Field of Memories

May 21, 2008
By Derek Bockheim, Grand Rapids, MI

Field of Memories
Just outside of the bustling town of Standale on the corner of 8th avenue and Leonard sits a field of memories. As I was growing up some of the best times I have ever had were connected to that field. I really wish it was the same way today as when I was a kid. It seems that nothing has come close to being as fun as this place.

Eleven years ago the field was packed full of apple trees. In the orchard there were endless possibilities for adventure. My friends and I spent long summer days playing amongst the trees.

One afternoon I noticed that old Mr. Thome had cut the grass in-between the long rows of trees. Grass that had once been up to my waist was now laying everywhere. At the edge of my yard was an awesome fort-building tree, the kind where all four of the big branches sat low in equal distances from each other and gently reached towards the sky. My friends and I were playing around in the grass when one of my friends decided to gather up some grass. He took it to the perfect tree and set it into the middle of all the branches. We thought what a great fort the grass would make so we all pitched in. Eventually we had a pile about ten feet high. Once on top it was plain to see that we had one sweet fort and comfortable too! We looked like tiny eaglets in a great nest. We ate our lunch in the tree. We made plans to defend our new fort. Unfortunately, my mom caught sight of it and told us that much weight would destroy the tree. Then the farmer would be really mad at us. Sadly we destroyed that perfect fort but the memory still remains.

Some days we held great competitions. We’d gather up a bunch of unripened apples from the ground and head over to the oil pump that sat hidden in the orchard. We’d chuck apples at it. We would see who could hit it from the farthest away or who could hit from the tree we had climbed. After a while we’d start pitching the apples at each other and then it would end up in an all out war with my friends and me creating teams to battle against each other. Some battles were more memorable then others.
I will never forget when half of the trees were cut down and it became a cash crop field. That was the first season I had met Larry Zahm and his different way of farming called cash crop, which is a type of farming in which I like best. I’d watch the tractor go across the field marking perfect rows of corn. Then Larry asked if I’d like a ride in the tractor. Words can not describe what it felt like to ride in a machine with so much power.
When the corn grew tall my friends and I would play a kind of redneck laser tag. After it got dark, we’d take flashlights into the cornfield and chase each other through the field. We’d tag each other with a flash of light. It was spooky and fun at the same time.
The next year the rest of the trees went down and you could see clear across the field. Year after year I would anticipate the day that the farmer would plant or harvest the field depending on the time of year. Usually I’d catch a ride on the tractor. I would spend hours in the cab gently rolling over the field. Corn one year and soybeans the next year, the crops changed but not the excitement or anticipation of riding in the tractor.

These days I am currently working for Larry Zahm in the same field of memories. It still takes me back every morning when I wake up and see the sun rising over the hills. I wish instead of graduating I could go back in time to all the fun I had there. To this day I have never found a place as fun as that field.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.

Parkland Book