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Thoughtful Jeff; Windier City

Posted February 24th, 2011 at 1:54 pm (UTC-4)
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A few days shy of 210 years ago, on March 4, 1801, Thomas Jefferson became the first president of the United States to be inaugurated in Washington, D.C. The country’s first president, George Washington, had taken the oath of office in New York City, and John Adams, the second chief executive, swore fealty to the […]

Light and LOL

Posted February 17th, 2011 at 2:21 pm (UTC-4)

You’ve seen those cartoons in which a light bulb with rays bursting outward appears above someone’s head. It represents an idea, usually a new and brilliant one!  And sometimes we hear certain people described as “dim bulbs,” meaning they’re not terribly bright. But can such metaphors work once the gaudy, porcelain-white glow from today’s halogen, […]

Town Meetings and the Devil

Posted February 15th, 2011 at 2:17 pm (UTC-4)
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The image of New Englanders — the folks who live in America’s northeast corner — is one of people who don’t talk a lot. Stoic, quiet types who keep their thoughts to themselves. You’re lucky if you can get an old-time New Englander to say “ay-yup” or “nope.” But one day a year, the citizens […]

Out of Mothballs

Posted February 10th, 2011 at 12:27 pm (UTC-4)

Almost 13 years ago on a Sunday, I walked into a surreal urban setting that reminded me of one of those science-fiction movie scenes in which everything looks normal but there’s not a human being in sight. There were manicured lawns and old, beautifully kept red-brick buildings, something like a college campus without the students. […]

Generation ZZZ

Posted February 4th, 2011 at 4:11 pm (UTC-4)
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Last summer, I told you about a challenging retreat that some of us at VOA attended.  The subject was the “convergence” of many media in the world of journalism, and how we might keep up with it.  No longer are the consumers of our information relying on traditional newspapers, radio, and television alone.  Not only […]

The (Fill in Here) City

Posted February 2nd, 2011 at 3:36 pm (UTC-4)

After today I will, I think, have the “nickname thing” out of my system. I’ve told you about various state nicknames, such as “The Buckeye State” (Ohio) and “The Volunteer State” (Tennessee). And about the exuberant, often animal-related nicknames that colleges and universities have attached to their sports teams, such as “Wolverines” (University of Michigan) […]

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


February 2011
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