Saturday, January 11, 2014

Family, community get new football field

This post may be more appropriate for August instead of January, unless you are a fan of one of the eight teams still alive in the NFL playoffs.  But what you are about to see is one of my most ambitious projects since I made the family picture over a year ago.

When I "toured" the Barefoot family's home neighborhood of Meadow, an unincorporated community in Johnston County, NC, I came upon a satellite photograph of the Meadow School.  Part of the county's public school system, it opened decades ago as a high school, but was closed in 1969 and its students moved to a new consolidated school, South Johnston High in nearby Four Oaks.  Today, the Meadow School is still open and there are 587 students from kindergarten to the eighth grade, according to this PDF.  In my story, the site is where Belinda and Bryson attended a "holding school" until the family's own one-room schoolhouse was ready.  Below is the aerial photo of the site.

On the far right side is a football field.  The Meadow High Indians played their home games there, and the field may even have been used from some years after the high school closed.  However, the picture indicates that it has not been used for quite some time.  But once the New Earth is established, that will change.

As I've implied before, families will establish their own sports teams throughout the area.  A new league will form with eight athletic departments, all with no more than eight miles separating each of them.  All family names can either be found on street or community names in and around Meadow, as follows:  Barefoot, Beasley, Johnson, McLamb, Peacock, Raynor, Strickland, and Wood.

The Barefoot team will be called the "Blackies," after my nickname for the black bear.  I introduced it in this post during last fall's BMN Superfan season.

The main site for competition would be the Meadow School site.  I eventually plan to renovate the entire area as the Meadow Sports Complex, but this week I concentrated on the football field.  Here are the highlights of my renovation:

  • Simulated the addition of grass by brightening up the field area and cloning away some of the worst spots
  • Built a grandstand with seating for maybe 2,000 fans, at least on that side of the field; lighting for night games is also attached.
  • Re-lined the field using the brush tool with white as the foreground colors, clicking on one side of the field and using the shift key for straight lines, some of them at challenging angles
  • Added goal posts, yard markers, hashmarks, pylons, and a scoreboard with the stadium's name (guess who bought the naming rights?)
  • Used a blank layer filled with light blue for the sky and the clouds filter to create, of course, the clouds
  • Filled the remaining blank space from ground level with simulated blacktop
  • Placed loblolly pines in the area between the horizon and the ground on either side of the stands

And here's what the whole thing looked like when I finished it just hours ago:

The change is nothing short of astonishing, and the Blackies are ready to go!

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