All posts by Ted Landphair

Landphair for President

Posted March 8th, 2011 at 1:52 pm (UTC-4)
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I like the sound of that.  “Landphair for President”! I can visualize the campaign buttons and slogans: Ted in ‘12 Let’s Be Led by Ted Theo’s for Meo For our Land, a Phair Deal Steady Teddy I Adore Theodore Speak Loudly for Teddy (a work-in-progress reference to the first Teddy president: man’s man Theodore Roosevelt, […]

Monument to Tashunka Witko

Posted March 3rd, 2011 at 1:50 pm (UTC-4)

You might be interested in a progress report on what many believe is the largest and grandest stone carving ever attempted — if you can call blasting out of solid rock a mountain-sized figure of a man on horseback a “carving.” It’s appearing, slowly, methodically, but unmistakably, in the Black Hills of South Dakota, just […]

Fat Tuesday

Posted March 1st, 2011 at 9:45 am (UTC-4)
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Next Tuesday, New Orleans, Louisiana, will officially shut down for the day.  It has nothing to do with a budget crisis or, let us hope, any sort of calamity.  The occasion is a street party, the biggest in America and one that happens every year. It’s Mardi Gras — “Fat Tuesday,” translated from the French […]

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) […]

Mama — and Papa — Grizzlies

Posted January 31st, 2011 at 6:40 pm (UTC-4)
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Most likely, I don’t have to tell you who Sarah Palin is. The former Alaska governor and unsuccessful 2008 U.S. vice-presidential candidate, who is now a prominent voice in the conservative Tea Party movement, is one of America’s most famous — and controversial – women. Sorry, I just told you who Sarah Palin is. Some […]

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


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