As a child growing up in Independence, IA, I was an early riser. I remember winter mornings, sitting in our TV room under a pile of blankets or clean clothes waiting to be folded, listening to cartoons while looking out at the fields of freshly fallen snow. We had an open lot right next to our house and catty-corner across the street was a city park. The lot was empty except for a couple of piles of top soil that were there for some unknown reason. In the summer they served as ramps for our bicycles. The park contained some of the usual things: pavilions, swing set, metal slide, etc. But it also had a baseball field, some city buildings, and a large silver water tower with a red top and INDEPENDENCE painted on the side. Calling the open space in the park a “baseball field” may be an exaggeration. It was a backstop with patches of dirt that signified the bases and pitcher’s mound. The actual dimensions were somewhat subjective.