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The Enchanted Highway, Part II

From: Long Haul Productions
Series: The Enchanted Highway/3 part series
Length: 08:31

A radio documentary profiling artist Gary Greff’s attempt to save his dying Great Plains hometown by building giant metal sculptures along a lonely strip of county road.

Deer_raise_small Yesterday, we introduced you to a man named Gary Greff - who's trying to save his dying hometown of Regent, North Dakota - though art and tourism. Since 1992 - Greff has been building a series of giant metal sculptures along a lonely stretch of county road - which he calls "The Enchanted Highway". The idea is that tourists will come from all over - to drive the Enchanted Highway - and - one day - visit a metal art theme park in Regent. In Part Two of their profile of Gary Greff - producers Dan Collison and Elizabeth Meister pick up the story in the mid-90's - after Greff had convinced people in his town to help fund the project - and after he and a band of local farmers had raised the first sculpture - a giant tin family. "The Enchanted Highway" debuted on March 6th, 2005 on Chicago Public Radio, and has subsequently been aired as a series on April 11-13 on NPR's Day To Day, and May 16 on North Dakota Public Radio.

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Piece Description

Yesterday, we introduced you to a man named Gary Greff - who's trying to save his dying hometown of Regent, North Dakota - though art and tourism. Since 1992 - Greff has been building a series of giant metal sculptures along a lonely stretch of county road - which he calls "The Enchanted Highway". The idea is that tourists will come from all over - to drive the Enchanted Highway - and - one day - visit a metal art theme park in Regent. In Part Two of their profile of Gary Greff - producers Dan Collison and Elizabeth Meister pick up the story in the mid-90's - after Greff had convinced people in his town to help fund the project - and after he and a band of local farmers had raised the first sculpture - a giant tin family. "The Enchanted Highway" debuted on March 6th, 2005 on Chicago Public Radio, and has subsequently been aired as a series on April 11-13 on NPR's Day To Day, and May 16 on North Dakota Public Radio.

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I know The Enchanted Highway

My mother, two younger sisters and younger brother lived in Regent from 1980 until 2000, when my mother passed away. Going to visit many many times over the years, I can say that, while the sculptures aren't "high art," they are phenomenal...out there in the middle of nowhere and LARGE on such a lonely stretch of highway.

Caption: PRX default User image

I know The Enchanted Highway

My mother, two younger sisters and younger brother lived in Regent from 1980 until 2000, when my mother passed away. Going to visit many many times over the years, I can say that, while the sculptures aren't "high art," they are phenomenal...out there in the middle of nowhere and LARGE on such a lonely stretch of highway.

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Review of The Enchanted Highway, Part II

What if you go home to the town where you were born and raised and find that it's dying...slowly? Would you become obsessed with trying to save it? If so, what hair-brained idea would YOU come-up with?

While erecting a giant tin family would not be MY idea, it does make for a curious pass on a quiet North Dakotan highway. What brings the deep humanity to the essence of this piece however, is the monumental gesture. By building giant sculptures of tin families of people, deer, grasshoppers and geese in flight, Gary Graff has placed in the landscape a reminder of what brought him home in the first place.

This listen is multi-dimensional. Like a piece of literature, it mushrooms in the mind with the memory of it. It's brilliantly edited with a rich inter-woven dialogue between narration and live recording. I cannot recommend this piece strongly enough as a message of hope beyond time. While a vision and dream may be unrealized in the life of the dreamer, what lasts lives on beyond their passing.

Broadcast History

"The Enchanted Highway" debuted on March 6th, 2005 on Chicago Public Radio, and has subsequently been aired as a series on April 11-13 on NPR's Day To Day, and May 16 on North Dakota Public Radio.

Timing and Cues

[Duration:8:30]
in: "In 1995, Gary and many of the same farmers..."
oc: "...it will happen.' + music>

Related Website

http://www.enchantedhighway.net, www.longhaulpro.org