Northville Man Builds His Frozen Field of Dreams [PICTURES]
Christian Klueg from Northville is the District Manager for Howard Hannah Realty and in his "spare time" has been building hockey rinks in backyards for 27 years, and his latest creation has been around for three years. It's hard work, but the payoff is immeasurable. And while he admits that he's driven by his obvious love for hockey, he's equally driven by something else: the feeling inside knowing that he's making so many people happy.
In the movie Field of Dreams, Ray Kinsella (played brilliantly by Kevin Costner) is standing in the middle of an Iowa cornfield when he hears, "If you build it, he will come." Those words haunt him. Simultaneously they fuel his deep passion and love for baseball while putting his families financial well-being seriously in jeopardy. But despite the naysayers, he builds a baseball field out of his cornfield, meets "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, has a catch with his estranged and deceased father and the rest is Hollywood history. But what about the driving force behind the madness? Who was saying "If you build it, he will come"? Turns out, it was Kinsella himself. In Field of Dreams, Kinsella learns that despite how crazy it may seem to others, never disregard your inner voice.
Klueg says that unlike the movie, the inner voice he hears is slightly different. "If WE build it, WE will come," he says. A moderate deviation from the classic Kevin Costner movie, but one that resonates strongly with him. This frozen Field of Dreams is about the people who rally to help him build it, donate the goods, and enjoy a little puck time on a weekday night under the stars. It's about the community.
Klueg says that he gets help from about a dozen friends who work hard to build the the rink, and without them, this massive 71' x 125' rink would never be possible. But what about the operating costs?
"It's a lot less than an inground pool" he told me, and that "helps to keep the wife happy." He's been very resourceful too - by necessity. He dug his own well as a water source so that he wasn't using up all of his families hot water while he filled his hockey rink. The boards are from the old Adirondack Red Wings playing days that a friend of a friend helped him get that. The ice resurfacer is decades old, didn't cost a heckuva lot, but smooths out the ice just fine.
Klueg's frozen tundra doesn't operate as a league and there's no official schedule. Players figure out a night they can make it work, and they show up and play a little hockey.
Just like you dream it up.
Homemade Hockey Rink is Northville's Frozen Field of Dreams
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