peered through the outfield fence, um… cornfield wall. It was fun to peer down the rows imagining the ball players in the movie disappearing through them. At one point I layed down on my back in centerfield and just watched the few white clouds there were floating around a beautiful blue sky. It brought back a lot of memories, coaching baseball in the spring and even all the way back to when I was a young kid laying on a friend’s lawn flying kites fifty years ago.

While I was there other people were coming and going, young, old and everywhere in-between. I started taking pictures as a grandmother played with her grandkids. They were having fun, in talking with them later they were glad to have come to see it. I’m sure they had no emotional attachment, they had never seen the movie, knew nothing about it. I also met two couples when I was on the tour of the farm house. They were on a road trip together, they knew the movie and this stop was on a checklist of stops. They enjoyed the tour of the house as I did, however I only saw them look at the ballfield for a moment and leave.

This stop on my journey brought out a lot of emotions for me. I wish I could go back in time, work harder to know my dad, be a better baseball coach, and definitely be a better dad. I wish I could just go back thirty years, to work fewer hours and play with my sons more.



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