Showing Archived Posts

Labor’s Marching Tunes

Posted August 31st, 2011 at 1:49 pm (UTC-4)

Next Monday is Labor Day in the United States.  The holiday dates to 1894, when the nation was emerging from a long and violent railroad strike at a time when trains were Americans’ principal means of long-distance travel. Then and for decades thereafter, music was a powerful tool that union organizers used to call attention […]

What’s Next, Pestilence?

Posted August 31st, 2011 at 1:04 pm (UTC-4)

If the EARTHQUAKE wasn’t bad enough, along came Hurricane Irene, which wasn’t a big deal in our parts, but managed to knock a tree into our house and cut power just as I was fixing to write my next blog, about Labor Day and labor songs.  I’ve finally got the juice to do so, and […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Weedpatch Dust Bowl Memories

Posted August 24th, 2011 at 7:39 pm (UTC-4)

Reading about the incessant wave of 100° (F; 38° C) temperatures and terrible drought conditions that thousands of Americans living in Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas have endured this summer, I got to thinking about the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl conditions that ruined the land in those very places in the 1930s and early […]

Quakin’ but Unshaken

Posted August 24th, 2011 at 3:46 pm (UTC-4)
Leave a comment

Before I begin a brief riff about the 5.8-level earthquake that rattled Washington and much of the American East Coast yesterday, let me assure those of you who have experienced severe quakes, up to and including the loss of life and homes around you, that I realize earthquakes are no laughing matter in much of […]

Hard Times in the Country Country

Posted August 19th, 2011 at 6:24 pm (UTC-4)
1 comment

These are gloomy days in much of rural America.  One national newspaper described what it called a giant “rural ghetto.”  Another’s story, titled “America’s Failed Frontier,” concluded that the farm belt is steadily dying.  When we think about ghettos, we picture old, dilapidated inner-city communities.  But poverty and decay are rife in the country as […]

Where Have You Gone, D.B. Cooper?

Posted August 17th, 2011 at 5:26 pm (UTC-4)
Leave a comment

One of the first things that journalists learn is that their stories should answer six essential questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How? So far, I’m only 3½ out of 6 when it comes to D. B. Cooper. His story — his legend — began to unfold in Portland, Oregon, on a Wednesday afternoon […]

Flash Mobs, Jim Thorpe, and Mighty Little Leo

Posted August 12th, 2011 at 6:48 pm (UTC-4)
1 comment

There’s an amusing commercial on U.S. television these days — one of those that’s so clever, you remember everything except the name of the sponsor. It’s shot in a busy train station.  A nice-looking fellow in a trench coat walks forward while glancing furtively at the overhead terminal clock.  Tick-tick, it progresses. At the precise […]

Down in Old San Antone

Posted August 10th, 2011 at 5:17 pm (UTC-4)
1 comment

It’s “San Antonio,” of course, but I keep thinking of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, singin’ about “Old San Antone” when it was a sleepy, blistering-hot place far down at the end of the trail. It’s hotter than ever there now, as you know if you’ve heard about the record heat wave and drought […]

More On Memoirs

Posted August 5th, 2011 at 3:23 pm (UTC-4)
1 comment

Each Monday morning, VOA’s features staff gathers to rattle off the compelling stories on which we’re working or hope to work at some point in our lives. When it was my turn last week, I mentioned that I was going to write about the wrenching, sometimes scary, process of examining one’s own life through words […]

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


August 2011
« Jul   Sep »