Can a field of dreams, of magic waters, save the world for the sake of us all and bring back the fish?
Russ George is by nature a trusting person though that trait has more than once gotten him into trouble. Some of that trouble is a consequence of his steadfast mantra “save the world, make a little money on the side” which seems to often produce a collision of those two memes. It’s clear that many if not most believe that only by accomplishing the second (make money) meme first, might some portion of that wealth become the charity to accomplish the first. Alas we have witnessed the impact of that juxtaposition.
Fortunately Russ comes from a generation known for their belief in Flower Power so he just keeps poking those posies into those gun barrels and working tirelessly over the decades to re-create magic waters.
Russ’ life work to restore and revive ocean pastures is rather like the WP Kinsella book Shoeless Joe in which the hero in the story creates his “Field of Dreams” and the result is just as magical as the results we are seeing in Russ’ work.
James Earl Jones in the movie delivers the story’s truest soliloquy about life and hope in his wonderful portrayal in the character of an aging radical author Terrance Mann, who is really J.D. Salinger.
“Ray, people will come Ray. They’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they’re doing it.
They’ll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won’t mind if you look around, you’ll say. It’s only $20 per person. They’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack.
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 (and fishing). 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.”
Just how many people have come or are coming isn’t clear to me but my fish friends for whom Russ grew his and our field of dreams, they are coming in such numbers as I am sure he, and no one ever imagined.
Hundreds of millions of fish are swimming into your rivers and streams from your from their wonderful field, wonderful ocean pasture of dreams.
They are filling your nets and spilling onto your plates in an abundance of salmon not seen for 100 years.
Oh yes Russ… my fish are swimming to you.
Here’s what Russ is up to with his bouquet of posies…..