Field of corn memories from childhood
April 26, 2011
Years ago, I watched the popular movie, “Field of Dreams.” One thing about the movie that stood out to me was the rural setting. I thought it was cool how the old-time baseball players walked out of an Iowa cornfield before they began playing a ball game. The main character of the movie was an inexperienced farmer. He couldn’t explain why, but he had felt compelled to build a baseball field on his land, especially for them. After their game, the talented bunch of ball players simply walked back into the tall, green stalks of corn. They disappeared until it was time to play another game.
My husband Ben got me to laughing when he said that the cornfield was actually their locker room. Somehow, I don’t think the producers of the film thought of that idea. It could have been a funny line in their movie, though.
From my experience as a farm girl, I do know that cornfields are a great hiding place. I remember one time when my older sister Delores, younger brother Tom and I were sent out to our sugar beet field to pull weeds, because we had been misbehaving.
While there, Delores, Tom and I began planning for the “sure to come” next time we would be sent out to the beet field. We came up with the idea of playing cards in the cornfield, which was right beside our beet field. All we’d have to do was sneak a deck of cards out of the house. My brother, sister and I played cards at home for fun, so we figured that it surely would pass “weed pulling” time quickly.
As anticipated, there came a summer day when we were able to put our secretive plan into action. This time, we were actually looking forward to going out to the beet field.
Just to make it look good, we pulled weeds for a while. Then, when we thought the time was right, we simply stepped across the rows of sugar beets. As we walked through the first few rows of the cornfield, the leaves brushed by our faces. Almost instantaneously, we were itchy. We didn’t go very far into the cornfield. We knew the tall stalks wouldn’t reveal our whereabouts.
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Delores, Tom and I sat down on the hard ground between two rows. It wasn’t very comfortable, but it would have to do. The ground would have to be our table, as well.
A distinct cornfield smell surrounded us. We soon found out that our secret hideaway was also hot and muggy.
Delores, Tom and I played several hands of cards. All the while, we were feeling kind of uneasy. In the back of our minds, we were wondering what if Dad happens to come out to work in a nearby field. He would certainly wonder where we had gone. We knew he’d be smart enough to know we were goofing off somewhere. Then, we’d be in bigger trouble than we had been earlier in the day when he had sent us out to pull weeds.
Finally, our conscience got the best of us. We picked up our worn deck of cards and weaved our way through the corn rows. Like the baseball players on “Field of Dreams,” we suddenly appeared. Unlike them, we didn’t get to play baseball. I don’t think we could have pulled that one off while we were supposed to be pulling weeds.