Yes it is "Farther’s" Day here at the Old Place and as the author W.P. Kinsella would say, “the memories are so thick you have to brush them away from your face.” You heard me right, Far-Ther’s Day. You might remember farther back when I introduced you folks to the Old Place, I told you my Grandfather built it and my father used to bring me up here. Farther back in the day some Native American’s father likely discovered this lake while out hunting. It was pristine of course and a lot smaller, probably not much more than a mountain stream backed up behind a beaver damn. Farther back than that, well who knows? Not able to look farther back with any certainty let’s look farther ahead. We’ll be headed to church at 10:00. Farther on after that Ms. Melinda and MaryHannah have a special day planned for me. Farther back in this blog I mentioned W.P. Kinsella. Most of you know the Kevin Costner film, Field of Dreams was based on Kinsella’s novel, “Shoeless Joe,” the movie tells the story of a novice Iowa farmer named Ray who lives with his wife Annie and his daughter Karin. Ray had a troubled relationship with his father, who was a devoted baseball fan. Walking in his cornfield one evening, Ray hears a voice whisper, "If you build it, he will come." Ray then sees a vision of a baseball diamond in his field. Annie is skeptical, but Ray plows under his corn to build the field. As months pass by, nothing happens. One evening, with despair and creditors closing in Ray’s daughter comes to him and says, “Daddy, there’s a man out there on your lawn.” It is “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, a deceased baseball player idolized by Ray's father. Thrilled to be able to play baseball again, Joe returns with the seven other players banned from baseball in the 1919 World Series scandal. The story rolls on with Ray helping "Ease the pain" of a disillusioned 60’s radical and author Terrance Mann who dreamed of playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Ray tries to do the same for a long dead nobody named Archibald "Moonlight" Graham who became small town doctor after one game with the New York Giants in 1922, but never got to bat. As things move farther along Ray gets angry wondering out loud at last, “what’s in this for me?” It is Shoeless Joe who reminds Ray why he sacrificed so much saying, "If you build it, he will come." Joe glances toward home plate. The catcher removes his mask and Ray sees it is his father as a young man. Shocked, Ray surmises that "Ease his pain" referred to his father, but Joe counters that the voice referred to Ray himself. Ray introduces his father to his wife and daughter, then asks, “hey. . . Dad, ya wanna have a catch?” The farther I go down my time line, the more I realize why God designed us to need a father. Some fathers are living legends some fathers are just plain folks. As fathers ourselves let us all resolve to go farther than needed, farther than required, farther than expected. Then Our Father Who art in heaven, He will take us there, father than we ever imagined!
Sitting in a rocker at the Old Place,
I am Col. Jim.