The 1989 film “Field of Dreams” is an American fantasy-drama that will warm the heart of even the most cynical person.

Kevin Costner plays an Iowa farmer who gambles his young family’s future in order to build a baseball field where he should be growing corn. The movie is an All-American success story about sporting events and youthful aspirations that are unfortunately rapidly disappearing from everyday folklore.

James Walker Tufts was another visionary who helped turn the corner drugstore into a local social center where young and old could share a cool carbonated drink. The Arctic soda fountain made Tufts wealthy, and he acted with the confidence of a successful businessman pursuing his newly engaged passion to build a health spa on 6,000 acres of a Carolina clear-cut desert.

His New England-style village was christened Pinehurst and opened for business in 1895 after only six months of construction. The founder had a dream, he took decisive action, and for more than 100 years people from around the world have come to experience the health spa turned golf resort.

Tufts arrived in Moore County and saw beyond a landscape of endless tree stumps, one-crop tobacco farming and a scattered population living off the land. He saw railroad access, a good supply of labor, raw materials and a climate that would lure affluent Yankees out of the ice and snow for winter rest and relaxation.

Now leadership is engaged in more dreaming, as the future of this quiet rural-South region is under discussion. Many are looking forward to building a place in the new technologically driven economy.

Old guys like me and young folks with fresh thinking can co-exist in a marketplace that no longer is built upon face-to-face encounters, old-school pedigrees, and an unchanging daily regimen stratified by traditional ways of doing things. We can equally provide value added to those around us. Welcome to the digital 21st century.

Right now, the flow of golfing tourists and business conventions provides work and cash income for the local economy. Tournament golf has a remarkable success record in this area, and organizers choose to return again and again. Next year’s back-to-back Open championships will put the Sandhills’ best foot forward in front of an international audience.

The event can showcase our remarkable way of life and can offer families a place to put down roots to work and to raise a family.

The future from this point forward belongs to the individual, in my opinion. Every person has available “sweat equity” for his own business. Flying under the oppressive regulatory overhead, mandates and work rules, individuals — alone or in small groups — can enter the entrepreneurial marketplace and create wealth for themselves and for those around them.

Some may, like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, leverage an idea into an industry. The wealth-producing cumulative effect of small business will turn the American giant around on a national level.

As President Calvin Coolidge famously said in 1925, “The business of America is business.” Here in Moore County it is imperative that we set goals for the future. More important, and something that we are not addressing head on, is cumulative goal-setting. No single leader has taken stock of our various resources, observed similarities and seen fit to identify duplication. Certainly separate goals have not been consolidated.

Local efforts by the Chamber of Commerce and by Partners in Progress to attract and support small businesses are winning strategies. Reluctant leaders, especially in Carthage, need to step up and join Duke Energy with financial support and lots of cheerleading for the enterprise recruitment efforts.

If the individual and an entrepreneurial effort are the key to leveraged growth, as many believe, then the starting point is right now. The overall effort must be discussed with the voter/taxpayer and goals set with public approval. A good place for this discussion is at the public meetings with the Facilities Committee of the Moore County Schools.

Any entrepreneurs looking for a cost-effective lifestyle will find Moore County ideal, especially with leading-edge education for their children. If you build it, they will come. Now is the time to dream about the next 100 years and a prosperous life in Moore County.

(2) comments

Jim Davis

"Local efforts by the Chamber of Commerce and by Partners in Progress to attract and support small businesses are winning strategies..." Our community could do with a lot less Chamber of Commerce and Partners in Progress; thank you very much. Obviously Mr. Bull has not recently left Pinehurst and tried navigating highway’s 1 or 15/501. If he had, he would notice the increase in large box national retail chains and restraints along with the closing of our small locally owned businesses. This column is as much fantasy as the “Field of Dreams”

Bob Katrin

[wink]Yeah Sure! Paints an articulate, rosy picture of progress, development, let the good times roll and all that without one single word addressing the despoiling nature of it all.

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