Showing Archived Posts

The Hurried, Harried Child

Posted October 5th, 2012 at 5:55 pm (UTC-4)

Many studies have concluded that the idyllic American childhood — wherever it existed in middle- and upper-class homes, or in our literature and imagination — is a thing of the past. The kind of carefree childhood in which kids mostly minded their manners and their parents, read books without being assigned to, and whiled away […]

PLEASE Join!! Service Clubs Plead for Members

Posted August 30th, 2012 at 6:40 pm (UTC-4)
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America’s most famous traveler — besides Carol and me, I say with a wink — was actually a Frenchman: Alexis de Tocqueville.  He rode all over the young United States in the 1830s and produced a remarkable study of the American people. What amazed this young political thinker more than anything else was the influence […]

Whither the American Dream?

Posted March 23rd, 2012 at 6:16 pm (UTC-4)

America is, or has been, one big Horatio Alger Story. If you’re under 85 years old, you may never have heard of Horatio.  He was a real person — an author, who is often confused with his characters: teenage boys, mostly, who overcome poverty and other obstacles to lead happy and productive lives. Alger wrote […]

Scout’s Honor

Posted December 23rd, 2011 at 12:00 pm (UTC-4)

Not too long ago, I visited the old southern city of Savannah, Georgia.   It’s a fairy tale place, whose seven large city squares, dating to the American Revolution, are shaded by giant oaks draped with Spanish moss. And Savannah is even more special to millions of America’s women and girls.  It was in this hot […]

Obama Land in Chicago

Posted November 22nd, 2011 at 12:28 pm (UTC-4)
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  I went to Barack Obama’s favorite diner, Valois, before I left Chicago.  It was too cool — there were photos of him all over the place, smiling alongside the owner, and a big poster of his “favorite things to order.” Apparently bacon, eggs, and pancakes were one of his choice combos. The waiter,  John, […]

Ever ‘Green’

Posted November 21st, 2011 at 7:35 pm (UTC-4)
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If you’re like me, you get lots of stories, jokes, anecdotes, offbeat videos and the like in your email inbox. The other day, a genial acquaintance sent me a tale that, others tell me, has made the Internet rounds for years.  But it was the first I’d seen it. I’ve fluffed it up a little, […]

Polygamists in Wisconsin

Posted November 16th, 2011 at 4:43 pm (UTC-4)

I drove up to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to meet a polygamous family: Rich and his three wives, Julie, Brandy, and Angela, and five kids plus a dog. By U.S. standards, that’s quite a big household and it definitely felt that way. Kids were running all over, showing off in front of our cameras. The yard was […]

Freedom, Expressed

Posted October 24th, 2011 at 12:58 pm (UTC-4)
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Before I begin, a quick note:  Carol and I will be off on another of our madcap excursions across the country — or part of it — for two weeks or so.  One the places we hope to visit is New Orleans, which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  I believe it has come […]

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 […]

Flash Mobs, Jim Thorpe, and Mighty Little Leo

Posted August 12th, 2011 at 6:48 pm (UTC-4)
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There’s an amusing commercial on U.S. television these days — one of those that’s so clever, you remember everything except the name of the sponsor. It’s shot in a busy train station.  A nice-looking fellow in a trench coat walks forward while glancing furtively at the overhead terminal clock.  Tick-tick, it progresses. At the precise […]

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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