Don Trent wants to build a mile-long replica of the Great Wall of China next to a highway in Spring Valley, Wisconsin. He lives there in a former elementary school, along with a large collection of Chinese artifacts. No one really knows how Don got his collection, or whether or not his artifacts are real, or how he plans to fund and build his wall. Don is not Chinese, but he says that he has the support of the Chinese government.
Miniature Great Wall of China, Kissimmee, Florida (1997)
Don could be dismissed as just another dreamer cheesehead — except that Wisconsin has a history of men with vision, and men who build big things by the side of the road, and men who create vast attractions filled with stuff that’s supposedly real, but isn’t.
Maybe the Chinese see Don’s wall as a way to boost the scale of their charm offensive — or maybe they saw the towering Trojan Horse go-kart track in Wisconsin Dells and got a bad idea. Could Don Trent unknowingly be sponsoring a Great Hollow Wall of China? Will it be filled with thousands of terra cotta warrior robots, ready to pour out and shanghai Wisconsin’s Hodag so that it can be dragged to Asia and turned into an exotic soup?
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