Documentary being produced by DVE-News/TV on inspirational author and playwright

| 12 Aug 2015 | 01:25

BY Isabella Anderson, Christian Galimi, Natalie Goggin, Levi McCollum, CJ Ross, Gabe Tidridge, Liam Yost — DVE-News/TV Reporters

Seven DVE-News/TV reporters and three coaches went on our longest trip in the 23-year history of our live television and news.

On May 13, 14, 15 we traveled 11 hours each way to Oxford, Ohio where we visited, filmed and interviewed Dr. Paul Mullen, a teacher, author, lifelong baseball enthusiast, and inspirational promoter of reading. We interviewed important people in his life, and met with people who are working on a show based on his books.

Dr. Mullen has written many books, and one of his books has been picked up to be made into a musical. This show will debut in Cincinnati next spring (2016) and already has interest from several sources on Broadway.

Besides living on and operating on a small organic farm with his family and writing books, Dr. Mullen, a United States Air Force veteran, is an author, teacher, and promoter of reading and baseball. His mission is to speak to more than a million children to inspire them to read, believe in, and achieve their dreams and goals. He has been traveling all over the country meeting with and reading to kids and so far has already spoken with over 400,000 children of all ages.

Each of Dr. Mullen’s books has inspirational and encouraging themes as well as fun, enjoyable plots. One of his books, "The Day I Hit a Home Run at Great American Ballpark," is being turned into the musical show "Pastime." This musical is being written by amazing high school students at the famed Cincinnati School of Performing Arts, the only K-12 performing arts school in America. We spent a morning speaking with the scriptwriters while we visited this Ohio school in May. We also attended a game at the Great American Ball Park (on which Pastime is based) where we interviewed FOX sportscasters and viewed a Cincinnati Reds vs. San Francisco Giants game with Dr. Mullen and more than a dozen of his childhood friends and ballplayers that evening.

We are so proud to be filming and documenting the story of Dr. Mullen’s childhood baseball friends and his life and mission to inspire others. It was amazing to be part of the reunion in which more than a dozen of these early in life friends came together in Ohio for the first time in 40 years this past May, mainly so we could film and speak with them while we were there.

This is a project that DVE-TV will remain involved in and hopefully continue on to as the musical premiere’s next spring in Ohio, and hopefully then onto Broadway.

Dr. Mullen was born and raised in Cincinnati. He spent much of his childhood playing baseball with a large group of friends, with whom he also went to Catholic school together each day and shared his childhood and teen years growing up together. Dr. Mullen grew up as the youngest boy in a family of eight. His book contains characters based on his siblings, friends, shared outdoor sports and activities, and what he saw as awesome surroundings in which to grow up and which he wishes for all children. He would play freeze tag, blind man’s bluff, spud, baseball, swim in the neighbor’s pool, and fish in Creeper’s Pond — which is referenced in his books.

“My childhood was idyllic, and I would like to see today’s children spend more time exploring their surroundings — lie in a soft bed of clover, watch a hawk soar high up above, feel the warmth of the sun, smell the wild flowers and be more attuned with what nature has to offer us,” Dr. Mullen told us. “The earth bears many gifts. We just need to open our minds to the possibilities of what we unfortunately often take for granted.”

Even today, when he has time, Dr. Mullen’s favorite things to do in his spare time are walk his four dogs — and think.

“We don’t get paid to think per se, but thinking is a craft all by itself,” he said.

Dr. Mullen also enjoys raising horses and steer on his farm, planting vegetables in the spring to be harvested in the fall, and (since he spends many hours typing on a computer) he loves getting outside and working physically with his hands on his farm.

Dr. Mullen’s musical, which again is written based on his book, is called "Pastime." It is about a young boy’s dream of hitting a home run at his local MLB ball park. In Dr. Mullen’s own youth, he grew up near Crosley Field — the former decades-long home of the Cincinnati Reds. It was in this field that he and his neighborhood friends played ball, dreaming of their own on-field triumphs. (Dr. Mullen did tell us that while his character (Fugi) in the book hits a homerun, the book has to be called fiction because he really never actually hit a homerun in the park. Still, he always loved playing ball as a child.)

When we visited Ohio, Dr. Mullen had arranged for a reunion of his childhood friends with whom he played baseball nearly every day as kids, and many of whom he had not seen in over 40 years. If you’ve ever seen the movie "The Sand Lot," Dr. Mullen’s story is very similar. It was so amazing to see the emotional reunion that took place during a backyard picnic held at one of the homes where played ball together so often during their growing years.

“The hugs and laughter and seeing the long-lost childhood zest of yesteryear in the worn, middle-ages faces was like walking on clouds and discovering my long-lost brothers and sisters who quietly slipped away forty years ago,” Dr. Mullen said. “I was glad to have the DVE-News/TV students filming it all because in the gang’s youthful glow the children got to see that we never grow old as long as we have the gift of remembrance. The Delaware Valley news team was able to capture the golden era of the Big Red Machine through the storied tales of the gang on Fairway Drive.”

On June 10, we had the honor of having Dr. Mullen make a trip to visit DVES, right here in Milford. This time, a month after our visit to Ohio, Dr. Mullen was our guest. Our superintendent, John Bell, who himself has also inspired so many to believe in and work toward achieving their goals, acted as umpire during an assembly in which Dr. Mullen held a shadow (mock) baseball game and spoke on our school district’s Varsity Baseball field. Students brought beach towels to sit on, and wore baseball or school spirit shirts that day.