All That is Left is a Field of Dreams


I grew up behind Shiloh Elementary School.  The building which loomed so large as a child is gone,  all that remains is an empty lot, my field of dreams.  It seems so small now.  

This was the place were I anxiously walked across the street for my first day of Kindergarten with Mrs. Wilson.  This was the building I left after Eight Grade with Mrs. Brower for the intimidating world of high school.      I learned how to read and write in the building and I spent a great deal of my free time on the school property as well.  There were countless hours playing baseball, basketball and football and dreaming of making it professionally in all three.  There was bike racing and bike tag around and around and around the building.  This was the place where friendships were developed that have endured to this day.  This was where I fell in and out of love a dozen times; although it seems there was one crush that endured for several years.

This place holds so many childhood memories.  Memories of kickball, volleyball, indoor hockey and, basketball, where I was a seldom used player on a very bad Eighth Grade basketball team.  Memories of Field Days and School Carnivals and PTA Lunches of sloppy joes and ice  cream sandwiches kept in dry ice.  Memories of those special occasions of walking to the drug store on Main Street for lunch, provided one brought a note from  home and had fifty cents to spare.  Memories of hot chocolate after a cold morning standing watch on the Safety Patrol.  Even memories of lugging a violin or cello back and forth to school and to the house next door to the school that served as the instrumental music room for a few years.

Sometimes we do not recognize when a significant person has entered our life.  I had a lot of very good teachers at Shiloh who have had a great influence on the person I have become.  But the person from Shiloh that turned out to have the greatest impact on my life was Mr. Ayres, the custodian.  I did not know it while I was attending Shiloh, but Mr. Ayres just so happened to have a daughter who was the same age as I.  About two years after I moved on from Shiloh I had the good fortune to met his daughter.  We went on a few double dates while in high school, just not with each other.  It was during our college years that we began dating and soon after graduation we were married.  So for more than thirty years now, I have known Mr. Ayres as my Father-In-Law.

Shiloh was indeed a place of memories that still remains a field of dreams.


12 thoughts on “All That is Left is a Field of Dreams

  1. freespiritd10

    Thank you for sharing…Shiloh was indeed a big part of us “Whittenberger” kids in our educational years. I can honestly say that there are no bad memory’s from our days spent and many they were…at Shiloh.


  2. J.L.

    One of my favorite musical groups is Railroad Earth, and their eponymous 2010 album has a song that reminds me of your piece today, as well as many events in my own life. The song is titled, “Lone Croft Farewell.” You can hear it for free on this NPR broadcast:

    It’s worth a listen.

    I think that you will also like the song about the Transcontinental Railroad completion.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Robert Weidner

    Now you can take one more step. I met many of my Shiloh Children at MHS where I taught from 1962 until 1978. A great time for education. Prior to dope and Madelyn Murray O’Hara. The two things I feel has led to the dumbing down of education. Along with Shiloh, MHS as we knew it is gone. My Shiloh students remain as lights in my life, as well as all the feeder schools students. Meadowdale had the cream of Dayton City Schools, and I am proud to have been one of the stirrers of that group.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. kerry

    Also memories of 7th/8th grade “field day”; long 4 square matches, until the bell rung to end recess. The Front Apple tree, rolling apples under the wheels of cars. Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dave Austin

    My brother and I attended Shiloh for K – 8 grade in the early to mid 70’s and it provided great memories. My best memories were the field days and cleaning erasers on the side of the building for Mrs Kemp. We walked to school, when it was nice out, and that was always fun. Stopping at 7-11 on the way home to see what my brother could swipe. It was a different time and he was a rebel. Good times!


  6. SkipperDude

    Mrs. Wilson’s 1962 K morning class grad. I then made the last year of St. Rita’s 1st grade and finished elementary school there. My 4 younger siblings all did Shiloh K & 1st grade. About all I recall of Mrs. Wilson’s classroom is the clay storage cart. (I don’t think I ate too much of that stuff…..!!) We lived on Briarcliff Rd. and walked to Shiloh Elementary. Uphill both ways. In the snow.



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