Showing Archived Posts

Ode to America’s Transportation Temples

Posted September 14th, 2012 at 7:44 pm (UTC-4)

I know, an ode is a lyric poem, something short and sometimes sung.  I’m no poet, I don’t do “short” well, and you don’t want me to sing. But this story is an encomium to majestic train terminals between which America’s passenger trains once traveled each day by the hundreds. I should point out that […]

In ‘Class’ — at Home

Posted February 16th, 2012 at 2:23 pm (UTC-4)
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This week, the Virginia General Assembly agreed to consider and later vote on a bill that would allow some students who had been barred from playing high-school sports to compete on the school teams. These kids are not lawbreakers, academically inferior, or lousy athletes.  In fact, they’re among the best and brightest, and in some […]

Man Caves and Woman Caves

Posted February 3rd, 2012 at 8:19 pm (UTC-4)
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I sort of hope you’re reading this before the big Super Bowl American football game on Sunday — an undeclared holiday in millions of U.S.  households.  But the points I’ll make hold, even after the game. There’s a sports-talk host whose work I like and follow, both on local radio in Washington and on his […]

Hog Culture

Posted January 31st, 2012 at 3:27 pm (UTC-4)

As I write this post, I am looking down at my mostly black mouse pad, which is emblazoned with stars, rippling U.S. flags, and a large emblem of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle company. And to my right is a photo of my four kids, taken on a day when they visited VOA some years ago.  It’s […]


Posted January 24th, 2012 at 5:15 pm (UTC-4)
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Perhaps you’re one of those dreamy older folks — or a dreamy young folk, for that matter — who fantasizes about a nice-and-easy retirement.  “I’d love to live on a houseboat,” you may have said, wistfully. You know: loll around all day on deck with a good book and a cool drink.  Toss a line […]

Help Me Help You Help Me

Posted January 17th, 2012 at 3:57 pm (UTC-4)

If you go on the Web site for — which, as you may well know, sells everything from pickles to garden hoses but built its reputation selling books — enter “self-help books” as a search term. First, you’ll see that there are 243,000 selections available, so the site helpfully divides the subject into categories, […]

Splitsville on the Net

Posted December 28th, 2011 at 2:56 pm (UTC-4)

Matchmaking and marriage services on the Internet have brought millions of Americans together.  But the Net has also become a helpful tool when people want marriages to END. Splitting from a spouse is rarely easy emotionally, but in many divorces, the Internet has made the process quicker, more efficient, and cheaper. Lindsey Short, Jr., a […]

The Internet: Ever With Us, Like It or Not

Posted December 13th, 2011 at 12:17 pm (UTC-4)
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It came as no surprise to me that 28 percent of Americans shopped online on “Cyber Monday,” the day after Thanksgiving weekend at the end of November. That was up from the 21-percent figure a year ago. More and more of us are concluding that it’s easier to cruise the Internet than to fight traffic […]

American High School

Posted December 2nd, 2011 at 4:46 pm (UTC-4)
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  I don’t know if there’s anything in the world that quite compares to a high school football game in the smaller towns of America. I went to Macomb, Illinois the other day and the first thing I noticed when we drove into town were signs saluting the local high school foot ball team, the […]

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 […]

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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