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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 […]

IX at 37

Posted June 26th, 2009 at 1:10 pm (UTC-4)
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“Time will show that this is the most important law in our culture over the last 40 years,” USA Today columnist Christine Brennan wrote recently. The most important? That must be some kind of law! Brennan is a sports columnist specifically, and like it or not — and there are plenty in both camps — […]

Culturating

Posted April 9th, 2009 at 7:18 pm (UTC-4)
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This time out, I want to explore some aspects of American culture. Not the flute-recital kind, though I’ve long thought of culture in that regard. Rather, a glance at several other aspects, some of which aren’t cultured at all. Pop culture’s not quite like this. Although, come to think of it, sometimes people in it […]

Little of This, Little of That

Posted April 1st, 2009 at 2:31 pm (UTC-4)
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Less than a year ago, I was privileged to interview John Hope Franklin, who was 93 but retained the sharp mind and sunny outlook that had marked his entire bountiful life. He was the distinguished scholar and pioneer of African-American studies who helped Americans rediscover, and rethink, the impact of slavery on the nation’s history. […]

Pressing Business

Posted March 6th, 2009 at 8:12 pm (UTC-4)
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One of my favorite movie quotes, from the 1954 classic “On the Waterfront,” is the lament by Terry Malloy, a washed-up prizefighter turned longshoreman: “I coulda been a contender.” Or as he pronounced it, a “contenduh.” Well, “I coulda been a librarian”! Librarians’ work is full of excitement and danger! And maybe I should have […]

MassConn Island

Posted January 30th, 2009 at 7:33 pm (UTC-4)
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After reading my last post, Geraldo in Brazil sent along some flattering comments and closed with a suggestion: “How about writing something about Massachusetts or the whole New England?” I’ve been meaning to, Geraldo. I was waiting for the place to thaw! You provided the impetus for me to do so. But I must say […]

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. […]

This, That, and the Other Thing

Posted December 30th, 2008 at 8:09 pm (UTC-4)
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There’s not much fresh and revealing to be said about the funk and gloom of the U.S. economy. Just as sunny optimism drove stock prices and retail spending ever higher as if the good times would surely never end, today there is a brooding sense, not of dread – for, as a woman from Michigan […]

N’Awlins

Posted October 17th, 2008 at 5:47 pm (UTC-4)
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It’s been 23 years since I left New Orleans, and still, to quote the Eddie De Lange and Louis Alter song of half a century ago, I know what it means to miss “New Orleens.” Oh yeah, I know. This old postcard view captures the Pontalba Apartments, built by Baroness Michaela Pontalba, who also convinced […]

Almost Heaven

Posted September 29th, 2008 at 5:01 pm (UTC-4)
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Coonskin caps were warm accessories in the cold southern mountains. The raccoon’s tail, hanging down one’s back, might have been a fashion statement. Back when Hector was a pup, as my mother used to say in one of her imponderable expressions, I went spelunking — cave exploring — for the one and only time, somewhere […]

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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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