Field of Dreams

The summer before my first year of high school was a blast. It was “base housing” that was actually

just off the Air Force base “proper” property. But we were all military kids in a fairly small area, so you

all got to know each other. And in the summer, we were all looking for something to do. Nobody had

air conditioning and really, back then, you didn’t want to stay in the house during the summer anyway.

We had three TV channels (four if you counted Public TV, and we didn’t). There were no video tapes,

no DVD’s, no video games and no computers. If it was August, and you were in the house, it was

because you were grounded. In the heat of the evening, I can remember all of us kids, and some of

the parents heading over to an empty field at the edge of the housing area. There was a make-shift

backstop there and we’d all go play softball. So to speak. We’d chose teams, set up what was necessary for

a baseball field, and away we’d go. I have vivid memories of one of the dads hitting the ball, and before he

made it to first base, one of his flip-flops had come off ( the day we called them thongs, but we all

know the picture that comes to mind now when we hear that, so I won’t use the “old school” vernacular)

and knocked over first base (a lawn chair) as he rounded the base to second, still getting his foot-wear

back on. It was hot and dusty. And as it got later, you could smell the moisture in the air as it began

to get just a little humid. Just a hint of humidity. I always ended up in the outfield. Which was just

fine with me. If I didn’t catch a fly-ball, and someone was on-base, I could never remember where to

throw it. So I’d just kind of daydream out there and enjoy the view. Usually from center-field. Right-

field was better viewing actually. But as the sun set, either was fine. And there were times that the sun

would be so big and red it looked like Jupiter. And now, when I get just the right whiff of air, during

a heat spell or late in the summer, I dream again of that field...and Tony’s dad is rounding first...

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