Friday Follies: Found Art, Friends, and a Field of Dreams Come Alive

When the ordinary becomes magic.

I’ve never been a real baseball fan. Despite brothers and cousins and neighbors (New Hall of Famer Ted Simmons lived kitty-corner from us growing up in our suburban Detroit neighborhood and my best memories are of me, an impatient teenager, shooing him and my younger brothers out of the house for being their annoying rambunctious selves) and then a father-in-law who was so fanatical about the Detroit Tigers he had a radio glued to his ear at every game time no matter where he went. Or so it seemed.

I had the pleasure of spending a quiet couple of hours with Tiger announcer Ernie Harwell when a big storm kept the crowds away during a book-signing we had organized during a book fair. I never told Ernie I wasn’t into baseball and pretended I knew what he was talking about when he talked about—what else?—the game. I asked him to wish my father-in-law a happy birthday and he did and Dad called it the thrill of his life.

Every summer my Canadian cousins would drive the 350 miles from their homes to stay with us and watch the Tigers play. Better than any rock concert! (They pronounced it ‘Taggers’.)

I didn’t get it.

But when the movie ‘Field of Dreams’ came out I saw it and I loved it. I’ve watched it many times since. I mean, what’s not to love? It’s a story of an unwavering belief in miracles and a chance at redemption, set in, of all things, a baseball field in the middle of an Iowa cornfield.

And yesterday, as you probably noticed, the dream came alive again in that same cornfield. Pure magic.

Here are the nine best moments from last night’s game. Trust me, the first clip is killer!

Multiple, overlapping carvings of bison and other animals in Atxurra Cave may have appeared to be moving when seen by firelight.
Multiple, overlapping carvings of bison and other animals in Atxurra Cave may have appeared to be moving when seen by firelight. OLIVIA RIVERO AND MARIA SOTO/COURTESY IÑAKI INTXAURBE

I came across this article last week in Atlas Obscura, one of my favorite go-to places for the mysterious, the magical, the odd, and the beautiful. Fair warning: allow plenty of time if you go there. You may never want to leave.

A group of archaeologists worked their way a quarter of a mile into a cave to shine lights on drawings several thousand years old. Instead of using modern lighting, they simulated the light those ancient cave artists would have used and found to their surprise that the images appeared to move in the flickering light—and it seems to have been on purpose. But why so deep into those caves? And why so high up the artists would have had to climb up on precipitous ledges to complete them?

They have their theories and they’re fascinating. You can read it here.

And on that subject of wall art, this is more current, much closer to home, maybe not quite as amazing, but intriguing, nevertheless.

This is rust. Lots and lots of rust. Found art. Kitsch art. Everyday objects taking on new meaning, a new vision, because someone saw something in those pieces the rest of us might relegate to a landfill.

A couple in Connecticut saw beauty in the ordinary, in the mundane, and filled their outside walls with their treasures. I keep seeing something I hadn’t seen before and the more I look, the more I love it.

This piece was written by their daughter, Bethany Kandel, a New York based journalist, and she tells the story as only the loving daughter of rust collectors would. Here it is. Enjoy.

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Not wall art, but equally amazing. How is it possible for the human body to move like this? I found it on Twitter, another great source for those things you have to see to believe.

No, not the conspiracy theories or the weird, implausible lies. Stay far, far away from them! Go here instead:


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And here: a story of implausible friendship. Too sweet for words.