They Came, and They Continue To Come

FieldofDreamsMay06Twenty-five years ago, in the movie Field* of Dreams, a mysterious (difficult to explain or understand) voice told Ray Kinsella, “If you build it, he will come.”

Ray,  a young Iowa farmer, was not sure who “he” was, but he got the idea that he was supposed to build a baseball field in a cornfield on his farm in rural (in the countryside, not the city) Iowa. His wife hesitated (was nervous, not sure) at first. His brother-in-law opposed (disagreed with) the idea. And his neighbors laughed at him. But Ray built the field.

When he was alive, Ray’s father loved baseball, especially one player – Shoeless Joe Jackson – and the Chicago White Sox team. After the baseball field was finished, the ghost (the spirit of a dead person that people can see) of Shoeless Joe and other players from the past walked out of the cornfield one by one, onto the baseball field, and began to play.

Near the end of the movie, the players began to walk back into the cornfield. Before he went, Shoeless Joe glanced (looked quickly) at the one player who was still on the field, turned to Ray and told him one more time, “If you build it, HE will come.” Ray looked at the other player again, and when he did, he recognized his father as a young man.

Terrence Mann, a character in the movie, predicted (said that something will happen before it does) that “People will come, Ray. They will come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom (understand). They’ll turn up (arrive) at your driveway not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive at your door … longing for (wanting, wishing for) the past.”

Mann was right. Every year, as many as 70,000 people make their way (travel) to Dyersville, Iowa, drive out of town on the gravel (small stones) road, park near the white farmhouse, and walk onto the field, which is still surrounded (to be all around something) by cornfields. And they dream.

Bill Plaschke, a writer for the Los Angeles Times, visited the Field of Dreams this summer and met some of those people.

One of them, Frank, was sitting on a bench near the field, crying softly, when Plaschke found him. He and his son, who has a birth condition that makes it difficult to walk normally, had been on the field playing catch (throwing a baseball back and forth). “To connect with my son in a place like this,” Frank told Plaschke, “there are no words for it. It’s hard to explain, but it’s like we’re supposed to be here, we’re supposed to share this.”

Plaschke writes, “They come to play a first catch with a toddler (young child), or a final catch with a dying relative. They hold family reunions (a gathering after being separated for a long time) with giant games of catch. They hold impromptu (without planning) weddings after quick games of catch. They have even discreetly (carefully to avoid upsetting anyone) spread loved ones’ ashes (what remains when a dead person’s body has been cremated (burned)) when they have finished playing catch.”

They came. And they continue to come.

* A field is an area of open land, especially one planted with crops, like corn. A field can also be a piece of land, like a baseball field, used for a specific purpose.

~ Warren Ediger – ESL coach/tutor and creator of the Successful English web site, where you’ll find clear explanations and practical suggestions for better English.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

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13 Responses to They Came, and They Continue To Come

  1. Dan says:


    If I got it right, a movie production built this baseball field in order to shot a movie (I have not seen it) and now people go there like it is a sacred place. Interesting.

    I am always interested on what moves/drives people doing things. In this particular case it is not clear, but not everything needs a rational explanation, right?

    Now that I think about it, I have never handled a baseball bat in my life.

    Thank you Warren this was, in a kind of way, a moving/touching piece to read about.


  2. aecio says:

    Hello, goog to be here again with you all.

  3. Cleo says:

    Oh, my! How coincidence… I watched this movie last saturday on TV…I hadn’t watched before. And this article is so interesting. As the movie! I loved!

  4. Thiago Messias says:

    Goona watch that movie 🙂
    Interesting article.

  5. Aécio Flévio Perim says:

    Wow! It’s a big lie. There’s no ghost. After dying, better say good bye forever.

  6. Nassos says:

    An interesting article,thank you Warren.

  7. emiliano says:

    Of course it has not any rational or physical explanation but the fact it is that it happens, so why for
    we need those kind of explanations?.
    What is faith?
    Human´s brain is un-known, just the same as other physical possibilities that are not discovered
    till the moment,all the universe´s laws are over there awaiting to be discovered so what has not
    any explanation now for us it would be a real fact in future.

    We have the proof here, just in this moment, I am writing at home in Madrid what is some hoe natural
    and common in all my life way of living but in some minutes or hours every body round the globe could
    read my words seaching the web.
    It was impossible some years before, even no body could imagine such a thing when I was born, so
    why we are so obtuse to accept that everything remains out there to be discovered yet?
    We could know just a bit, nothing in fact, so please be a little more open mind to everything we don´t
    know or have not any logical explanation.

    Thank you Warren, it is an interesting illogical story and I love it.


  8. Zahra says:

    I wish I could watch the movie 🙁

  9. jens says:

    I have a question about the search function on esl-podcast ?

    I am pretty sure about a theme in the section “What insiders know” !
    It´s about the murals of the coit tower in San Franciso.

    I can´t find it over the search function :((

    Is the search function working with the part “what insiders know”, in the learning
    guide ?

    If anybody can help me, it would be very nice. Thx in advance.


  10. emiliano says:

    Jens, look for “Murals in Peril”
    January 26 2012

    It´s Warren Blog
    Life Murals in Peril*

    Coit Tower isn’t very tall – only 210 feet (64 m). In fact, it’s short compared to some of the other buildings on the San Francisco skyline (the shape made by hills and buildings against the sky). But it stands on top of Telegraph Hill, so it’s hard to miss (avoid seeing) by day or by night.

    Telegraph Hill, which is popular with many tourists, is an important part of San Francisco’s history. It gets its name from a signal (something used to send messages), located at the top of the Hill, that was used to identify ships arriving in San Francisco harbor (place near the city where ships stop). In 1850, the signal alerted (sent a message to) San Franciscans that California had become the 31st state in the U.S.

    Coit Tower was built on Telegraph Hill as a gift from wealthy socialite (well-known rich woman) Lillie Hitchcock Coit. She was a little eccentric (unusual, odd) – for example, she loved to chase fires (go where fires are burning) – but she wanted to add “to the beauty of the city which [she] had always loved.” The Tower was designed in the art deco style – with strong, simple shapes and colors – that was popular in the 1920s and 30s. It was dedicated (officially opened) in 1933.

    Many people have seen the Tower from the outside; fewer, however, know about the art treasure inside. The interior walls are covered with fresco murals created by 27 different artists and their assistants. Frescos are works of art created by painting directly on the surface of a wall or ceiling, often when the surface is still wet, so that the painting becomes a permanent part of the wall or ceiling. Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Last Supper is one of the most famous examples of fresco.

    A mural is any work of art painted on a wall or ceiling, often as a part of the design of the building. According to a recent report, more than 2500 murals were painted in post offices, schools, and other public buildings in the U.S. in the 1920s. The murals in Coit Tower tell a story of life in California in the early part of the 20th century. They include scenes of “the grim (serious) reality (truth) of city life, the pastoral (peaceful) beauty of California’s agriculture (farm life), and the worlds of food and leisure (relaxing activity).” Famous Mexican muralist (someone who paints murals) Diego Rivera influenced many of the artists who painted the Coit murals.

    Many of the public murals in the U.S., including those in the Coit Tower, are in danger today. The U.S. Post Office, for example, is down-sizing (becoming smaller) and closing many of their buildings, including some with murals. The Coit murals, however, face a different peril (serous and immediate danger) – the San Francisco fog.

    One of the problems with frescos is that anything in the environment that damages the wall or ceiling they’re painted on also damages the paintings. This kind of deterioration (becoming worse) seriously damaged Da Vinci’s Last Supper and required a major effort by art conservators (someone who repairs art) to rescue (save) the painting.

    In the Coit Tower, moisture (small amounts of water) from the almost daily San Francisco fog penetrates (goes into) the walls. As it evaporates (dries), it moves through the wall to the painting on the face of the wall and leaves tiny white salt crystals (pieces of salt) that slowly destroy the paintings. This process causes the wall and the paintings that cover it to slowly crumble, or fall apart.

    People in San Francisco have begun to raise money to try to preserve (save and protect) the tower.

    If you’d like to learn more about the Coit Tower murals and what’s being done to save them, you can read and listen to this story from the PBS Newshour.

    *Peril = serious and immediate danger

    ~ Warren Ediger – English tutor and coachin the United States……….

  11. Dan says:

    Hey Jens,

    Click Blog up above at the top left hand of this page.

    Once there on the left you’ll find the search box for the blog’s archive.

    What you are looking for is right there.


  12. jens says:

    @Emilliano, @Dan, thx for your help !
    I found the article through your advice.

    Anyway, I must be a little bit hard about this theme.

    If you´re member of els-podcast, you will get
    the learning-guide about each esl-podcast.
    In each learning-guide from the english-cafe
    (once a week) you will find a interesting columm,
    it´s called : “what insiders know”, this gives you more
    information about the current topic.

    this is the starting situation!

    If you give a key-word in the search function (not from the blog
    function !) – you don´t get a result :((
    I think there is no correlation between the key-words and the
    main search funtion.

    Maybe a little bit meticulous about that. But to your information,
    my zodiac sign is virgo !

    thx for reading



  13. mogahed says:


    Iam not seen the movie yet

    put if Iwatch will give it big thumb up because talk about predicted

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