Showing Archived Posts

What’s in a (Nick)Name?

Posted July 2nd, 2009 at 1:06 pm (UTC-4)
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The College of William & Mary, America’s second-oldest college (after Harvard), whose graduates include two U.S. presidents and 16 signers of the Declaration of Independence, is one of several academically superior schools of higher education in Virginia. But William & Mary, chartered in 1693 by Britain’s King William III and Queen Mary II, is also […]

Valley of the Stun

Posted June 12th, 2009 at 2:51 pm (UTC-4)
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Only one lonely, two-lane highway pierces Monument Valley, a vast natural wonder that straddles the Arizona-Utah border in the Desert Southwest. And then one unpaved, rutted, 27-kilometer [17-mile] loop trail winds through it once you get there. Stubs of sandstone jut upward like broken lower teeth on Monument Valley’s desert floor The air is clear […]

The Thin Place

Posted May 15th, 2009 at 1:12 pm (UTC-4)
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On the banks of the Wabash River that separates southern Indiana from Illinois, there’s a community of 915 people unlike any other small town in America. Different – and unforgettable, too. The easiest, though not cheapest, way into town is across the Wabash River on a toll bridge from Illinois. The toll is only a […]

Hunter-Gatherer

Posted March 12th, 2009 at 6:31 pm (UTC-4)
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The things that we read are disposable – literally and figuratively. We toss out newspapers and magazines as soon as we’re through with them. Most of us keep only a few, if any, of the books that we’ve enjoyed. We zap or forward electronic information the minute we’ve finished processing it. Even urgent updates on […]

Lots of Odds; Fewer Ends

Posted February 27th, 2009 at 8:22 pm (UTC-4)
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Those of us who write for the internationally targeted Voice of America have learned to keep a few things in mind: Not all homes in America look like this. In fact, not very many do One is that our reality is not the reality of many places to which we communicate. We need to be […]

Chicago, Chicago – Obamanin’ Town

Posted January 23rd, 2009 at 9:09 pm (UTC-4)
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A week or so before the change of U.S. administrations, I happened to see a brief television interview with a man – a professed Democrat – in what looked like a feed store in the southern state of Arkansas. He said he had voted for Republican presidential candidate John McCain rather than Democrat Barack Obama. […]

Collector Man

Posted January 7th, 2009 at 7:23 pm (UTC-4)
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There was a tragedy in our family recently. Carol, who was about to take a photograph of my beer-bottle collection, backed into the shelves marked “Pennsylvania” and sent about 20 bottles into a tinkling death spiral to the floor. Two broke into irreparable shards. All was cozy in the den. Here’s where the saga began […]

Featherisms

Posted October 6th, 2008 at 8:49 pm (UTC-4)
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The other day I needed an aphorism, a nourishing nugget of wisdom, ideally couched in wry wit. I found some by the usual suspects: In this world, nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes, by the brilliant statesman Benjamin Franklin, who slipped apt adages into his yearly Poor Richard’s Almanack. Always […]

Ioway

Posted October 2nd, 2008 at 4:25 pm (UTC-4)
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A while ago I walked down the hall and sprung a word-association test on three colleagues, chosen strictly by whom I ran into first. “I’ll name a U.S. state,” I told them, “and you tell me the first word that pops into your head.” The state was Iowa, and here’s what they blurted out: “Fields.” […]

Ted Landphair

About

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

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