This piece belongs to the series "State of the Re:Union"
Produced by Taki Telonidis, Zak Rosen, and Al Letson
Other pieces by Al Letson
Posted on April 29, 2010 at 11:11 AM
I think one of the hardest things for a host and producer is to capture the essence of a place they've never been, or have visited rarely, and have it come off in a way that feels true. But having grown up in Iowa and having lived in Des Moines, I was blown away by what Al Letson accomplished. The show feels credible and true to a local like me, and even after the "reduction" required by a 1hr time frame, this documentary captures the excitement of Des Moines and how that city (and state) continually surprises me.
I think Letson is one of the most important emerging voices in public media. Each episode in this series tries to dig under the surface to explore the tensions and threads that make up a community. I've heard nearly all of them and have aired nearly all of them. But hearing this episode, knowing this place like I do, was an eye-opener because I felt I had the backstory to recognize the quality of his craft.
Posted on March 02, 2010 at 02:48 PM
I really enjoyed listening to this piece and really appreciate your take on the Heartland. I'm planning on listening to your series more often.
Given the premise of your series, I once visited a really great town called Alexandira, Indiana for a documentary film about the World's Largest Ball of Paint. It's a really interesting place and perfect subject for a show like yours.
Let me know if you're interested in learning more about Mike Carmichael and his Ball of Paint. :)
Keep up the great work.