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Millennium Flap Redux

Posted December 27th, 2010 at 3:45 pm (UTC-4)

Not to bring up a bad dream, but do you recall the tizzy many of us were in 10 years ago.  Or 11? Those of us following the Christian Gregorian calendar were worrying ourselves sick about the new millennium, and not just because a lot of doomsayers said this surely meant the End Was Near. […]

Rudolph, Our Hero

Posted December 24th, 2010 at 10:09 am (UTC-4)
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  I’m posting this early on Friday, Christmas Eve.  For millions of American children, tonight will be the most exciting night of the year.  Bigger than New Year’s Eve.  Bigger than Independence Day’s fireworks at dusk.  Even bigger than Halloween, when they can beg bagfuls of candy from their neighbors. Kids get so excited on […]

Christmases Remembered

Posted December 22nd, 2010 at 1:01 pm (UTC-4)
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The other day I came upon a script of a VOA story that I had put together nine years ago. It was entitled, “Christmas Memories,” and it wasn’t a story so much as stories, warm reminiscences told in thin and sometimes crackly voices by men and women who lived in retirement homes — they used […]

The Real Bedford Falls

Posted December 20th, 2010 at 4:27 pm (UTC-4)
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A Christmas tradition in millions of American households is to curl up in front of a television set — and ideally a fireplace filled with crackling logs — and watch an old, black-and-white movie that never fails to rekindle the warm good feelings of the holiday. The 1946 movie classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” put […]

The Kwanzaa Bridge

Posted December 17th, 2010 at 3:01 pm (UTC-4)
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Early winter in America is a time of religious commemorations, including Christian Christmas and Jewish Hanukkah. But there’s one equally thoughtful, though entirely secular, celebration that African Americans observe this time of year, over and above any observance of Christmas, Hanukkah, or the Muslim holiday of Ashura. It’s Kwanzaa, which Americans of African descent mark […]

Pass the Tea

Posted December 15th, 2010 at 8:13 pm (UTC-4)
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As you see, I’m posting this on the eve of December 16th. And what’s so special about December 16th? It’s a big Tea Party day. Not the loose confederation of small-government, low-tax advocates who will be sending 30 or so rambunctious representatives to Congress come January and who are making all that political noise across […]

Radio Daze

Posted December 13th, 2010 at 2:53 pm (UTC-4)
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In 1897, the gifted American humorist Mark Twain dashed off a note to the New York Herald newspaper.  The recent rumor of his death, he wrote, “was an exaggeration.” Can the same be said for the death knells that are ringing for American radio?  Let’s look back. Television was absolutely going to kill off radio […]

Lordly Georgetown

Posted December 10th, 2010 at 1:06 pm (UTC-4)
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One of America’s most festive neighborhoods this time of year is the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C. It’s a swanky place, full of well-kept homes, chi-chi shops and restaurants, private schools and academies, and historic churches and cemeteries, as well as a prestigious, 221-year-old Roman Catholic university that carries its name. The “D.C.” portion of […]

Caught on the Fly

Posted December 8th, 2010 at 4:10 pm (UTC-4)
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While I’ve been gadding about the country, as my mother used to say, I’ve been squirreling away some scraps of paper on which I noted items of possible interest. First, speaking of squirrels, can you answer this question for me?  Have you ever seen a squirrel RETRIEVE one of the nuts that it buried for […]

Couch Potatoes on Parade!

Posted December 6th, 2010 at 3:15 pm (UTC-4)
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America is full of vacation lodges . . . on wheels! They are known as motor homes — literally kitchens, living rooms, and beds on the move across America.  Some people call them “recreational vehicles,” or “RVs.”  Still others, thinking back to more of a golden age of highway travel before crowded, high-speed highways criss-crossed […]

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Ted Landphair


This is a far-ranging exploration of American life by a veteran Voice of America “Americana” reporter and essayist.

Ted writes about the thousands of places he has visited and written about as a broadcaster and book author. Ted Landphair’s America often showcases the work of his wife and traveling companion, renowned American photographer Carol M. Highsmith.

Ted welcomes feedback, questions, and ideas. View Ted’s profile. Watch a video about Ted and Carol by VOA’s Nico Colombant.

Photos by Carol M. Highsmith


December 2010
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