We are traveling through Iowa, Nebraska and then toward Texas
and then back home.

For several years now, as we travel thru' Iowa, we thought about, but never did - stop by to see the Field Of Dreams movie site near Dyersville.
We have watched the film often - and have always enjoyed it.
So this year, we took the time (about an hour plus north of Iowa City) and took a look.
 

 

 

The entrance driveway.
 

 

 

Some scenes while they were filming.
 

 

 

 

 

 

The outfield cornfield where...
 

... James Earl Jones, and Jean walked into the rows of corn.
 
We were saddened to learn in May of 2010 that the site is for sale;

"The place where baseball movie history was made is on the block.
Don and Becky Lansing, the owners of site on which it was filmed, are officially listing the property.

"We love the land and the field, but it is time for us to head to the locker room," Don, whose family has owned most of the property for over a century, was quoted as saying."
 

 


Last spring I received a letter from the Iowa I Club - for those that have earned a letter as a varsity athletic
that I might enjoy visiting the "Athletic Hall of Fame" at the University.
So - on this trip, we did.
 

 

 

At the entrance, of course is the school mascot - Herky the Iowa Hawk
 

 

 

 

My coach - a great coach during my time there - for sure.
 

 

I remember, during my time in the Army in Germany (1954-56) .....
We were on leave, and visiting Baden Baden in Germany a Black Forest spa town.
I was swimming in one of the pools, and found to our surprise, a fellow former Iowa Swimming team member.

We both started swimming the Butterfly with the Dolphin Kick - both brand new, developed by Coach Armbruster along with assistant coach Jim
Councilman.
I recall that all of the other swimmers, and the life guards stopped what they were doing, and watched in amazement - they had never seen anything like that before.
They asked many questions about this new swimming stroke and kick  - It was quite a day - still very fresh in my memory.

That other swimmer -
Ron Johnson went on to become a very winning coach at  ASU in Tempe, AZ.

..... again - Herky
 


During our stay in Iowa, we utilized the Amana Colonies RV Park - a 60 acre facility
with now, in late October - just two RV's. With over 450 sites, there is room for some 448 to go.
 


While passing through Concordia, KS (in Cloud County) we saw this unusual brick sculpture.
Which we discovered to be the longest sculptured brick mural in the US.
 

2300 sq/ft approx 94 ft of the wall is 14'4" high/ the last 40' is 21'+ tall/ minus the approx 56 sq ft doorway area
 

The mural was completed in June of 2009.
The lead artists were Catharine Magel and Mara Smith.

Catharine Magel is the commissioned artist for THE WHOLE WALL PROJECT. She is an internationally known artist working in
 ceramics, mosaic, and painting. Summers, she spends painting sets at the St. Louis Municipal Opera Amphitheatre.
Completion of her Whole Wall Mural project marks the installation of the largest single brick mural in the U.S.

Mara Smith, lead sculptor, has been considered the pioneer of American Brick Sculpture by the Brick Inst. of America
 since her first commission on the Anatole Hotel, Dallas, Texas, 1977.
 Mara is also a founding member of the National Association of Women in Masonry.
 Her studio is located at the Mutual Material's Newcastle Brick Mfg. Plant on Seattle's east side.
 

All of this on the east wall of the Cloud County Historical Society Museum.
 

9/23/2009, By TIM UNRUH, Salina Journal
Cloud County will dedicate 140-foot carved-brick wall

CONCORDIA -- Those who helped plan, organize and carry out the carved-brick mural project in downtown
 Concordia are seeing some return for their investment of time, effort and money.

The Whole Wall Mural is luring folks off the streets and highway to peer at the 140-foot depiction
 of Cloud County history, said Aline Luecke, museum volunteer and secretary
 of the Cloud County Historical Society board.

"They think it's wonderful," she said of the carved east wall of the Museum Annex building at Sixth
 and Lincoln (U.S. Highway 81). The building also houses the county's travel and tourism office.

The mural, which is up to 20 feet tall, depicts people, places and history of the Cloud County area.
 It will be dedicated at 11:15 a.m. Saturday, immediately after Concordia's Fallfest parade.

The dedication celebration will feature patriotic music by Cloud Thunder, a brass octet directed by Cloud County Community  College instructor Patrick Sieben, and a choral group from Southern Cloud School District.

The Concordia American Legion Color Guard will present the colors. The Rev. Larry Letourneau,
 a Catholic priest from Clyde, will bless the wall, and there will be a prayer from Warren Freeborn, of Concordia Baptist Church.

Master of ceremonies will be Concordia attorney Dana Brewer, president of the historical society.

Cloud Ceramics workers will be recognized. The company suggested the project and
 made, donated and fired the 6,400 carved bricks that went into the mural.

Scenes from the county

Included in the mural are local scenes such as St. Joseph Catholic Church, the Nazareth Motherhouse,
 Republican River bridge, Brown Grand Theatre, a biplane owned by aviator Charlie Blosser, Orphan Train
riders and Minersville, which was a camp of coal miners in the late 1800s.

The scene covered a less-than-attractive wall that
was revealed when a building was razed.

"We couldn't even paint it and make it look decent," Luecke said.

The historical society was considering covering the wall with brick when Cloud Ceramics suggested
 a carved-brick wall. The historical society decided to put up the wall
 in January 2004. Carving began in February 2007, Luecke said.

The green unfired bricks were placed in a 21-by-8-by 2-foot easel at the Cloud County Community College
 art department, where lead artist Catharine Magel, Mara Smith and others carved them into a work of art.

Cheap at $150,000

The mural was completed for less than $150,000. Without the in-kind donations and thousands of hours
 of volunteer labor, the project "would have cost three times that much," Brewer wrote in a press release.

Since bricklaying began in late April, the mural has lured plenty of folks off the streets
 and highways in Concordia. The wall was finished in June.

"We've had a lot of people stop and those at the travel and tourism office have spent a lot of time telling people
 about it," Luecke said. "It's brought a lot of people over to the museum. It sparked their interest."
 


 


Close ups of a portion of the art work.

 


Nancy & Chris - a "front door picture" at their new home in Houston - actually - in a suburb to the SW - the town of Stafford, right near the town of Sugar Land, where Chris works.
 

Their pool - just a few steps away.
 


During our short stay in San Antonio we had the opportunity to visit my brother Peter and sister-in-law Betty.
We are waiting in the lobby for the dining room to open.

And, below - it has.

 

Our home, while in San Antonio.
 
On November 6th, we take our leave from San Antonio and head west toward a short stay in Gilbert, AZ,
and then toward home.


A KOA weather station as we travel west.
 


Scott - during the traditional Birthday-ending-in-"0" birthday event (which means Lobster) dinner.
 

The family gathered to celebrate the Big 30
 

In Phoenix (actually Scottsdale) at a Houston's Restaurant
Ribs for all - Dave, Jean, (Grandson) Scott, Melinda & Mark...
 

Birthday boy - Scott @ 30
 

... and of course, chocolate Sunday's to finish off.
 
And, so our trip draws to a close - on November 11 we head toward home...

Arriving on November 12 - with 7,449 trip miles on the odometer.