By Katie Kreis
We called it a marathon weekend, some said it was a whirlwind and others dubbed us as crazy. However you put it, traveling over 500 miles to complete 10 interviews in just 48 hours is exhausting — physically and emotionally.
Part of the team drove to Des Moines Thursday night and stayed over with Ian’s parents (shoutout to the Coons) before Friday alarm clocks began going off at 4:55 a.m. It was an early morning of NPR and Starbucks on the quick trip to KCCI to interview Eric Hanson and Paul Yeager. KCCI is absolutely gorgeous — two sleek studios that liberated us from setting up lights (no, liberated is not too strong of a word to describe the freedom from this process). The two shared stories of Grant Price that made us laugh, tear up and want to meet the media legend for ourselves.
After tearing down the set, we headed back to Wartburg to interview Senator Liz Mathis, who shared some awesome stories about mistakes she made under Price’s supervision that caused papers to be thrown (Senator, we wouldn’t know the difference between a warship and a battleship either). We’re also incredibly grateful to Dr. Penni Pier for letting us use her office for this shoot, though I have the suspicion that she wanted a break from her office anyway. The entire Flash Films team was able to make it to this interview and it was refreshing to see an entire shoot go smoothly with everyone in their roles.
Next, the team trekked south to KWWL in Waterloo, where we interviewed Rick Coleman. Though it’s difficult to choose, I think this was my favorite interview of the day. First of all, the background of our shot was the newsroom. Second, Coleman made me shed actual tears as he described the character of Price.
I, a night owl who only begins thinking of sleeping at about 1 a.m. most days, was passed out by 10 p.m.
Day two of our mega marathon started at 6 a.m. with a trip to Iowa City to interview David McCartney, an archivist who worked with Price to start the broadcasting archives housed at Wartburg, and Dean Borg, a renowned journalist who worked with Price in his early years. Both were incredibly interesting interviews that gave us insights into parts of Price’s live we hadn’t seen before.
I have to insert a short shoutout to Noodles & Company for our lunch this day, because their Thai Green Curry with Shrimp hit all the right spots and made me a very happy camper.
Our next set of interviews took us just outside of Cedar Rapids to the home of Price’s younger daughter, Julie. Her husband was there along with their three grown children, Emily, Andrew and Matt, significant others, and Emily’s toddler Grace. I would also be remiss to not mention their two gorgeous dogs and a feline named Grey Cat. I’m not going to say much about our time with this family because it is important that you hear from them in the actual documentary. However, I will say that they welcomed us into their home and lives with open arms. Their family is one that loves each other, cares for others, isn’t afraid to laugh and understands the importance of remembering.
We headed back to Waverly with the understanding of what an absolute legacy Grant Price left on the world through his roles as friend, pioneer, journalist, employer, mentor, professor, dad and granddad, and how that legacy continues to spread by everyone who knew him. We have a huge, amazing and incredibly important task at hand. How do we tell Price’s story to honor this legacy? How do we make possibly the most influential journalist in Iowa proud in 15 minutes?