All posts by Ted Landphair

East is East, but Where’s the West?

Posted October 5th, 2011 at 10:55 am (UTC-4)

In “The Ballad of East and West,” British author Rudyard Kipling wrote what may be his most quoted line: “East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.”  Part of the line was borrowed by lyricist Ray Evans in an American song made popular by Dinah Shore in 1947.  “East is […]

Mostly Cloudy About the Cloud

Posted October 3rd, 2011 at 12:43 pm (UTC-4)

Everyone who railed at me for writing about something I know little about when I spouted off about Algebra II courses in school, sharpen the computer equivalent of your pencils. Every weekday morning when I fight with the alarm clock, I awaken to our local all-news station as well as a little sports talk, seeking […]

ALS Conquers, but Does Not Diminish, All

Posted September 27th, 2011 at 7:34 pm (UTC-4)

This is the story of a remarkable, and I mean remarkable, man named O.J. Brigance.  I will take some time to introduce him so that you fully grasp the enormity of the battle he is fighting. His enemy, vile and always victorious, is ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the cruel agent of death that took […]

Tilting at (Golf) Windmills

Posted September 21st, 2011 at 4:45 pm (UTC-4)

In the novel by Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote takes his lance and “tilts at windmills” as the saying goes, imagining their blades to be a giant’s arms. I can relate.  I, too, have tilted at windmills — and usually lost . . . on the putting green. Not one of those manicured, meticulously shaved […]

The Old, Under Foot

Posted September 19th, 2011 at 3:47 pm (UTC-4)

The other day, I was leaving work and fell into step with a colleague who toils in the VOA newsroom.  I hadn’t seen her for awhile, and I remarked, not very sensitively as I look back on it, that she looked awfully tired.  It was the job, I figured. Yes, to a degree, she said.  […]

English as MY Second Language?

Posted September 15th, 2011 at 1:59 pm (UTC-4)

Millions of times a day, Americans say THIS to each other: “Hey, what’s up?” “Nothin’ much. How YOU doin’?” “Fine.” These quick, casual greetings are as predictable as the sunrise. Imagine someone’s SHOCK if he asked “How ya doin’?” and you replied, “Well, not so good” and launched into a lengthy explanation as to why […]

Sports and the Black Dog

Posted September 7th, 2011 at 6:03 pm (UTC-4)

One night a couple of weeks ago, I was walking home from the Metro subway stop to my home, listening to a sports-talk radio station in my ear buds.  On came an hourly update that included news that a body had been discovered on the grounds of Mike Flanagan’s four-hectare country estate north of Baltimore, […]

Remembering the Twin Towers

Posted September 2nd, 2011 at 4:02 pm (UTC-4)

Like many Americans, I’ll never forget, not just the horror of watching hijacked airplanes fly straight into the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers in New York on the crystal-clear morning of September 11th, 2001, but also the immediate, defiant determination of the people of New York to rebuild the towers as quickly as humanly possible […]

Labor’s Marching Tunes

Posted August 31st, 2011 at 1:49 pm (UTC-4)

Next Monday is Labor Day in the United States.  The holiday dates to 1894, when the nation was emerging from a long and violent railroad strike at a time when trains were Americans’ principal means of long-distance travel. Then and for decades thereafter, music was a powerful tool that union organizers used to call attention […]

What’s Next, Pestilence?

Posted August 31st, 2011 at 1:04 pm (UTC-4)

If the EARTHQUAKE wasn’t bad enough, along came Hurricane Irene, which wasn’t a big deal in our parts, but managed to knock a tree into our house and cut power just as I was fixing to write my next blog, about Labor Day and labor songs.  I’ve finally got the juice to do so, and […]

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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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