Showing Archived Posts

Wit Watching at Wintzell’s

Posted November 9th, 2011 at 6:59 pm (UTC-4)
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For 73 years, one of the must-visit locations in the moss-draped city of Mobile, Alabama, has been Wintzell’s Oyster House.  And not just for the “oysters fried, stewed, or nude.” Nude, as in raw, served on the half-shell. While some restaurant owners display celebrity photographs and autographs on their walls, Wintzell’s has hundreds of little […]

Remembering 1942, Sort Of

Posted October 19th, 2011 at 2:43 pm (UTC-4)

Last month I got a modest but much-appreciated birthday gift — appreciated because the giver knows I love brief historical adventures.  The gift was a booklet, entitled Remember When . . . 1942. That’s my birth year, back in the Pleistocene Epoch. The publisher, Seek Publishing, makes editions for every year from 1920 through 2001. […]

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.  […]

More On Memoirs

Posted August 5th, 2011 at 3:23 pm (UTC-4)
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Each Monday morning, VOA’s features staff gathers to rattle off the compelling stories on which we’re working or hope to work at some point in our lives. When it was my turn last week, I mentioned that I was going to write about the wrenching, sometimes scary, process of examining one’s own life through words […]

Your Life, Written Down

Posted July 29th, 2011 at 6:49 pm (UTC-4)

When it comes to autobiographies and memoirs, you think of famous or eccentric people.  But in thousands of senior centers, churches, synagogues, and night-school classes, ordinary Americans are daring to learn, and write about, their lives.   And perhaps why Iris DeMent was wrong when she sang, in one of her mournful mountain songs, “My life, […]

The Last Days of Conversation

Posted May 16th, 2011 at 4:15 pm (UTC-4)
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The “Ted Landphair’s America” blog that provoked the most feedback was “Math, Smath,” about the pluses and minuses — if you’ll forgive the pun — of requiring high-school students to take Advanced Algebra. Some of the replies broadened the issue into a discussion about modern education.  They were illuminating, and I particularly want to call […]

Oh Happy Day

Posted May 12th, 2011 at 1:44 pm (UTC-4)

Money is often said to be capitalist America’s brass ring.  But judging by a recent spate of media stories, I believe that it’s happiness instead. There’s an old saying that “money doesn’t buy happiness,” but those who say it are usually quick to add that a few bucks in your pocket make the road there […]

No Middle, America

Posted April 20th, 2011 at 3:57 pm (UTC-4)

You probably missed the New York Times photograph that showed a revealing picture of New Yorkers riding into work on commuter trains.  The photographer stood behind a long series of rows, three seats to a row.  In the photo, every window and aisle seat — and not ONE middle seat — is occupied.  The train […]


Posted January 19th, 2011 at 3:36 pm (UTC-4)
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Tuesday morning, I skated to work. Not on blades, and not along some designated trail. I slip-slided in, to borrow a phrase from the Paul Simon song, after freezing rain turned Washington, D.C., into a hockey rink. “Miracle on Ice” would describe my commute, if that title hadn’t already been taken. I didn’t skate the […]

Aardvarks on the March!

Posted January 12th, 2011 at 2:42 pm (UTC-4)
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I’m on a bit of a nickname kick, as you know if you read my last posting about nicknames given to the 50 U.S. states. Some things actually cry out for catchy names. You couldn’t very well talk about a college sports team as “that Harvard squad” or “the Texas A&M team” or “those Clemson […]

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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