The Happiest Person I Ever Met

Bryan Gruley
5 min readApr 26, 2019

By Bryan Gruley

Gary Greff builds giant roadside sculptures on the undulating plains of southwestern North Dakota. Twenty years ago today, my story about him appeared on the front page of The Wall Street Journal (apologies if it’s behind a paywall). It’s one of my favorite stories ever, because Gary — unemployed and living in a trailer at 50 years old — might have been the happiest person I have ever met.

In January of 1999, I traveled to Regent, N.D., population 268, to write about a peculiar legal dispute in the telecommunications business. I was…

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Bryan Gruley

Storyteller since 2nd grade at St. Gemma Elementary in Detroit. Pulitzer winner, Edgar finalist, lifelong journalist, author of 5 novels. www.bryangruley.com.