In a recent blog post I mentioned some of the odd coincidences that I’ve experienced while researching, writing, and now promoting my book about Rock Springs Park in Chester, West Virginia. In fact, last month I posted a six-part series entitled, “Rock Springs Park: My Field of Dreams,” about a recent book talk and signing event for the Wellsville Arts Club. In it, I compared my experiences with that of Kevin Costner’s character, Ray Kinsella, who pursues his dream of bringing the past back to life by building a baseball field on his farm in Iowa after hearing voices. In a sense, I found myself also called upon to bring the past alive by writing a picture-history of Rock Springs Park.
On a trip to my alma-mater, Oak Glen High School, this week for another book talk, I was more than a little surprised to see a recently erected archway between the middle and high schools which reads, “Field of Dreams.” This brick archway is the dream of the Oak Glen High Class of 2011. Workers will put the finishing touches on the gateway this week. (Photo by Nancy Tullis of the East Liverpool Review)
As I was backing my Honda into a parking spot behind the high school library doors, I let out an audible, “No way! ‘Field of Dreams’? That is a sign.” Of course it is literally “a sign”, but for me it was just another in a long list of unusual coincidences that I’ve encountered while on this amusement park book quest. Moments like these lead me to think there is more behind it than simply my answer to author Toni Morrison’s call: "If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." Something bigger is at work.
When I returned home and thought about that arch, shown in a rendering in the image below, I discovered this article by Nancy Tullis of the East Liverpool Review, who, coincidentally, also wrote the article about my book talk last summer in Chester. Nancy’s article dated last Monday, April 11, 2001 states, “The Hancock County Schools Board of Education will have a groundbreaking at 1 p.m. Tuesday in anticipation of the start of construction on the OGHS athletic complex to be paid with bond levy money (and) at 11 a.m. Saturday, the OGHS Class of 2011 will have a dedication-ribbon cutting for the completed gateway,” which means that I held my book talk event for the Sisters of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary organization of women educators, on the same day as the groundbreaking. I had assumed, as I have never been to the middle school, that the arch had been around for some time, but it was just being finished THAT DAY! (Cue the “Twilight Zone” music) Joey Davis, president of the Oak Glen High Class of 2011, stands near the entrance to the Field of Dreams complex with a rendering of the proposed entrance archway the class has taken on as a legacy gift to the school district. (Photo by Nancy Tullis)
More next time on some of things I learned about Rock Springs Park at the actual book talk event held Tuesday evening , April 12 with the ADK Sorority Group.