Welcome to Milford-Haven!

Season 1, Episode 1

They came here from the plains to find the pine trees. They came here from the mountains to find the ocean. They came here from the cities to find serenity. They found all this, and much, much more in Milford-Haven…

— The Narrator

These were the opening words for Episode One of Milford-Haven, the little radio drama that began in a small-town radio station and later crossed the country, then the ocean, and now is reaching new audiences.

Because today marks an important day in the history of a small, fictitious town on California’s ruggedly beautiful Central Coast. It’s important because we can welcome you, our visitors, to a place of small town simplicities . . . and global complexities. It’s a place where people of all ages come for a fresh start. It’s also a place where the artist-types sometimes clash with the business-types, and where developers find themselves at odds with environmentalists.

The story takes place in the 1990s, when the economy was strong, the national deficit was on a steady decline, and the bright promise of a new century hovered at the collective horizon. Yet people still had to unwind their own snarls, create lives with purpose, get along with their neighbors and protect the natural beauty of their surroundings while still making a living.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, Old Time Radio had long since disappeared from the broadcast landscape, but a handful of writer-producers were coming up with something that would soon be called New Time Radio. There’s a tale to share about our long journey with local American radio stations, and how great it was to work with them. There’s also a tale to tell about the short journey with American syndicators, who didn’t grasp the avid appetite listeners had for story. And then there’s the amazing story of discovery by a pioneer BBC network executive.

But for today, I want to share two key backstage stories about people whose creative contributions helped to define the sound, and thus the soul, of Milford-Haven. The first is about our narrator, a wonderful man named Freedom Barry. Older and wiser than the rest of the troupe he joined, he had been on the national lecture circuit, and he’d settled near Cambria when he became a docent at the Hearst Castle, whose history he knew backwards and forwards. Originally from Maine, he charmed first us, then our local American audiences, then the millions of BBC listeners with his New England intonations as he played the omniscient Narrator who became the Voice of Milford-Haven. You can read more about him here www.milfordhaven.com/cast/

The second is about a pair of musicians who, between them, possessed so much talent that it spilled over into jingle writing (they literally wrote the book), to scores for cartoons, television shows and films, to Mark’s symphonic compositions that soar into the upper atmosphere, to Marilyn’s popular songs that define life’s moments and stick to your brain, so you find yourself repeating her lyrics and humming her tunes. Marilyn Harris and Mark Wolfram wrote not only the theme for the show, but also created a library of music cues to highlight the emotions of every scene, from danger to seduction, from friendly chats to serious arguments, from the thrill of discovery to the devastation of loss. Yes, the show runs the gamut, and they grasped every nuance, creating the very Sound of Milford-Haven. You can read more about them here: www.milfordhaven.com/harris-wolfram

So now . . .
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