is this Iowa? no, it’s heaven

Iowans (myself included) are an oddly nostalgic bunch. They cherish things that others often discard like small moments, simple pleasures, and uncomplicated ideals. They pine for the "good-old-days" and are often an easy-going people, fully content to spend a perfectly good afternoon exercising any dropped "g" verb  (sittin'/listenin'/talkin'/etc...) While these character traits do not come naturally to all who call the 'Hawkeye State' home, it does fit more than a few (again, myself included). Now, this kitschy stereotype may be a tired old refrain to some but it still resonates with so many here. This past weekend I was lucky enough to spend two full days with colleague and Iowa columnist Kyle Munson covering the 25th anniversary events for the film Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa. The 2 1/2 hour drive up to the northeast corner of the state, not far from the Mississippi River town of Dubuque, started off on a nostalgic tone as Kyle handed me a newspaper article by former Iowa columnist Chuck Offenburger written days after the movie Field of Dreams was released in 1989. In the article Offenburger described the scene around this small community in a colloquial kind of way that shed light on the significance of this film to the people of Iowa at the time. It seemed that in the late 80's Iowans carried a humble pride in this film, in a contradictory sort of way you can only understand by hearing it from the mouth of someone in suspenders. Fast forward a quarter century and surprisingly (or maybe not) people here still feel as much, if not more, the same way about this cult classic. They're quick to rattle off their favorite quote or to share with you their favorite moment but ask them what makes this movie so special and regardless of who it is they will initially struggle to find the words — believe me, we asked a lot of people. As best I can tell, people seem to share a common appreciation for the way in which the film captured the "feel" of Iowa. The way themes like tradition and value run concurrent with hope, optimism and the possibility of the unconventional. It was Bob Costas who I felt captured this sentiment the best over the weekend, saying essentially how else could a movie-goer buy into a story whose main character hears voices than if that character is a farmer from Iowa; a person and place so inherently trustworthy? After spending the better part of my weekend in what is arguably Iowa's most famous corn field, watching people talk about and play baseball, it's hard not to feel nostalgic about this place I'm from and grateful for the tremendous opportunity I have to travel around and document the history of what I consider to be such a special place and such special people. So if you'll excuse me, I've got a front porch calling my name.des.m0614fieldofdreams des.m0615fieldofdreams des.m0614fieldofdreams des.m0615fieldofdreams des.m0615fieldofdreams des.m0615fieldofdreams des.m0614fieldofdreams des.m0614fieldofdreams des.m0614fieldofdreams des.m0614fieldofdreams