"One Father. One Son. One Dream.” reads the movie poster for the documentary Boys of Summer, screening through Thursday at Neonopolis’s Galaxy Theatres. The line sounds straight out of Hollywood, but the film is a Vegas original, made by Las Vegas resident Robert Cochrane about the Field of Dreams-inspired road trip he took with his father to all 30 Major League ballpark after his father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2001.
“Time, once so liquid and abundant, now felt like it was slipping away,” reads the younger Cochrane’s introduction on the Boys of Summer Web site. “A few years later, after re-watching Field of Dreams, I made a tearful call to my dad, saying we couldn’t wait any longer. With a budget based on tailgate parties, an undefined schedule and questions outnumbering answers 10:1, we hit the road.”
- Beyond the Weekly
- Boys of Summer
Over the course of two months and 20,000 miles, the Cochranes moved from city to city, garnering attention from local news stations along the way and somehow finding their way inside each and every ballpark despite often arriving without tickets. The father and son team were sometimes made guests of honor at hosting stadiums, such as Boston’s legendary Fenway Park.
“The way they treated us was extraordinary,” Dan Cochrane said. “They had us on the field for batting practice, Rob got to interview Peter Gammons they took us up on the Green Monster, they gave us great seats, we were blown away.”
Since its release, the documentary has been awarded the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Riverside Film Festival and was named the Closing Night Selection at the Phoenix Film Festival, where it showed on the largest screen in Arizona. But beyond chronicling the up and downs of the father and son road trip, Boys of Summer also puts the spotlight on Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative disorder that affects the central nervous system often interfering with sufferers’ motor skills and speech. Recently, the disease was made famous for afflicting Michael J. Fox at an usually young age, and while treatments can relieve some of the symptoms associated with it, Parkinson’s still has no cure. The Cochrane’s documentary is donating at least 50% of its proceeds to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
In the Boys of Summer trailer, a montage of clips from news broadcasts throughout the trip flash across the screen. One shows Dan Cochrane sitting in a baseball park, cap on his head. “I never would have dreamed of something like this, if there’s a positive side to Parkinson’s this is it.”