Donna Rivers WUES students perform as part of Honor Choir Ohio Brush Creek Canoe/Kayak access completed Hall of Fame Christmas in Portsmouth Thyme to trim the Christmas Tree Junior High Lady Hounds get season-opening sweep Lady Devils roll past Paint Valley in season opener Senior Profile: Jessica Johnson Michael E Roberts Sr Evelyn L Jones Thomas M Calvert Ryan, Sowards lead Lady Indians to easy win in season opener, 57-36 over Felicity Senior Profile: Wes Hayslip Justice off to hot start at VSU County boys’ squads on display in annual SHAC Preview Night ‘Operation Christmas Child’ collects 1,707 shoe boxes for needy children Two animal cruelty cases investigated in Adams County DP&L considers closing power-generating plants in county Holiday spirit makes an early appearance in Adams County Chester A Mann Jeffrey A Daley Sr Michael G Tincher DAR sponsors Good Citizen Award Ohio’s young hunters harvest nearly 6,000 deer during Youth Gun Season Senior Profile: Kayle Thomas Helen N Hiestand Rev Walter R Egnor Sr Betty Beam Jamie L Corrill Jeffrey L Heppard Edsel L Massey Jr It is time to stop and take time to give thanks on a special day Another year to be very thankful for Senior Profile: Savannah McCoy McCoy signs to continue golf career at SSU North Adams hosts SHAC Girls Preview DAR commemorates 50th anniversary of Vietnam War Historical Society honors veterans Star Wars routine leads Fancy Free Cloggers to ‘America’s Got Talent’ A Day at the Opera Eagle Creek draws community to Thanksgiving celebration Ward ekes out victory over Worley in county commissioner race Mary A Garman Ronald L Palmer Joseph S McClanahan II Emma O Hayslip Devils slip by Georgetown in Foundation Game Hupp, Hunter, Wolke named OSSCA Second Team All-State Senior Profile: Kain Turner Lady Devils romp in Foundation Game Oh, those aromas coming from Mom’s kitchen What Became My Biggest Project Deer gun season set to begin ‘Trees to Textbooks’ shares revenues with local schools and communities BREAKING NEWS Winchester’s Baxter wins Miss Ohio USA 2017 pageant Genny Elkins Pauline S Stevenson Donald E Lewis Sr Charlotte R Seaman Ruth Prater Bennie Skaggs Gertrude Swayne West Union High School hosts impressive Veterans Day ceremonies Peebles Elementary hosts ceremony to honor local veterans Duke Energy exits Killen and Stuart Plants GE Aviation hosts annual Veterans Day celebration Senior Profile: Logan Gordley Jeffrey A Brown Sr Peebles Library welcomes local author and survivor on Nov. 19 Homer C Eldridge Robert W Schomberg One Commissioner race too close to call in unofficial count Voters approve majority of county levies on Tuesday’s election ballot NAES Sixth Graders practice the democratic process Honoring one who gave the ‘last full measure of devotion’ Overcoming adversity, veteran of Iraq War opens local business Senior Profile: Ben Figgins Senior Profile: Macy Mullenix SHAC Basketball Previews are set for Nov. 18 and 25 Trio of local golfers finish careers with trip to the highest level of high school competition Peebles sophomore Jenny Seas finishes sixth in OHSAA state cross-country meet Upset win sends Trump to the White House ACRMC awarded plaque for 50 years of service Peebles Elementary releases Honor Roll for First Nine Week Grading Period BREAKING ELECTION NEWS! Senior Profile: Jordyn Kell Orlie H Kirker Military homecoming at NAES Second half spells doom as Greyhounds fall to Hillcrest 42-12 in finale Senior Profile: Sarah McFarland WU’s Horton will continue golf career at SSU Lady Devils’ season ends in heartbreak with 3-2 loss in District championship battle Christine R. Ritchey Operation Christmas Child begins Nov. 14 Mental Health levy on tomorrow’s ballot Wanda L. Nixon David Rogers Robert “Bobby” Leonard

A father, a son, and a ‘Field of Dreams’

“And they’ll walk out to the bleachers, sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They’ll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they’ll watch the game and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they’ll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh, people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.”

Aficionados of baseball movies will recognize the above quote from the film”Field of Dreams.” I have seen that movie numerous times and thought it is a very enjoyable film, I never seemed to quite “get it.” Where were these baseball players in the cornfield coming from and why could only certain people see them and communicate with them?

The answers to those questions dawned on me a couple of Sundays ago while sitting in church. The same reason that people were sitting in those pews that morning was the reason that the residents of that Iowa farm could see Shoeless Joe and his buddies-faith and belief. The whole movie was about faith and belief in a game that is intertwined with the history of America, but it also was about something else very important about the game of baseball-the special bond that the game can bring between fathers and sons.

That’s where I come in. Fifteen years of joy came to an end for me last weekend when my son played his last game and walked off the field for the final time, and yes, before you ask, I have shed more than a few tears since, just privately. Our baseball journey began when Jordan was four years old and ended last Saturday on a dusty field in West Union. In those years, we have run the entire spectrum of baseball experiences. We’ve had undefeated seasons, championship seasons, and seasons that didn’t turn out as well as we had hoped. We’ve been though hot streaks at the plate and batting slumps, errors and great plays in the field, and I can proudly say that in all those years I never missed an inning or an at-bat of Jordan’s, but it also dawned on me last weekend that my days in the dugout were over too. It was a tough weekend folks.

A lot changed in those 15 years of baseball as Jordan grew from the shy, little kid to the grown man who can now look down on his Dad when they stand side by side. We’ve come a long way from the days when the highlight of the day may have been the after game snacks provided by the team’s mothers to hopping in the car with his girlfriend after the game and sending his Dad home with Mom. It wasn’t lost on me that the drive with him to West Union on Saturday was the last one with him in uniform, though I doubt it even crossed his mind. By the way, that dirty uniform has been lying on the floor of our bathroom since Saturday. It has become a monument, a pile of clothes with 15 years of memories. His Mom hasn’t picked it up either, I think she understands. That pile of dirty clothes is my Iowa cornfield.

Now with it over, we both move on to new phases of our lives and in three weeks I will be sending him off to college, which by the way, I am not looking forward to. I really just want to keep him home with me forever, but life has its cycles and it’s time for another one. My secret wish though is quite simple. One time before he leaves, I wish he would grab both of our gloves and just say, “Dad, wanna have a catch?”

By Mark Carpenter

Staff Columnist

Reach Mark Carpenter at 937-544-2391 or by e-mail at mcarpenter@civitasmedia.com.

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