Saturday, December 29, 2007

My Field of Dreams

At 6:20 one morning last week I slipped out of my hotel into Denver's downtown mall. Despite the early hour, there were plenty of people on the mile long promenade, as the mall has quite a presence of homeless people, just like DC does. It was cold and crisp but not frigid. I headed west towards the Rockies. (Below: Christmastime on Denver's Mall.)

I ran down 16th Street to Wynkoop Street, where I turned north towards Coors Field. I passed Denver's imposing Union Station, where Amtrak stops just like it does at DC's Union Station. A few minutes later I ran up to the brick structure of the ballpark and discovered that because it is closely bordered on two sides by restricted roadways leading to I-25, running around the structure is a challenge. I was determined to try. It was a field of dreams for me. (Below: A Field of Dreams player outside Coors Field.)

I ran counter-clockwise around the stadium from the south on the sidewalk which borders three sides of it. You can see glimpses of the diamond, and the outfield seating beyond, through breaks in the front edifice along Blake Street. I had been on that diamond, and in those stands, before. The west side of the structure is taken up by an employee and service parking lot which is a gated space. I ducked under the gate behind the stadium, ran through the restricted lot and got to Wynkoop Street where I ran back to the Mall.

Back on 16th Street I caught a free mall bus for the half mile trip back to my hotel, just for the experience of standing in the swaying vehicle and observing the darkened shops on either side of the bricked-off street as we passed them by. It was a bittersweet half hour run for me because I left my three sons behind, perhaps forever, on Coors Field. (Below: Free buses on Denver's Mall run by practically every two minutes.)

In 2001, I took my three boys to a baseball game at Coors Field during a vacation to Colorado. My oldest son really wanted to see Mike Hampton pitching for the Rockies. The Braves won 7-2 and Hampton took the loss. A few days later us four boys toured the baseball park during an off day and went onto the field as part of the guided walkthrough. Laughing, we all stood at home plate and took a few imaginary cuts. The divorce action their Mother had filed against me, after first taking our minor children out of state to her parents home under false pretenses, was then about four months old and it was my first, and last, vacation I ever took with all three of my children. Through the very real phenomena of Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), I was shortly thereafter deprived of the company of my children (I always have had full joint legal custody and plain vanilla visitation). PAS is child abuse. She had a lot of help in achieving this PAS, this complete extra-judicial stripping away of all paternal influence for children. I haven't had any meaningful contact with any of my children since March 23, 2003, even though they live two miles away in Arlington with her. None of my children has communicated a single word with a single relative on my side of the family in almost five years.

I left a lot behind on Coors Field.


Irene said...

The pictures are beautiful!

My heart broke when you talked about PAS. I have a close friend going through something similar and is hoping to regain contact with his child who turns 18 next month.

Wishing you all the best for 2008!

Happy running!

Just12Finish said...

So sorry Peter. I hope the passage of time will help to make things better eventually.

Susan said...

So sorry. Rough stuff. Hopefully in time everyone will come to their sesnes. I am hoping that for myself and some extended family.

Sunshine said...

As Irene said, Wishing you all the best for 2008. And then, maybe I'd say, Wishing your sons the best... Because they have been missing out.

David said...

Your predicament s*cks.
I wonder if you have tried to exercise your plain vanilla visitation rights and what has happened on those occasions.