FAYETTEVILLE, AR TO MEMPHIS, TN TO DOUGLASVILLE, GA TO FLA - DAYS 16 THRU 31 ON THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY SANDLOT TOUR...
WE HEAD BACK TO FLORIDA FOR A FEW DAYS, TO REGROUP FOR THE NEXT LEG OF THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY SANDLOT TOUR, AND THE THIRD SCREENING - FIRST IN A MAJOR LEAGUE STADIUM - AT ARLINGTON, TEXAS, AND I GET GOOD NEWS FROM UTAH...
We left Fayetteville, AR with about a three day drive ahead of us to get back to Florida, where we intended to catch up on work, get the Tour Truckster serviced, shampoo The Captain and take a few days off hanging out at the beach to recharge the batteries. And that’s exactly what we did. It’s always calming, reenergizing, and stress destroying to arrive back at the ocean and stand there staring out at the water feeling all the worry melt away. I’d lay odds it’s about the best feeling a human can feel.
The Captain’s favorite place is the beach as well, and he’s decidedly a “Sea-Shepherd” if there is such a thing.
|The Captain in his natural habitat.|
|Captain Maverick keeping the doggie beach tennis ball free since 2012.|
|$3.17, cheapest gas we've found so far.|
|Not only no clean-soapy-squeegee bucket water - NO SQUEEGEES!|
The slog back through Memphis, TN was bad enough playing Death Race 2000 with all those truck driver chaps... but the worst was a traffic nightmare in Georgia at one point waiting two full hours in stand-still traffic on the interstate only to find, eventually, that the miles long back up was caused by 4 road workers having coned off the right two lanes for apparently no reason whatsoever. They were just standing there on the side of the road. Doing nothing. With no apparent equipment to do anything with. Ugh.
We stopped in Douglasville, GA, purchased another Wally World grill (the last one was stolen), and had a tidy parking lot grill with The Captain standing watch as always.
|Douglasville, GA La Quinta - always pet friendly.|
|The Captain sitting proud. There was no way to frame-out The Captain's who-ha. It would've ruined the picture. It's Nature. Get over it.|
|"You touch my Dad's $7 Wally World grill, you die!"|
While the grill was going I reflected on what, so far, we’d learned about screening the film in baseball stadiums. First, of course, is that it’s awesome. It’s awesome to see The Sandlot playing in what can only be described as its “natural habitat.” It never gets old watching the film playing on the jumbotron in the outfield with thousands of people in the audience.
Second, attendance seems to be much better when the film plays after a baseball game, rather than as a stand alone event. People seem to love the idea of watching first their real life heroes (their local baseball team) play a game, and then their movie heroes, the Sandlot kids, play their eternal game up on the screen in the movie. It just feels right, I think.
|The Captain and his mommy; The Navigator.|
|End of day beer, Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA|
When you travel the country doing long drives you’re bound to see something odd. This may be the oddest thing we’ve seen so far. Apparently a little kid somewhere on the west coast left his Tonka Truck behind when his family moved to the east coast. And, not wanting to trust the toy to the vagaries of the United States Postal Service of Fed-Ex, his dad dispatched a big rig to bring that bad-boy home to little Johnny. Don’t believe me? Well here ya go:
When we arrived back in Florida I was super charged to find an email from the Utah State Film Commission. Would I, they asked, be interested in attending a special screening of The Sandlot on the very piece of land upon which the original set was built in 1993? Would I?! Absolutely.
I was told they’re even going to the trouble of hiring a local production designer to rebuild parts of the set, erecting a giant screen in left field upon which to both project an image of that “view” of the original set (the Timmons’ house and the tree house) and screen the film at night. the days’ festivities will include a carnival and the local AAA baseball team (The Bees I think they’re called) holding a baseball clinic for the local Little League teams.
How. Great. Is. That?!
Here’s what the place looks like today:
|The stump of the Oak Tree in The Sandlot in which was built the tree house.|
|An original "silk leaf" from the Oak tree in The Sandlot.|
|The stump. I asked the producers on the day we left the set to leave everything up, and not destroy The Sandlot. They said, "No."|
|Utah Film Commission surveying the original site of The Sandlot set in Glendale (Salt Lake City), Utah.|
|OI think this is the view from where home plate was.|
|Salt Lake's AAA team - The Bees.|
|Looking toward the original spot where home plate stood.|
After a stint of re-creation and recreation, we began gearing up for the next leg of the Sandlot Tour... first screening: Arlington, Texas at Rangers Ballpark, the first Major League Baseball Stadium screening ever. And get this, it’s going to be a “Fan Sleep Over” where 2,000 fans will first watch The Rangers play an away game on the Jumbotron, then watch The Sandlot with sleeping bags in the outfield.
Now that’s my idea of a “Field of Dreams.”
|A happily named restaurant in memphis, TN.|
|End of day beer.|
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