Eugene’s Gary

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A portrait of one Gary neighborhood through the eyes of one resident.

Part 1, 7:50

Part 2, 5:05

Part 3, 6:02

Eugene’s Gary is a portrait of one Gary, Indiana neighborhood through the eyes of Eugene Pawlak. Pawlak, who fixes up houses and is a life-long Gary resident, is the kind of guy you want as your neighbor. He looks out for kids riding bikes in the middle of the street, helps octogenarians carry in their groceries and knows everyone on the block.

But Pawlak’s happy-go-lucky disposition belies a starker past. As he joshes with his neighbors, slowly a portrait of Eugene himself emerges. A freak, on-the-job accident at U.S. Steel left him physically and emotionally broken; only by channeling his energy through his children was he able to find his footing again.

Produced in the style of cinema verite using complex but subtle on-site field recordings, (local birds, bicycle bells, the slow rumble of a passing train) the sparse but purposeful use of sound in Eugene’s Gary highlights and supports the unique timbre of each character’s voice.

This series was originally recorded and aired on Vocalo.org during several live broadcasts in August of 2007.

Eugene’s Gary won 3rd place in the category of Best Use of Sound from the Indiana Chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists.

Photo, Row 7, Pinwheel by Eric Allix Rogers.

Lease Eugene’s Gary for broadcast through the Public Radio Exchange (PRX).

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