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tv   Trish Regan Primetime  FOX Business  March 16, 2019 2:00am-3:01am EDT

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united states join us monday. follow me on twitter @loudobbs, like me on facebook and instagram @loudobbstonight. have a great weekend >> sometimes, you got to face it. >> they were in a storage room, in our spare bedroom, in the attic. >> a house full of guests who never leave. >> i would wake up in the night and think i heard them talking, you know. >> hollywood people, world figures, dictators. >> and tv stars. >> welcome once again to "masquerade party." >> an artist's secrets unmasked. >> sounds like he was talking to you. >> i know. >> are you ready for some face time? >> do you think it looks exactly like me? [ door creaks ] [ wind howls ] [ thunder rumbles ]
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[ bird caws ] >> i'm jamie colby headed today into lincoln, nebraska. i'm here to meet a woman whose mother made her name making faces. the heir is sure her mom left her some valuable works of art, but is she just unwilling to face reality? >> my name is karen schnitzspahn. when my mother died, i inherited more than 100 handmade masks. in my heart, i knew they were precious. convincing others has been a whole different story. >> karen? >> hi, jamie. it's so good to meet you. >> these are incredible. is that clark gable? >> oh, yes. that's clark gable. >> so lifelike. unbelievable. carmen miranda? >> yes. >> oh, she's in all her glory. these are magnificent. elsie the cow? i grew up with elsie. and that's not hitchcock, is it?
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>> that is hitchcock. some of them are from the 1930s that were made by doane powell, who was my mother's mentor. >> and your mom made some, too? >> she made some of the masks on this end. >> who are these guys? >> those are blondie and dagwood, the comic-strip characters. >> i love them. >> you can try her on. >> oh, dagwood! this is going to be fun. the fun starts here in nebraska, up the road in omaha, back in 1910. that's when the artist karen mentioned, doane powell, takes a job as a political cartoonist for the omaha daily bee. >> he was a very popular political cartoonist and satirist. people looked forward to opening the pages and seeing what kind of scenes he would create. >> but the newspaper biz doesn't cut it for powell, who had studied painting and sculpture in paris after college.
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he wants his work to pop off the page, so in the early 1920s, the restless artist heads to new york city, where he begins experimenting in mask-making. "an ancient and venerable craft," notes mask-maker david knezz. >> it seems there's a universal need to mask for different ceremonies to ask the spirits for help in war, in courage, in fertility. >> so we're not talking children's halloween masks here. doane aspires to recast the timeless art form for a 20th-century audience. >> it is an extension of his cartooning because political cartoonists would exaggerate for fun, and he was able to do that with his masks. >> but it also requires all the classical techniques doane studied in paris. there's sculpting, papier-mâché and painting, says david, who has
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studied powell's work hands-on. >> he started out sculpting in clay. one he had the sculpture the way he wanted it, he would put a layer of wet paper over it in small strips and then paint adhesive over that. and then he would put another layer of some kind of cloth just to give it strength. >> working from photos or just an image in his mind, doane builds an inventory of more than 300 paper characters and creatures, including famous faces like buffalo bill, mark twain and douglas macarthur. there's french mime marcel marceau and legendary gm chairman, alfred sloan. soon, he's selling them. some for 200 to 300 bucks apiece. others he rents out at a rate of $12 a day to broadway theaters, ad agencies. even the ringling brothers
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circus comes calling. was he meticulous in terms of the fine detail? >> oh, i definitely think so, yes. he wanted the flesh tones to be just right, the makeup, the colors for the lips. >> there are hollywood icons joan crawford and mae west. even political figures -- ulysses s. grant, fdr, winston churchill, adolf hitler, benito mussolini and japanese emperor hirohito. doane's work is irresistible, even if it doesn't pay all that much. was he a struggling artist? >> he certainly wasn't wealthy, or it didn't appear that way. >> but he is garnering a degree of fame. articles about his creations start popping up in newspapers and magazines, including this spread in popular science. powell publishes his own how-to book, "masks and how to make them."
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one fascinated reader, karen's mother, 28-year-old artist and actress, kari hunt. intrigued by powell's work, she writes him a letter asking if she can shadow him, and he accepts. >> she was quite a talented sculptor, and she was also doing some theater work. and she was always ready to do anything new. >> in 1949, karen meets her mother's mentor in manhattan. >> i was only about 3 years old. we were walking to his studio from the subway, and i see this man sitting on a bench wearing a pig mask. >> a pig? >> a pig mask. and he had on a suit, and he was waving to me. and i'll never forgot that. >> her mom snaps this shaky shot of the encounter. soon she'll see reminders of
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powell everywhere she looks. at home growing up, did you have masks around the house? >> oh, yes. there were masks everywhere. >> sounds scary. >> it was. >> do you feel like they might come alive as a child? >> oh, yeah. i would wake up in the night and thing i heard them talking, you know? and these were some pretty scary characters. and then there were others i felt were my friends, you know? some of the old movie-star marks. >> how did your dad feel about having all these masks around the house? >> he was a theatrical person, too, because he did a magic act, and he was a wonderful magician, and he would do stage illusions and things wearing the masks. and i used to be the assistant sometimes, too. i would walk out with a little tray of props and things. >> you grew up in a really fun house. >> very fun. >> sadly, in 1951, just 3 years after her mother began
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her mask-making apprenticeship, doane powell dies at age 69. he bequeaths more than 200 of his masks to his most dedicated student. >> i think he wanted her to have them, and she had good ideas of what she would do with them. >> like what? >> he thought that his masks would be perfect for television. >> and that's where his masks are headed. how's that? >> well, you'll find out in just a moment on that exciting and hilarious television game, "masquerade party." >> but first, our "strange inheritance" quiz question. which famous face was michael myers' infamous halloween mask molded from? the answer when we return.
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time and time again, you know when i'm doing street magic..i'll walk up to someone and i can just see they're against me right? they don't want to be amazed.
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they don't want this experience to happen. ♪i needed to try but then the magic happens. and all of that falls away. (amazement & laughter) it's the experience of waking up and seeing things the way you saw them before they became ordinary. ♪i need never get old i'm looking for that experience of wonder. ♪ >> so, which famous face was michael myers' infamous halloween mask molded from? the answer is... the halloween mask was a modified version of shatner's captain kirk death mask from the "star trek" series. >> when nebraska native and mask-making maven doane powell dies in 1951, he bequeaths his inventory of more than 200 handmade masks to his young apprentice, kari hunt, karen schnitzspahn's mother.
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>> welcome, once again, to "masquerade party." the following year, kari makes good on doane's dying wish that the masks hit the big time on tv. >> this is the show where celebrities from all walks of life come in fabulous disguises and makeup to try and stump our panel of experts. >> and what did they do with the masks on that show? >> my mother did the masks for the panel, both masks that she made and masks that doane powell made. >> we get started as usual by meeting our distinguished panel. bobby sherwood -- there he is! [ cheers and applause ] dagmar, herself. [ cheers and applause ] >> did you ever go visit her at work there? >> oh, yes. that was great fun. >> do you remember anybody that you met? >> oh, sure. well, one of the panel members was the great poet, ogden nash. >> so the lady has never appeared in film or television of topic? >> and he was so charming. i used to take a little autograph book, and he wrote in there,
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"to karen, you mustn't ask if it's my face or a mask." >> more masks out there, more publicity, more money? >> well, i think they did make some money, but not a whole lot. my mom was also a struggling artist. >> maybe kari and her mentor are just ahead of their times, suggests jordu schell, a gen-x mask-maker who's decidedly not a struggling artist. >> all mask-making has a similar lineage, and that is to create a character, a memorable character that people believe. and i strongly feel that it's an art form, both in doane's case and mine. >> jordu's hollywood creations have appeared in "avatar," "300" and "alien: resurrection." he says his masks are, in a way, just doane powell 2.0. >> so, what we're doing here
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is exactly the same process that doane used. we're going to start by creating a basic egg shape. that looks good. >> i got to make a nose because my guy is having trouble breathing. so, what's next? >> well, the next thing is that we make a plaster mold. so... >> oh. >> ...the plaster is liquid, and we made a big mound of it over the sculpture, and then latex is poured into the mold. once it dries, you have a mask. so if you would like to peel this out of the mold, peel it out. >> okay. >> wow, look at that. >> i really like the feeling of a character coming to life. >> but by the mid-'90s, the characters doane created are on life support. more than 100 of his masks, plus dozens more by karen's mom, are deteriorating in her aging parents' home
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in allentown, pennsylvania. >> there were masks all over the house. >> you don't just stack these up in a corner. >> no doubt about that. >> then, in 1999, 2 years after her father's death, karen's mother passes away at age 79. she leaves her house and contents, including the masks, to her only child, karen. >> she said, "i'd really like you to take care of them." >> did you have a choice? >> well, not really. >> so karen and her husband pack them away in their house in new jersey. >> they were in a storage room, and they were in our spare bedroom, and they were in the attic. the masks weren't really being used. i want them to be appreciated. >> have you ever had them appraised? >> no, i really didn't. >> what were your options? >> well, i couldn't restore them. i didn't have the knowledge for that. some of them, i did sell. >> sell?
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and not to an art collector or a fancy museum, but at an estate auction. >> it's just hard at the time when you're needing to clean things out and you don't have the space. >> and the ones that you sold, do you think you gave them away for too little? >> probably. >> but someone out there is all ears. >> everyone was really convinced that we needed this collection. i was just fascinated and thought, "wow, these are really incredible." >> here's another quiz question for you.... this mask was molded from what famous figure's face? the answer when we return. ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪
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to discover all sorts of tips and tricks in x1. can i find my wifi password? just ask. [ ding ] show me my wifi password. hey now! [ ding ] you can even troubleshoot, learn new voice commands and much more. clean my daughter's room. [ ding ] oh, it won't do that. welp, someone should. just say "teach me more" into your voice remote and see how you can have an even better x1 experience. simple. easy. awesome. ♪
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>> so, whose mask is this? the answer is... french sculptor jean-antoine houdon made his plaster cast of washington in 1785 at mount vernon, where it's currently on display. >> faces of movie stars, singers, dictators. more than 100 of them stuffed away in karen schnitzspahn's home. after regretfully selling a few of the handcrafted masks at her parents' estate sale, she's trying to figure out what to do with the rest of them. karen looks into donating her strange inheritance to some place that would appreciate them, something her mother had once hoped for. >> i contacted a lot of institutions, and usually the places would say, "they're very nice, but we don't have room to store them." >> but karen keeps looking. >> i had this brainstorm,
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really. doane powell came from nebraska. >> so karen contacts the senior curator at the nebraska historical society, laura mooney. >> i was interesting in seeing photos, and immediately i was just fascinated and thought, "wow, these are really incredible." >> did anyone on your staff say, "are you nuts? masks in a museum?" >> everyone was really convinced that we needed this collection, so no, it didn't take much convincing at all. >> but it's pretty clear that some of the masks are going to need face-lifts, so in august 2013, karen packs them up and ships them to the historical society's conservation lab in omaha. conservator rebecca cashmam is assigned to cosmetic surgery. >> tell me about that moment when they arrived. >> it was a lot of, you know, opening the boxes and being amazed at how realistic the masks were, but also, we could see
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that the masks had a lot of problems. they were cracked. there were tears. there were ears that were missing. we knew that this was going to be a lot of work for us. >> of the 100 masks that arrived, only 69 can be prepared, but the face-lift team does get some help in the form of doane powell's 1948 book, "masks and how to make them." >> he goes step-by-step how you can do this. >> sounds like he was talking to you. >> i know. >> and who are we looking at? or who's looking at us, i should say. >> this one here is grover whalen. he was a well-known politician in new york city during the 1930s. >> what kind of condition was he in when he arrived? >> i have his picture right here. unfortunately, he looks like he was squashed, you know, and maybe under something heavy for a long time. >> for faces like grover's that are severely dented of misshapen, the team uses this special humidification chamber to make the masks more pliable
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so they can be reshaped. oh, so he went in there for, like, a spa day? >> yeah. it's kind of a nerve-racking procedure because you're reshaping an object that's made of a lot of different types of materials. so you have your paper, you have your glue, your paint layer and your shellac layer. >> did they respond well? >> yes, they did. >> and how long did it take, start to finish? >> most of them took about 5 or 6 hours, however there were some more problematic ones that took over 10 hours. >> it takes 3 full years to bring the 69 characters back to life, one nose, ear and mustache at a time. back in hollywood meanwhile, my buddy jordu has a surprise for me. >> i had a feeling that you would come in and go, "wow, it's a bunch of monsters and ugly stuff," but i wanted to show that i can do something beautiful. >> what's your "strange inheritance" story? we'd love to tell it. send me an e-mail
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or go to our website, strangeinheritance.com. termites, feasting on homes 24/7.
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we're on the move. roger. hey rick, all good? oh yeah, we're good. we're good. termites never stop trying to get in,
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we never stop working to keep them out. terminix. defenders of home.
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>> now, back to "strange inheritance." >> it's 2017, and karen schnitzspahn's strange inheritance, these handcrafted paper masks, the life's work of renowned mask-maker doane powell, are finally ready for their close-up. after a painstaking restoration process, 69 of the faces go on display at the nebraska history museum in lincoln. karen is seeing the exhibit today for the first time. >> oh, my goodness. oh, wow. finally. oh, it's wonderful. i mean, it just looks beautiful. and i know so many of these
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faces and these characters from growing up with them. i want to look at each one of these faces again. >> and remember my mask-making friend, jordu? he insists he's been working on something at his studio that i just got to see. >> all right. so i've got something special to show you. >> everything here is special. >> well, this is particularly special. >> why? >> because it's for you. >> really? whoa! look at that. do you think it looks exactly like me? >> i don't think it looks exactly like you. it is somewhat based on some of your features. >> so i inspired this creation? >> yes, you did. >> it's magnificent. >> yes, you did. well, i had a feeling that you would come in and go, "wow, it's a bunch of monster and ugly stuff," and i wanted to show that i can do something beautiful. >> oh, look at those lashes. >> yeah. >> you went to so much work for me. >> yeah. >> thank you. >> of course. >> thank you. i'm going in.
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>> that is fabulous-looking. >> each mask, a character captured and brought to life by teacher and prodigy, now restored as a daughter fulfills her mother's dying wish, giving the world a second look at these unforgettable faces. is it mission accomplished for you, karen? >> i would say yes. they have a new life. >> remember how karen unloaded a few of the masks for just a couple of bucks apiece at an estate sale right after her mom passed away? now that i've seen the collection restored to its original glory, i can't help thinking those buyers totally scored. are you one of the savvy pickers? e-mail me a picture of the mask,
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jamie@strangeinheritance.com. and just face it, you can't take it with you. >> his dream? big as a t-rex. >> when everybody else told him he was crazy, he just said, "no, i'm gonna build dinosaurs." >> his creation? a land before time. >> he was almost an engineer when it came to dinosaurs. >> can it survive without him? >> a lot of attractions that were the vision of a single person, all of a sudden they're gone, demolished. >> depends on his daughter... >> when you have an absolute passion, you think that other people feel the same way you do. >> his granddaughter... >> are you living on the edge, kiki, to make this all happen? >> a little bit. >> and his great-granddaughter. >> has your mom ever said, "we need to talk about the future of the park"? >> never. [ door creaks ]
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[ wind howls ] [ thunder rumbles ] [ bird caws ] >> i'm jamie colby, and today i'm in southwest oregon, on the breathtaking pacific coast highway. if you've ever made this drive, you may have visited this strange inheritance and even met the heir trying to save it from extinction. >> my name is kiki mcgrath. my grandfather was really into dinosaurs. i inherited his version of jurassic park from a bygone era. >> hi. i'm jamie. >> hi, jamie. i'm kiki. >> great to meet you, kiki, and i like your friend. it was pretty clear i was in the right place. >> this is my grandfather's creation. let's go take a look. >> that "creation" is prehistoric gardens, which sits in a lush stretch of old-growth forest, with ocean mist filtering sunlight through its towering trees.
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i would camp out here, and i don't camp. but be careful! giant monsters lurk. triceratops, wow. the grounds are teeming with dinosaurs. feast your eyes on 'em. there's the plate-covered stegosaurus... a towering t-rex... a soaring pteranodon and many more. each imposing creature a life-size replica of an ancient past, including this 46-foot-high, 86-foot-long brachiosaurus. >> four years from start to finish... >> amazing! >> ...to build this one. >> i just really can't believe the scale. the story of these creatures begins in 1907, in gordonsville, minnesota, where ernie nelson is born. young ernie can't stop drawing on his sketch pad,
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especially the prehistoric creatures he sees in national geographic. definitely a creative character, according to his daughter bennii. was he always an artist? >> he always drew. he came out of the womb carrying a pen. >> a few decades later, in the 1930s, ernie gets married and has two kids. he settles down on the west coast and opts for a stable career path. >> he owned a gravel company when he was very young, and he was a public accountant in eugene, oregon. >> an accountant ever on the lookout for a more creative living. his dream job? a cartoonist at walt disney studios. he gets the offer, then talks himself out of taking it. >> he had two children, and it was during the depression, so he decided he just couldn't pick up and leave. >> so, ernie keeps counting beans for another two decades, knowing deep inside he's missing his true calling.
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then, when ernie's 47 years old, he makes an announcement during christmas dinner that stuns his family. >> he goes out to the car, and he gets this cement dinosaur. it was a tyrannosaurus rex, and he brings it in, and he sets it down, and then he said, "this is what i'm going to do." we thought, "what?" he said, "i'm going to build dinosaurs." >> did you all think maybe he had had too much to drink? >> no one said a word. they felt that he had gone off the deep end. >> "no, really," ernie explains. he intends to open a roadside attraction filled with dinosaurs! he reveals he's been fascinated by the creatures his entire life. >> i said to mom, "why would he do something like that?" she said, "i'll go any place he wants to go." >> was that true love? >> yeah, that was true love. >> and it turns out his timing couldn't be better. >> ernie knew what he was doing when he started his attraction in the early 1950s. >> doug kirby is the author of
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two books on roadside attractions. >> the golden age was after world war ii. gi's came home. they had families. they were starting to have money to buy better cars and take summer vacations. the u.s. highway system was built out across the whole country. attractions could find an audience. then all of these things started to crop up. >> these entertaining, and sometimes bizarre, roadside attractions become an american phenomenon. ernie the accountant figures a dinosaur park is a sure thing. what made your dad think that this was gonna be a winner? >> when you have an absolute passion for something, you think that other people feel the same way you do. >> before he can bring forth his creation, ernie must find his eden. he comes across 70 acres of lush forest in southern oregon, right off the famed 101, pacific coast highway. it's listed for 17 grand.
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did he have the money to buy that property? were you rich? >> no, no, ultra-poor. they had practically no money when they came down here. >> but ernie works his accounting magic, selling his home and business. and presto! he has the cash. now he's ready to flesh out some dinosaurs. he researches the creatures exhaustively, drawing up sketches and blueprints. i mean, he was almost an engineer when it came to dinosaurs. >> yes, the steel frame went on and then, after that they put metal lath, and they molded it, and then on top of that they put cement. >> then comes the fine artistry. ernie adds details and hand-paints precise features -- eyes, scales, teeth. look at the skin texture even. >> yes. >> but ernie does take some artistic license, adding splashes of bright paint and vibrant patterns. >> grandpa didn't know the exact color scheme, but he said it
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was the man behind the paintbrush that chose the colors. >> and "the man behind the paintbrush" chooses colors that draw customers. >> part of the formula with the roadside attraction is people want to be able to take pictures that they can share when they get home. ernie had an eye for what would make a great photo. painting things in bright, garish colors was a way to make those dinosaurs pop out. >> after a year of construction, ernie's ready to open his prehistoric gardens. so, what was the reaction initially? >> they loved it. >> and not just the tourists. do you have some recollections as a kid of playing in that park? >> oh, my gosh, do i? like, i just got chills, yeah. >> ernie's great-granddaughter tells us why. that's next. >> but first, our "strange inheritance" quiz question... the film "jurassic park" made an infamous villain out of the velociraptor. how big was the dinosaur in real life? the size of a...
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the answer after the break. with my friends to our annual get-together, especially after being diagnosed last year with advanced non-small cell lung cancer. (avo) another tru story with keytruda. (dr. kloecker) i started katy on keytruda and chemotherapy and she's getting results we rarely saw five years ago. (avo) in a clinical trial, significantly more patients lived longer and saw their tumors shrink than on chemotherapy alone. (dr. kloecker) it's changed my approach to treating patients. (avo) keytruda may be used with certain chemotherapies as your first treatment if you have advanced nonsquamous, non-small cell lung cancer and you do not have an abnormal "egfr" or "alk" gene. keytruda helps your immune system fight cancer, but can also cause your immune system to attack healthy parts of your body. this can happen during or after treatment and may be severe and lead to death. see your doctor right away if you have new or worse cough, chest pain, shortness of breath, diarrhea, severe stomach pain or tenderness, nausea or vomiting, rapid heartbeat,
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>> so, how big were velociraptors in real life? the speedy dinosaurs were only the size of a turkey. >> it's 1955. accountant ernie nelson has quit his office job, uprooted his family, and depleted his
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life savings to create a roadside dinosaur attraction in southwest oregon, along the pacific coast highway. that's a big jump from being an accountant. >> he just had a real drive. he wanted to create something and share it with everybody. >> on new year's day, ernie's "prehistoric gardens" is finally ready. signs point the way from the highway. admission's 50 cents for adults, a quarter for kids. to the family's relief, tourists flock to it, just as ernie predicted. so, what was the reaction initially? >> they loved it. we would walk with them through the gardens. we would point and tell them what the name of the dinosaur was. >> the family enlists every visitor to spread the word. >> we used to put on bumper stickers. it said prehistoric gardens on it. it showed a picture of a tyrannosaurus rex. >> bennii spends almost all her time at the gardens during the park's first few years. and her daughter, kiki, born in
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1957, does, too. in fact, when bennii divorces in 1959, she moves away, leaving kiki to be raised by her grandparents in the family home, right on the property. kiki watches her grandfather expand his shangri-la year after year. >> i remember rvs and trailers parked everywhere. >> was it magical to watch him create this? >> magical, yes. he would get, like, a just big, you know, grin on his face when he would see kids coming in, and they'd be squealing with the parents. i think it was really important for him to see people be happy. >> after high school, kiki ventures beyond the dino park but within a year returns. what brought you back? >> i really like being around my grandparents, and i didn't want to do anything different. >> it was a life kiki would also want for her daughter, rain, who's born in 1982 and spends her childhood playing amongst the massive dinosaurs.
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do you have some recollections as a kid of playing in that park? >> oh, my gosh, do i? like, i just got chills, yeah. my whole childhood was that park. my friends and i, we'd kind of climb up the stegosaurus or we'd climb up the elasmosaurus and slide down his back. we would even hide in the bushes sometimes and make noises and stuff when the guests came by. [ laughs ] >> but the world has changed in the four decades since the 47-year-old accountant chucked everything to open his prehistoric gardens. the "jurassic park" generation doesn't see these guys so much as prehistoric creatures but corny 1950's kitsch. fewer visitors turn in to the aging park that's increasingly difficult for its octogenarian founder to maintain. >> the '80s and the '90s were really, really tough, and my great-grandmother had a stroke. so, that set the family back. there was some tough times, definitely. >> did dad ever consider selling or closing?
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>> oh, no, oh, no, unh-unh. that was his baby. he loved the prehistoric gardens. >> loved them till the day he dies, in 1999, a dinosaur himself at age 91. his funeral is held right in the park near his favorite creature -- that 46-foot-high brachiosaurus. >> and it rained, and it hailed, and it snowed, and there was sunshine. it was very, very magical, very magical. >> a few months later, ernie's wife, kari, passes away. the will does not say who should inherit the business. did your grandfather sit down at some point and say, "here's what i want to happen with the park"? >> no, i think he was hoping that someone would carry it on, but i don't think he thought about who was going to do it. >> ernie's daughter, granddaughter, and great-granddaughter now must choose. keep his dream alive or cash out? it's near the coast, if not
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right on it. you know what that property is worth. >> mm-hmm. mm-hmm. >> did you ever think about selling or closing the park? that's next. >> here's another quiz question for you. the answer when we return.
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>> the snorkasaurus is the family pet of fred and wilma flintstone. >> in 1999, ernie nelson leaves behind 70 acres of oregon coastland, evenly dividing the
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property among his two children and granddaughter, kiki. the inheritance includes his prehistoric gardens, a roadside attraction, featuring 23 life-size dinosaur replicas that ernie created himself. >> he loved dinosaurs. like, he absolutely loved them. when everybody else told him he was crazy, he just said, "no, i'm gonna build dinosaurs." to think of how much strength and tenacity he had. >> but now that he's gone, the fate of the 44-year-old dino park is unclear. ernie's daughter bennii, now in her mid-60s, has no interest in taking over the reins. >> i don't have a sense of business. i don't have the drive. >> so, she and her brother opt to put the dino park, family home, and surrounding forest up for sale. originally purchased for $17,000, it could be a dino-mite windfall. bennii's daughter, kiki, agrees initially, then has
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second thoughts. >> i didn't want the gardens to go with the whole lump sum because i didn't want it to go to someone that didn't have the passion. >> that's because prehistoric gardens isn't just a park to kiki. it's the only home she's really known, and she's never wanted to leave. you love it that much? >> i kind of feel a little bit of my grandfather in me. he had to be there every day, and i feel that. >> you couldn't live without that. >> no, i don't think so. >> so, the three heirs carve out 44 acres of ernie's land along the ocean. bennii and her brother get that. it's valued in the millions. the remaining 26 acres, including all the dinosaurs and the roadside-attraction business, go to kiki, now a single mom in her early 40s, and raising her teenage daughter, rain. did people say, "what, are you nuts"? >> yeah, they thought she was crazy, you know, like she's sitting on a gold mine, and
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she's keeping it. >> running the dino park proves more difficult than either mother or daughter imagines. >> i resented the gardens when i was younger, just because it took my mom away from me all the time. >> fifteen years later, the job's no easier. >> she works there every single day -- 12-, 14-hour days. she's the janitor. she is the ticket taker. she has to clean the dinosaurs. she does it all. >> planning any vacations? >> not right now. >> ever consider a sick day? >> not really, no. >> nowadays, about 200 guests visit the park daily during peak tourist season. at 12 bucks for an adult and 8 for a kid, the park brings in around $150,000 a year. but there's not much money left over after taxes, landscaping, and costly dinosaur repairs. he looks like he may have had an injury. >> pteranodon did have an injury. a tree came down on his cute,
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little wing and broke it. so, it was just dangling for quite some time, but, as you can see, it needs a little bit more work again. >> are you living on the edge, kiki, to make this all happen? >> a little bit. it's kind of a one day at a time. >> she's constantly putting the park before herself. sometimes she had to put it before her family. >> do you get it? >> i get it, but i don't get it. i get it because it's her legacy, and it's what she knows. but it zaps her energy, and it takes away her life. >> a life, rain says, that could be so much easier for her mom. >> when things are tough, i've been, "well, mom, you know, you could sell it and retire and live on the beach," but i don't think she'll sell it. >> so, you're never gonna let it go? >> no. >> and yet, with all her determination to continue her grandfather's legacy, has kiki made any plans for the dino park to outlast her? has your mom ever sat you down and said, "we need to talk about the future of the park"? >> never.
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it's a running theme in our family that nobody talks about it. >> doug kirby has seen this scenario many times before. >> a lot of attractions that were the vision of a single person -- you can feel their enthusiasm around everything. by the third generation, it's tough to say whether that's gonna be a generation that's gonna carry it on. i've seen great parks that, all of a sudden they're gone, demolished. >> kiki's best hope for a successor is her daughter, rain. oh, and did we mention that she got married and ran off to europe? do you think there's more than a 50% chance they'll step up, like you did? >> probably 75. >> not 100. >> not 100. >> could you ever see, rain, going back to oregon? what's your "strange inheritance" story? we'd love to tell it. send me an e-mail, or go to our website, strangeinheritance.com. ♪ limu emu & doug what do all these people have in common, limu?
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♪in paris and rome but i want to go home♪ ♪oh i miss you, you know ♪let me go home ♪it will all be alright ♪i'll be home tonight ♪i'm comin back home >> now back to "strange inheritance."
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>> kiki mcgrath inherited prehistoric gardens, a dinosaur park which her grandfather, ernie nelson, first opened in 1955. she's dedicated her life to keeping the roadside attraction in the family and in business. what about when you can't do it anymore? >> well, hopefully someone in my family will want to continue on. >> that puts the pressure on kiki's 34-year-old daughter, rain. she's married and living 5,000 miles away, in london. >> i'm really happy right now. this is where i want to be, and it would take a lot to go back and work at the gardens. >> but in the back of your mind, could you ever see, rain, going back to oregon with your husband? >> not full-time. it's a part of me, but i don't want to be defined by it. >> that may not be so easy for rain. >> so, there's just a lot of guilt that i feel, being this far away from home and, you know, not being there to help
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her. but -- sorry, guys. >> meantime, back in southern oregon, prehistoric gardens still has the power to delight travelers who pull over, stretch their legs, and check out ernie nelson's dinosaurs, not yet extinct. >> i've heard of this place since i was a kid. this place is kind of legendary. >> i think it's a must-see because a couple people just built this by themselves. it's just a great thing to see. >> don't you ever come out here and say, "i can't do this anymore"? >> mm-hmm. yeah, i do think that, but when i come out to the registry room and look at these different remarks that people have made, it brings back a feeling of resurgence. >> oh, my goodness -- "haven't been here in fifty years"? >> mm-hmm. >> a boyhood fascination never outgrown compels a frustrated accountant to build a dinosaur playground. the future of the prehistoric gardens may be
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uncertain, but for now, this strange inheritance remains a testament to the will of bennii's father, kiki's grandfather, and rain's great-grandfather to seize his dream and share it with the world. >> it's more than just a park now, because it's so ingrained in the history of the place. it's not just our park. it's everybody's now. >> a lot of people tell me that, that go through the gardens. they tell me it's magical. i hear that all the time. there's a magical something out there. >> but whatever happened to the other part of ernie's land that kiki did not inherit, here along the pacific coast highway? her mother and uncle sold it for 1.6 million bucks and split the profits. the new owners have kept the land undeveloped and say they plan to one day either donate it to the state of oregon or place it in a trust in order to protect its magnificent rain forest forever.
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i'm jamie colby. thanks so much for watching "strange inheritance." and remember -- you can't take it with you. great happy st. patrick's day i will see you on monday and maria bartiromo's next. . >> happy weekend welcome to the program analyzing the week that was in analyzing the week ahead we have another jam pack show coming up in a few minutes nelson is with me and will join us momentarily then alan greenspan my one-on-one with the author of the leading technology investors around to talk at the latest troubles for facebook it has been a stellar stt

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