All posts by Ted Landphair

Rough Journey on the Underground Railroad

Posted August 9th, 2012 at 6:21 pm (UTC-4)

I have just returned from a cross-country trip, west to east.  I flew to California to collect Carol, who had spent the better part of three months taking photographs in that vast and varied state, and it was time to drive her and her caravan’s worth of equipment home. We crossed through drought country — […]

Is Email at Death’s Door?

Posted July 27th, 2012 at 4:50 pm (UTC-4)

A lot of Internet tech talkers are preparing a coffin for electronic mail.  Some are even shoveling dirt on it.  And while it’s pretty obvious that email is not dead dead at age 41, it’s looking pretty pallid. Those of us who must swim through a daily email stream of spam, scams, advertising pitches and […]

Fantasy for Fun and Profit

Posted July 23rd, 2012 at 3:16 pm (UTC-4)
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It’s fantasy season in the United States. Now, of course, one can fantasize about being a princess or drift into reverie about winning the lottery, any time of year. I’m talking about a specialized kind of fantasy.  An ongoing, all-consuming, often dead-serious one that’s geared to different seasons.  An obsession, shared by an estimated 35 […]

Without Pierre

Posted July 16th, 2012 at 3:21 pm (UTC-4)
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Out west, in the land of Black Hills and jackrabbits and a mountainside carving of four famous American presidents, is a little state capital. It’s Pierre, South Dakota.  Pierre, like Pierre Cardin, the French fashion designer, you would think. Except that everybody in that rugged north-central state pronounces it PEER. This is curious, since the […]

Queen City of the Prairies

Posted July 9th, 2012 at 3:30 pm (UTC-4)
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Sedalia is a little town of 400,000 — ok, that’s just in August, when it hosts the Missouri State Fair at the third-largest fairground in the country.  Just 21,000 people live there the rest of the year.   It’s a town that has overcome daunting obstacles to become one of the nation’s most unlikely tourist destinations. […]

The Incredible Shrinking Newspaper

Posted June 29th, 2012 at 6:56 pm (UTC-4)
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If you’re a regular reader, you know a bit about New Orleans, the old, southern seaport where I once lived and that I still love.  When my family dwelled in that historic, dreamy place for five years in the 1980s, I had four daily rituals:   • drink strong chicory coffee, preferably accompanied by a […]

The (Long) Forgotten War

Posted June 21st, 2012 at 5:52 pm (UTC-4)

We call the Korean War of 1950-53 “The Forgotten War,” because most Americans were busy buying homes and cars and refrigerators and trying to forget World War II, which had ended a few years earlier. But much longer forgotten is a war whose 200th anniversary we’re marking this week. Not very rousingly, either, except in […]

Sustainable Sustainability

Posted June 12th, 2012 at 6:12 pm (UTC-4)

At least two of my VOA colleagues are all a-tizzy, in a scholarly sort of way, about the “Rio+20” conference coming next week in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It will mark the 20th anniversary of the historic United Nations Conference on Environment and Development — now commonly called the “Earth Summit.” There, thousands and thousands […]

The Incredible Saga of the Salton Sea

Posted June 5th, 2012 at 5:51 pm (UTC-4)

You’ve probably heard, and perhaps even dreamed, of the French Riviera: This, however, is the story of California’s Riviera on the Salton Sea, which turned out to be quite a few cuts below, and many, many a yacht short of, the Mediterranean playground: It’s hard to believe that such scenes as this abound in what […]

The Golden Gate Bridge — A Diamond Over the Rough

Posted May 25th, 2012 at 3:52 pm (UTC-4)

There’s a huge festival coming up this weekend in California.  That’s not breaking news, since California may hold more festivals than any other place on earth.  It throws them to honor artichokes, garlic, butter and eggs, olives, mustard, ducks, numerous ancestries, frogs that jump competitively, and swallows that fly back to an old mission from […]

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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