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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 Hurried, Harried Child

Posted October 5th, 2012 at 5:55 pm (UTC-4)

Many studies have concluded that the idyllic American childhood — wherever it existed in middle- and upper-class homes, or in our literature and imagination — is a thing of the past. The kind of carefree childhood in which kids mostly minded their manners and their parents, read books without being assigned to, and whiled away […]

Where Ships Go to Die

Posted September 28th, 2012 at 1:09 pm (UTC-4)

It’s a good thing that U.S. warships are inanimate objects and don’t have feelings.  When their seagoing days are done, the end for most of them is not pretty.   Now it’s true that a few are sold to friendly foreign governments and are still sailing the deep blue seas.   And 48 U.S. Navy […]

Those Magnificent Brothers in Their Flying Machine

Posted September 21st, 2012 at 6:00 pm (UTC-4)
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It’s hard to pinpoint Washington, D.C.’s, No. 1 tourist attraction.  But somewhere near the top of the list has to be the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum, which is always jammed with tourists and even has a huge annex, open to the public, out in the boonies near Dulles International Airport. If you […]

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 […]

PLEASE Join!! Service Clubs Plead for Members

Posted August 30th, 2012 at 6:40 pm (UTC-4)
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America’s most famous traveler — besides Carol and me, I say with a wink — was actually a Frenchman: Alexis de Tocqueville.  He rode all over the young United States in the 1830s and produced a remarkable study of the American people. What amazed this young political thinker more than anything else was the influence […]

‘Boroughing’ in to New York City

Posted August 23rd, 2012 at 11:59 am (UTC-4)

Writing about Ellis Island last time, I mentioned that the U.S. Supreme Court ended years of controversy over exactly where the old immigration station — now a museum — officially sits.  New York Harbor, of course.  In New Jersey waters, not New York’s, it turns out. Which got me thinking about another, nearby saga of […]

Rough Journey on the Underground Railroad

Posted August 9th, 2012 at 6:21 pm (UTC-4)

I have just returned from a cross-country trip, west to east.  I flew to California to collect Carol, who had spent the better part of three months taking photographs in that vast and varied state, and it was time to drive her and her caravan’s worth of equipment home. We crossed through drought country — […]

Is Email at Death’s Door?

Posted July 27th, 2012 at 4:50 pm (UTC-4)

A lot of Internet tech talkers are preparing a coffin for electronic mail.  Some are even shoveling dirt on it.  And while it’s pretty obvious that email is not dead dead at age 41, it’s looking pretty pallid. Those of us who must swim through a daily email stream of spam, scams, advertising pitches and […]

Fantasy for Fun and Profit

Posted July 23rd, 2012 at 3:16 pm (UTC-4)
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It’s fantasy season in the United States. Now, of course, one can fantasize about being a princess or drift into reverie about winning the lottery, any time of year. I’m talking about a specialized kind of fantasy.  An ongoing, all-consuming, often dead-serious one that’s geared to different seasons.  An obsession, shared by an estimated 35 […]

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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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