In the spring of 1989, a little movie, filmed largely in Iowa, hit the big screen. The movie was called “Field of Dreams.”
It starred familiar names such as Kevin Costner, Ray Liotta, James Earl Jones and Burt Lancaster, among others. The movie would go on to both critical and popular acclaim. One of the more memorable lines from the movie was “If you build it, he will come.”
That same year, the little town of Grimes had a population of around 2,600 people. The 1989 Dallas Center-Grimes High School graduating class had 54 students. That class starred Kelli Bacon as valedictorian and Monica Schaller as salutatorian.
To make a long story short, the main character interprets the “build it” message to mean that he should build a baseball field on the edge of a traditional farmstead next to a cornfield. If you have ever watched a baseball game at the home of the reigning State Champion Dallas Center-Grimes Mustangs field in Dallas Center, it is the same kind of amazing atmosphere. Kevin Costner’s character builds the baseball field and miraculously, players from the 1919 Chicago “Black Sox” team step from the cornfield to play some ball, including Shoeless Joe Jackson and the father of the Kevin Costner’s character.
Great story, huh? But it does not end there. The players get ready to leave, back into the cornfield, and the main character is upset that he is not invited along, at which point he is rebuked for his selfishness and that magical quote evolves into “If you build it, THEY will come.” The camera pans to show hundreds of cars coming out to the ball field just to watch baseball, the glorious American pastime.
Fast forward to 2013 in Grimes. A lot has changed since 1989. This year’s graduating class had around 140 graduates (next year will be around 170). That little town of Grimes outside of Des Moines has become a vibrant community with a population nearing 10,000.
There are a lot of people building things in Grimes nowadays, and as the movie predicted, people are coming. Wonderful, intelligent, optimistic people with tremendous talents are coming to Grimes.
The challenge for our community in this generation is to ensure that what is built is the best that we can do, not only for those of us enjoying the community today, but for this year’s graduating class and the many to follow. The tagline for the movie was “If you believe the impossible, the incredible can come true.” If you care about this community, have a voice, get involved and believe the impossible. For if we work together for the greater good, truly incredible things will happen in Grimes.