Showing Archived Posts

Our Everlasting Civil War

Posted March 24th, 2011 at 8:49 am (UTC-4)

The other night I watched actor-director Maximillian Schell’s fascinating 1984 docudrama about Marlene Dietrich, the glamorous (on-screen), reclusive (off it), German-born femme fatale who mesmerized cinema and cabaret audiences but lived her final years cloistered in a Paris apartment. A pragmatic woman utterly devoid of romantic reverie despite her public persona, Dietrich told Schell, over […]

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 […]

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. […]

Head Scratchers

Posted January 26th, 2011 at 7:37 pm (UTC-4)
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Normally I’m an organized Virgo of the sort who might alphabetize the soup cans in his pantry. So when I travel across country or just around town on the subway, you’d think I’d keep a neat notebook at hand, ready to jot down odd thoughts as they come to me. I have no such notebook, […]

Lessons from Long Ago

Posted January 24th, 2011 at 4:10 pm (UTC-4)
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If you’re into the U.S. Civil War of the 1860s, this is your year in heaven. It’s the 150th anniversary of the beginning of that brother-against-brother conflict in which more than 600,000 Americans died, many quite miserably in hand-to-hand battle. For the sesquicentennial year, a number of Civil War scholars are trotting out new books […]

Memories in Stone

Posted January 14th, 2011 at 12:13 pm (UTC-4)

Whenever I get the chance — and it isn’t often enough — I’ll take my lunch hour across the street from our VOA offices, briskly walking as much of the Washington National Mall as time and weather will allow. So briskly, and so preoccupied by matters at work or the sports conversations streaming into the […]

The Funky Fifty

Posted January 10th, 2011 at 4:45 pm (UTC-4)
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I’m a Buckeye. Carol is a Gopher. A buckeye is a nut, so I guess that fits me, but Carol is assuredly not a buck-toothed rodent. Yet, since I’m from Ohio — the “Buckeye State” — and Carol’s a native of the “Gopher State” — Minnesota — you’d be safe in calling us by our […]

Pass the Tea

Posted December 15th, 2010 at 8:13 pm (UTC-4)
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As you see, I’m posting this on the eve of December 16th. And what’s so special about December 16th? It’s a big Tea Party day. Not the loose confederation of small-government, low-tax advocates who will be sending 30 or so rambunctious representatives to Congress come January and who are making all that political noise across […]


Posted December 3rd, 2010 at 6:12 pm (UTC-4)
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Out in the Maryland countryside, close by the Potomac River an hour west of Washington, D.C., lies a drowsy little town called Sharpsburg — population 666.  Nobody except its townfolk and nearby farmers would pay much attention to it were it not for a meadow outside town that experienced the bloodiest single day in American […]


Posted November 29th, 2010 at 2:31 pm (UTC-4)

A sure way to get a giggle out of your young child is to challenge him or her to SPELL “Mississippi” — and fast! M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I.    M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I. It’s actually not as hard as it looks, once you get the rhythm of it. The Old South state of Mississippi, not the lazy “Old Man River” Mississippi, on […]

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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