Showing Archived Posts

Making a House a . . . Museum!

Posted October 26th, 2012 at 4:38 pm (UTC-4)
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At first blush, we think of museums as illustrious storehouses of art and artifacts such as the Smithsonian Institution’s complex of 19 scientific, historical and art museums on Washington’s National Mall. But in ever-increasing numbers, curious “cultural tourists” are also poking their heads into much more modest and personal houses of treasures. Houses, literally. “House […]

The Golden Gate Bridge — A Diamond Over the Rough

Posted May 25th, 2012 at 3:52 pm (UTC-4)

There’s a huge festival coming up this weekend in California.  That’s not breaking news, since California may hold more festivals than any other place on earth.  It throws them to honor artichokes, garlic, butter and eggs, olives, mustard, ducks, numerous ancestries, frogs that jump competitively, and swallows that fly back to an old mission from […]

The National Road

Posted October 14th, 2011 at 11:29 am (UTC-4)
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Recently I told you about one of our meandering old national highways — U.S. Route 11, which winds from just below Montreal in Canada all the way down to New Orleans, near the Gulf of Mexico. And it got me thinking about THE National Road.  The original one. It was our first interstate highway of […]

The (Concrete) French Connection

Posted October 7th, 2011 at 9:49 am (UTC-4)

About 20 years ago during a short stint in management here at the Voice of America, I sent a superb reporter named Bill Torrey on a journey that I longed to make myself.  As it turns out, my photographer-wife Carol M. Highsmith and I would later retrace a good deal of his route, to our […]

Monument to Tashunka Witko

Posted March 3rd, 2011 at 1:50 pm (UTC-4)

You might be interested in a progress report on what many believe is the largest and grandest stone carving ever attempted — if you can call blasting out of solid rock a mountain-sized figure of a man on horseback a “carving.” It’s appearing, slowly, methodically, but unmistakably, in the Black Hills of South Dakota, just […]

First Beach

Posted January 28th, 2011 at 3:13 pm (UTC-4)

America has a First Family, a First Lady, a First State, the First Man on the Moon . . . and a First Beach. Or more precisely, its first beach resort, which is still going strong. I should pause before identifying it to tell you why in the world I’m talking about beaches when it’s […]

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, […]

Tinnissee, Y’all

Posted January 17th, 2011 at 5:01 pm (UTC-4)
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I haven’t written much about my father. That’s because I didn’t know him very well. He split when I was four. That’s a whole story for another time. But I spent a little time with him late in his life, after he had remarried, to a lovely retired schoolteacher whom Carol and I liked very […]

The Real Bedford Falls

Posted December 20th, 2010 at 4:27 pm (UTC-4)
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A Christmas tradition in millions of American households is to curl up in front of a television set — and ideally a fireplace filled with crackling logs — and watch an old, black-and-white movie that never fails to rekindle the warm good feelings of the holiday. The 1946 movie classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” put […]

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 […]

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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