Showing Archived Posts

The Kwanzaa Bridge

Posted December 17th, 2010 at 3:01 pm (UTC-4)
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Early winter in America is a time of religious commemorations, including Christian Christmas and Jewish Hanukkah. But there’s one equally thoughtful, though entirely secular, celebration that African Americans observe this time of year, over and above any observance of Christmas, Hanukkah, or the Muslim holiday of Ashura. It’s Kwanzaa, which Americans of African descent mark […]

Bayou Country

Posted November 5th, 2010 at 1:11 pm (UTC-4)
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You may have had a chance to visit one of those restaurants or clubs in which the owner proudly displays photos or cartoons on the wall, depicting the famous people who’ve preceded you there. Usually they’re autographed by the celeb, or sometimes just the signatures and a little message are scrawled there. Well, I’ll have […]

Smart Towns, Clueless Kids

Posted October 15th, 2010 at 4:13 pm (UTC-4)
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Americans love lists and rankings — the Top 10 this, the Hottest that, the Best and Worst something else — and many magazines and Web sites get their highest readership when they publish a list. CNNMoney.com, for instance, recently dug through U.S. Census data and compiled a list of the 10 metro areas with the […]

Flickertailing

Posted October 1st, 2010 at 5:05 pm (UTC-4)
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  Even Americans who travel a lot often manage to miss one or two U.S. states.  Perhaps distant but unforgettable Alaska or Hawaii, but not usually both.  Quite often one of the last states on our wish list is North Dakota, our uppermost Plains state, hard by two equally obscure Canadian prairie provinces.  It could […]

On the Road Again

Posted September 24th, 2010 at 6:39 pm (UTC-4)
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Perhaps you’ve read Jack Kerouac’s coming-of-age novel On the Road or seen one of the classic movies about road trips across America: “Easy Rider,” “Thelma and Louise,” “Sideways,” or the comedies “National Lampoon’s Family Vacation” and “Planes, Trains and Automobiles.” These stories offer a glimpse of the variety, vastness, and grandeur of the American landscape.  […]

Happy Birthday, Whatsyourname

Posted August 26th, 2010 at 12:48 pm (UTC-4)
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Years ago, the late U.S. senator from Wisconsin, William Proxmire — well, he wasn’t the late senator back then — got good political mileage out of presenting his annual “Golden Fleece” awards to public officials who, in his view, wasted taxpayer money. Winners included the United States Army for funding a study about how to […]

What’s in a (Hyphenated) Name?

Posted August 19th, 2010 at 9:34 am (UTC-4)
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Who am I? That’s the kind of question one usually asks while in the midst of existential angst. But every year, untroubled American women pose the question as well. Women rather than men, because we men are born Theodore W. Landphair or John H. Jones and remain Landphairs and Joneses the rest of our lives. […]

Beantown

Posted December 29th, 2009 at 8:20 pm (UTC-4)
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For some reason, this is the time of year that I think of Boston, the unofficial capital of America’s northeast New England region. That’s odd in a way, since I’ve never spent the holidays there, and now’s when the gray skies and snow and slush set in for the winter. One memory that I have […]

South Dakodak

Posted September 24th, 2009 at 4:41 pm (UTC-4)
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If you’re like me, you sometimes look back at an earlier period in your nation’s history and think, “Those were the days!”  We romanticize the slower pace and what today seems like their relative innocence — even if reality was something else again.  I’ve already told you that I sometimes linger over old photographs — […]

The Plain People

Posted August 13th, 2009 at 7:27 pm (UTC-4)
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Carol and I recently visited the land of the Plain People in Holmes County, Ohio, just down the road from the ordinary, middle-sized cities of Akron and Canton. These neatly tied shocks of barley epitomize the look of the countryside in Ohio’s Amish country This is “Amish country,” the largest, if not richest, concentration of […]

Ted Landphair

About

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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