Showing Archived Posts

Your Life, Written Down

Posted July 29th, 2011 at 6:49 pm (UTC-4)

When it comes to autobiographies and memoirs, you think of famous or eccentric people.  But in thousands of senior centers, churches, synagogues, and night-school classes, ordinary Americans are daring to learn, and write about, their lives.   And perhaps why Iris DeMent was wrong when she sang, in one of her mournful mountain songs, “My life, […]

Re-Creations Not Going, Going but GONE

Posted July 26th, 2011 at 7:01 pm (UTC-4)

Nat Allbright died last week in a Virginia hospital at age 87.  Unless you’re an American over 60, an ardent baseball fan, and a bit of a history buff, you’ve probably never heard of him. In his day, Nat Allbright was a legend — a craftsman, an artist, a master teller of baseball tales so […]

Riding the Old Roads — and Reminiscing

Posted July 22nd, 2011 at 2:48 pm (UTC-4)

There was once a Golden Age of automobile travel in the United States, when driving seemed carefree and scenic, and two-lane highways snaked across the countryside and right through the hearts of towns and cities. No slick “bypasses” in those days.  No siree.  The whole point was to funnel travelers and their dollars right past […]

Here’s to the Troubadours

Posted July 20th, 2011 at 6:18 pm (UTC-4)

I’ve been downloading some of my favorite folk music to my iPod, a sicknasty* example of bridging the generation gap, if you ask me. [sicknasty: a good thing, like, you know, extremely amazing] In these days of indie, emo, screamo/post-hardcore, alternative-pink, goth punk, and grindcore musical genres — and I use the term “musical” gingerly […]

‘Most Unusual and Surrealistic’ Central Park

Posted July 12th, 2011 at 5:28 pm (UTC-4)
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The quote in my title is from the Bulgarian-born artist Christo, who, with his wife Jeanne-Claude, erected 7,500 colorful “gates” draped in billowing saffron-orange fabric in New York City’s Central Park over 16 days in the dead of winter in 2005.  Their work was surrealistic, too, as you see: At 341 hectares (843 acres), Central […]

Freedom Isn’t Free — Or Always Pretty

Posted July 7th, 2011 at 1:27 pm (UTC-4)

Children’s first exposure to the freedoms that Americans cherish sometimes comes not from kindly parents or wise teachers, but from an obnoxious jerk insulting someone or cursing at something.  Ranting till the veins bulge in his neck. If confronted, the loudmouth snaps back, “Yeah, well, it’s a free country.” Indeed it is, as we reminded […]

25 and Counting: Thoughts on a Worklife

Posted July 1st, 2011 at 4:17 pm (UTC-4)

The other morning, VOA’s Central News Division chief handed me a certificate, “suitable for framing” as they say, that noted a milestone — hard evidence that careers are marathons, not sprints.  It, and a handsome eagle pin that went with it, acknowledged my reaching 25 years of government service, all of it here at VOA. […]

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


July 2011
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