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A New Mexico Town Ripped Apart Along Highway 47

In 1734 Spain gave a land grant to 30 families in Tomé, New Mexico. The community collectively owned the land for years, but in 1967, a feud erupted over who had rights to what—decades of lawsuits ensued and the town fractured as a result.

A man named Gillie Sanchez was at the center of many of these lawsuits and feuds that ran into the 1990s.

His daughter, playwright and actress KJ Sanchez, has since begun to pick up the pieces. She wrote the play “Highway 47” to document the history of her family and hometown, as well as capture her own experience coming to terms with her father’s actions.

“Highway 47” is on stage at PlayMakers Repertory Company’s Second Stage through Sunday, Jan. 10.

Host Frank Stasio talks with writer and performer KJ Sanchez.

Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.