Marine 'grandpa' builds high school musical

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Added On October 21, 2016

In Wisconsin, there's a retired marine who's been a godsend for one high school.
 
For the last few years, he's been building sets for their school musicals, and he's been getting raves for his craftsmanship.
 
Inside Dave Babiash's shop just outside Denmark, there's a hint of Broadway in the sounds of construction.
 
SOUNDBITE(English): DAVE BABIASH, Set Builder
"Always gotta be building something, He just took me away from building bird houses."
 
After serving in the marines and building homes for 30 years, Dave volunteered three years ago to build theatrical sets for Denmark high school.
 
A godsend talent according to the school's musical director.
 
SOUNDBITE(English): DAVE HARPER, Musical Director, Denmark High School 
"When I sat down I said Dave, this is kind of what I'm picturing. And he says, well, give me a picture. So I gave him a picture and he made it. I didn't have to give him any specifications, no numbers, no design, the scale or anything of that nature. He basically sees a picture and builds it."
 
SOUNDBITE(English): DAVE BABIASH, Set Builder
"Well, I've had a lot of compliments on it. Everybody says wow. It makes you feel real good seeing the expressions people have. Because that's gratification."
 
Scenic designs for Aladdin and Mary Poppins were Dave's first creations.
He's now finishing up this set for Les Miserables.
 
SOUNDBITE(English): DAVE HARPER, Musical Director, Denmark High School
"He's very particular, very meticulous, he has an idea and he knows the best way to do it."
 
Dave's endless building sets begin months before the performance.
 
SOUNDBITE(English): DAVE BABIASH, Set Builder
"I tried counting once but I lost track so I just quit."
 
SOUNDBITE(English): DAVE HARPER, Musical Director, Denmark High School
"The fact he's willing to work all summer long and in the fall to make sure we have the majority of our set done, that the kids can actually use it and practice, it's huge for them."
 
And it's those kids, and their appreciation,
 
That makes Dave feel as if he has the greatest unpaid job in the world.
 
SOUNDBITE(English): DAVE BABIASH, Set Builder
"I just love doing it, so much fun. Different type of kid when it comes to the plays, their whole perspective is different."