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Long Haul: Public Radio Documentaries to Go!

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Dog Mountain: A Love Story
The story you’re about to hear is, at its heart, is a love story — between two artists, and a whole lot of dogs. It’s also the story of what it means to follow a dream — and the difficulties that can bring. Producers Dan Collison and Elizabeth Meister have the story of Vermont artists Stephen and Gwen Huneck, and their life’s work: a place called Dog Mountain. As you listen, tour Dog Mountain in an interactive website via www.longhaulpro.org.
Coming Home: Nick's Story
A young Marine comes home after his first tour of duty in Afghanistan. His parents tell his story.
The Lord God Bird
The Ivory Billed Woodpecker was thought to be extinct – until recently, when a bird was allegedly spotted near the small town of Brinkley, Arkansas. The sightings were big news in a community depressed by recession and population loss. Our story weaves the locals' reaction with an original song written and performed by musician Sufjan Stevens. Winner of the Sigma Delta Chi award for best national radio feature. The description is from the original broadcast.
The Swap Shop
For the past 60 years, people in northwest Tennessee have tuned each weekday at noon to a radio program on WENK/WTPR called The Swap Shop. For twenty minutes, listeners call or write offering to buy, sell or trade an item or a service in a radio version of the classified ads, things which range from a piece of used plywood, to a green cloth Berkline recliner, to a ten-acre farm. Long Haul sent Nashville-based musician Kurt Wagner (of the great band Lambchop) some program excerpts; he responded with a song, Paperback Bible. (Produced in 2006; description from the original broadcast.)
Sî Se Puede
It's been 71 years since the "strike heard round the world" - when autoworkers in Flint, Michigan, occupied a General Motors plant and and jumpstarted the union movement in the United States. But in recent years, as the power of unions in the US has wained, sit-down strikes have been more common in Latin America, Europe, and even Canada. Things finally changed last December when immigrant Latino, African American, and white workers occupied the Republic Windows and Door Factory in Chicago. Producers Dan Collison and Elizabeth Meister spoke with the workers and organizers at Republic about their decision to stand up by sitting down - the first American sit-down action since the 1937-38 Flint strike. Their documentary, "Si Se Puede" (Yes We Can), is an intimate account of the occupation told by the people who participated in it. It includes original music by Jesus "Chuy" Negrete. (Produced in 2009; this description is from the original broadcast.)
Loaves and Fishes
Since the 1930s, delighted throngs have gathered just outside Linesville, Pennsylvania, to toss bread to a writhing stew of carp and ducks at the Linesville Spillway. The carp are so thick that mallard ducks literally hop, skip and jump on the fishes' backs to compete for a slice of bread. Famous worldwide as the place “where ducks walk on the fish,” the Spillway draws as many as a half-million tourists a year, part of a small but critical tourism economy bolstered by the sale of day-old Wonder Bread from bread shanties that line local streets. But recently, the people of Linesville learned about some big changes planned for the spillway. Dan Collison and Elizabeth Meister paid a visit and, in collaboration with musician Tim Fite, have the fishy tale of the fight for the right to throw bread - the latest in their Song+Story series. (Produced in 2008; description from the original broadcast.)
The Tower
The small town of Baudette, Minnesota, sits on the U.S./Canadian border, about as far north in the contiguous U.S. as you can get. Famous for snowy winters and a giant concrete walleye that sits downtown, it's also home to a now-decommissioned Coast Guard navigational beacon, a LORAN tower built to guide people across and around the Great Lakes. The Tower is a Baudette landmark, rising hundreds of feet above the bog that surrounds town and signaling to drivers that they're almost home. But recently, it marked the sudden end of another traveller's journey. In the latest installment of their Song+Stories series, in which musicians contribute original songs that contribute to the narrative, Dan Collison and Elizabeth Meister worked with the band Mountain Man. Together, they share this tale of avian navigation gone wrong. Produced in 2011.
Mother Nature Kneels (Instrumental, by Bonnie "Prince" Billy)
Written and performed by Bonnie "Prince" Billy in 2011 for "The Natural State," a Long Haul Song+Story.
The Natural State (with Bonnie "Prince" Billy)
Faulkner County, Arkansas, has a whole lotta shakin' going on these days. Some of it is from the cash infusion brought on by the gold-rush like influx of natural gas fracking in the community, with over 3,000 new wells drilled in the area since the mid 2000s. But even more is due a mysterious wave of thousands of small earthquakes that have rattled the towns of Guy and Greenbrier since September, 2010. Long Haul went down to Arkansas to check in with residents about what's going on – literally – under their feet. And we then shared the tape we collected with musician Bonnie "Prince" Billy, also known as musician Will Oldham, who wrote an original song to contribute to the narrative. (Produced in 2011; this description from the original broadcast.)
Fear on the Inside
A week in the life of a woman trying to leave her physically-abusive husband. The documentary begins three days after Anna's estranged husband has threatened to kill her and their baby at gunpoint. Anna keeps an audio journal of her attempt to have her husband, who she says beat her repeatedly before they separated, arrested. She tells of her frustration with the police and legal system and of her attempt to live a "'normal life." Produced in 1994. Winner: 1995 Robert F. Kennedy Award Honorable Mention; 1995 Clarion Award; 1995 Exceptional Merit Media Award.
Life On the Outside
The story of two chronically mentally ill, homeless repeat offenders as they attempt to break the cycle that, for years, has spun them from jail to psychiatric hospitals to the streets and back to jail again. The documentary is a follow-up to "A Danger to Self or Others," which profiles the mental health division at Chicago's Cook County Jail. "Life on the Outside" tells the story of Colbert, beginning with his release from Chicago's Cook County Jail, and Richard, who's been arrested 137 times but who's managed to stay out of jail for more than one year. Winner: Public Radio News Directors' Award; National Federation of Community Broadcasters' Golden Reel Award (Produced in 2000; description from the original broadcast.)
Scenes From a Transplant
In November 1995, journalist Rebecca Perl was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. She learned had a tumor in her chest, six months after giving birth to a baby boy. Months of chemotherapy and radiation proved unsuccessful, leaving only one treatment possibility: a lethal dose of chemotherapy followed by a life-saving bone marrow transplant. This award-winning documentary follows her through the transplant. We also produced a film of this story, which was broadcast on HBO. Winner: 1999 duPont-Columbia Silver Baton Award; Edward R. Murrow Award; 200 National Federation of Community Broadcasters Award; 2000 Silver Hugo Award; 2000 New York Festival World Medal for Health and Medical Information Award. (Produced in 1998; this description is from the original broadcast.)
When All Else Fails
"When All Else Fails" is a first-person account of a man undergoing electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), formerly known as electroshock. Rob MacGruder tells of his lifelong battle with bipolar disorder and how ECT has repeatedly saved his life. The story follows MacGruder for almost a year as he falls into a severe depression, undergoes a series of ECT treatments and gradually recovers. During that time, MacGruder loses his job, and loses his children to the state. Produced in 2002. Winner: 2003 National Mental Health Media Association’s Media Award.
A Danger to Self or Others
"A Danger to Self or Others" portrays everyday life inside Cook County Jail's Mental Health Division - the largest provider of mental health services in the United States. On any given day, there are 10,000 men and women held inside the Chicago jail, the largest of its kind in the United States. An estimated 10%, or 1,000, are suffering from some form of mental illness. In many cases, it's the first time their disease has been diagnosed. With fewer state mental hospitals and limited resources at the community level, jails have increasingly become a critical provider of mental health services throughout the country. The documentary leads listeners through various stages of treatment -- from "Receiving" where the staff must perform a kind of triage and make an immediate psychiatric assessment; to the "Acute Care Unit" where the mental heath team has just a few days to stabilize detainees; to the "Residential Treatment Unit" which offers longer term individual and group therapy; and finally to the release process which tries to link released detainees with mental health resources on the outside. "A Danger to Self or Others" sheds light on an institution that has become a critical link in America's vast and complicated matrix of mental health services. Winner: 2000 Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi award; 2000 Edward R. Murrow Award; 2000 National Mental Health Media Association's Media Award; 2000 National Federation of Community Broadcasters' Golden Reel Award. Produced in 1999; description from the original broadcast.)
Learning to Live: James' Story
"Learning to Live: James' Story" is the story of an ex-felon's transition from prison to the free world. James, who narrates, is 38 and has been in and out of prison all his adult life. After completing a seven-year prison term for burglary, James comes to live at St. Leonard's halfway house for ex-offenders on Chicago's west side. Over three months, James goes through a rigorous education process that includes job training, drug counseling and twelve-step support meetings. His recovery is tested when his eighteen-year-old son, whom he hadn't seen in fourteen years, is arrested on a drug charge. After landing his "dream job" in customer service for a cable company, James leaves the halfway house having begun to "learn how to live." Winner: 2002 Edward R. Murrow Award; 2002 Third Coast International Audio Festival Public Service Award; and the 2002 Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award. Judges in the latter competition called it "a tightly straightforward report that skillfully wove actuality and narration, James telling his story as only he could. It was clear, concise and remarkably comprehensive." (Produced in 2001; this description is from the original broadcast.)
Movin' Out the Bricks
In the fall of 2002, Catherine Means was living on the tenth floor of what she describes as "hell" -- Chicago's Stateway Gardens high-rise housing project. In September, she finally got out from under the "bricks" at Stateway and into her first private-market apartment. Her move was one that thousands of public housing residents are making, as the Chicago Housing Authority systematically demolishes its notorious high-rise projects in favor of redeveloped mixed-income communities and Section 8 apartments. Coco, who, like her mom and grandmother has never had a real job, argues the move will "get me off my behind" and force her to do something with her life. But do things really change when you change your address? Long Haul followed Coco and her kids for over a year, from Stateway to her new apartment on the South Side. Produced in 2003. Winner: 2004 Society of Professional Journalists' Award for Best National Radio Documentary.
The House of Pain
The House of Pain was the gang name for a ten-story high-rise at Stateway Gardens, the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) development that once sat across from U.S. Cellular Field (a.k.a. Comiskey Park) on Chicago's South Side. The building was demolished as part of an ambitious initiative to replace Chicago's notorious public housing high rises with mixed-income communities. Here, in the first of a three-part series following building residents through the CHA's "Plan for Transformation," families who once lived in the House of Pain try to figure out where they'll live once their building is dismantled. It's narrated by long-time building resident Andre Williams. Produced in 2002. Winner: 2003 Edward R. Murrow Award for Best National Radio Documentary.
Public Housing Relocator
Right now in Chicago, thousands of public housing residents are being forced to move as the Chicago Housing Authority systematically demolishes their notorious high-rise apartment buildings and plans to replace them with mixed-income developments. Since the redeveloped housing won't be available in most cases for several years, many families find themselves looking for an apartment in the private market -- many for the very first time -- using Section 8 vouchers. It's Janine Ingram's job to help find them a place, quickly. Long Haul spent a day with Janine; this is the story. (Produced in 2003; this description is from the original broadcast.)
American Dreamer
American schools teach students that with hard work, they can realize their dreams. But some kids do everything right, only to graduate from high school and find the American Dream isn’t for them. Sam was brought to the United States by his parents as a young child, but his family overstayed their visas. They’ve lived here now for fourteen years, and in that time Sam grew from a small boy to a young man — taught in American schools, and churches, he grew up like any other American kid. But it wasn’t until he was asked to fill in his social security number on a financial aid form that he began to realize the consequences of being undocumented. We met Sam just before he graduated from high school and share his story. American Dreamer was produced in 2009 with help from the Paul Robeson Fund for Independent Media and the National Endowment for the Arts. Winner: 2009 Edward R. Murrow award for Best National Radio Documentary, 2010 Third Coast International Audio Festival "Radio Impact" award, and 2011 Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism (Runner-up). We're grateful to KCRW's Independent Producers Fund, as well as longtime supporters and friends Katie Hangley and Howard Simon, for additional support of this work.
Hospice Chronicles
Over the course of eight months, Long Haul followed two hospice volunteers through their training and first assignments in patients' homes. Trained to provide "respite care," the volunteers set out to give family members a break from their caretaking responsibilities. And while one has a chance to reflect on her patient's life in a intimate setting, another gets to explore death in a rather unexpected way – a way that training never could have prepared him for. Produced in 2008.
IVF: Suzanne's Story
Each year, more than 100,000 women use some form of doctor-assisted artificial insemination to try to get pregnant. Suzanne is one of these women. She's single, in her mid-40s, and has been trying for two years to get pregnant using a variety of methods. Team Long Haul follows Suzanne through her last in vitro fertilization attempt – her last chance to have her own biological child – and documents the story of how she got to this point. We continued to follow Suzanne after this broadcast; her story continues in "Dear Birth Mother." (Produced in 2004; this description is from the original broadcast.)
Mom's Good Move (part 1)
PART 1 of 4. Whether they are forced to, or whether they plan to, each year more and more seniors move into retirement homes. In 2000, Peg Collison was one of them. Peg left the town of San Mateo, California, where she'd been living for almost 35 years, and moved two hours away into a newly built retirement community in Davis, California. Peg's son, Dan, gave his mom a tape recorder and asked her document her transition. Together, Peg and Dan produced a four-part series on Peg's move and what it meant to her and her family. Parts one through three were produced in 2000; part four was produced five years later, as a followup in 2005. Winner: 2001 Clarion Award; 2001 National Federation of Community Broadcasters' Golden Reel Award.
Mom's Good Move (part 2)
PART 2 of 4. Whether they are forced to, or whether they plan to, each year more and more seniors move into retirement homes. In 2000, Peg Collison was one of them. Peg left the town of San Mateo, California, where she'd been living for almost 35 years, and moved two hours away into a newly built retirement community in Davis, California. Peg's son, Dan, gave his mom a tape recorder and asked her document her transition. Together, Peg and Dan produced a four-part series on Peg's move and what it meant to her and her family. Parts one through three were produced in 2000; part four was produced five years later, as a followup in 2005. Winner: 2001 Clarion Award; 2001 National Federation of Community Broadcasters' Golden Reel Award.
Mom's Good Move (part 4)
PART 4 of 4. Whether they are forced to, or whether they plan to, each year more and more seniors move into retirement homes. In 2000, Peg Collison was one of them. Peg left the town of San Mateo, California, where she'd been living for almost 35 years, and moved two hours away into a newly built retirement community in Davis, California. Peg's son, Dan, gave his mom a tape recorder and asked her document her transition. Together, Peg and Dan produced a four-part series on Peg's move and what it meant to her and her family. Parts one through three were produced in 2000; part four was produced five years later, as a followup in 2005. Winner: 2001 Clarion Award; 2001 National Federation of Community Broadcasters' Golden Reel Award.
Mom's Good Move (part 3)
PART 3 of 4. Whether they are forced to, or whether they plan to, each year more and more seniors move into retirement homes. In 2000, Peg Collison was one of them. Peg left the town of San Mateo, California, where she'd been living for almost 35 years, and moved two hours away into a newly built retirement community in Davis, California. Peg's son, Dan, gave his mom a tape recorder and asked her document her transition. Together, Peg and Dan produced a four-part series on Peg's move and what it meant to her and her family. Parts one through three were produced in 2000; part four was produced five years later, as a followup in 2005. Winner: 2001 Clarion Award; 2001 National Federation of Community Broadcasters' Golden Reel Award.
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Podcast Details
Started
Apr 16th, 2013
Latest Episode
Nov 20th, 2014
Release Period
Monthly
No. of Episodes
87
Avg. Episode Length
17 minutes
Explicit
No

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