Showing Archived Posts


Posted November 2nd, 2012 at 2:58 pm (UTC-4)

I envy the poets and lyricists who write good-byes succinctly and memorably.  Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow.  Happy Trails to You.  Thanks for the Memories, and the like. Four years and 268 postings ago, I dove into the blogosphere by introducing myself and my Americana running buddy, my wife Carol M. Highsmith, whose photos have […]

So You Want to be Famous!

Posted April 12th, 2012 at 5:19 pm (UTC-4)

As I watch the world go by — a passing parade that includes a lot of otherwise rational Americans, I wonder why some people do the outlandish things they do.  Swallow squirming jungle bugs on reality-TV shows.  Sing or dance badly on stage until someone drags them off.  Jump off a bridge to within a […]

Cures for What Ails You

Posted February 24th, 2012 at 1:00 pm (UTC-4)
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I’m old enough to remember, not fondly, mustard plasters applied to my chest during my childhood bouts with the “croup,” and Vicks Vapo-Rub spread beneath a warm humidifier to help keep my perpetually clogged sinuses clear.  So I was filled with a kind of warped nostalgia when someone gave me a little booklet at the […]

Looking at Leaping

Posted January 20th, 2012 at 8:01 pm (UTC-4)
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So you just noticed that this is a Leap Year in most of the world, and you want to know everything there is to know about this phenomenon.  You have leapt to the right place. Actually, Leap Year isn’t exactly a phenomenon, since its existence was quite planned, and it comes around predictably once every […]

Strange Places I’ve Been

Posted November 16th, 2011 at 12:30 pm (UTC-4)
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As you know if you consult this space regularly, I love geography, travel, and words.  Especially when writing about America. A good friend of mine, Walker Merryman, whose personality fits his surname, wrote recently to tell me he, too, has been a lot of places of late.  Why, he said, he’d been in Cognito, but […]

Quakin’ but Unshaken

Posted August 24th, 2011 at 3:46 pm (UTC-4)
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Before I begin a brief riff about the 5.8-level earthquake that rattled Washington and much of the American East Coast yesterday, let me assure those of you who have experienced severe quakes, up to and including the loss of life and homes around you, that I realize earthquakes are no laughing matter in much of […]

Math, Smath

Posted April 29th, 2011 at 7:57 am (UTC-4)

Recently the Washington Post published an article that carried interesting mathematical news. I know, you didn’t think there could BE such a thing, so boring is mathematics. But there’s news, all right: Many states are now requiring high-school students, no matter how mystifying they find numbers and formulas, to take not only basic math but […]

Clowning Around

Posted March 28th, 2011 at 8:34 am (UTC-4)
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In the unlikely event that you heard, five years ago, that there was a fascinating clown museum — that’s right, a museum and hall of fame about clowns — in the Midwest city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I certainly hope you didn’t rush there to see it. That’s because it existed only in packing boxes in […]

Everyone’s a V.I.P. at Work!

Posted March 11th, 2011 at 3:22 pm (UTC-4)

Next month, bosses across America will observe “Administrative Professionals Day” by taking their administrative professionals out to lunch.  Some will buy their “administrative assistants” flower arrangements for the occasion. The day’s official theme (I kid you not): “This year, celebrate all office professionals.” Talk about catchy! Everyone’s an office professional.  “I’m not a secretary,” one […]

The (Fill in Here) City

Posted February 2nd, 2011 at 3:36 pm (UTC-4)

After today I will, I think, have the “nickname thing” out of my system. I’ve told you about various state nicknames, such as “The Buckeye State” (Ohio) and “The Volunteer State” (Tennessee). And about the exuberant, often animal-related nicknames that colleges and universities have attached to their sports teams, such as “Wolverines” (University of Michigan) […]

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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