Our Turn At This Earth

Thursdays at 6:44 p.m. during All Things Considered
  • Hosted by Julene Bair

Every week in Our Turn At This Earth, author Julene Bair ponders the questions she began asking as a young woman working beside her father as a fourth generation High Plains farmer: How do we honor our families’ past while also honoring the land and water beneath our feet? How do we ensure that our children and grandchildren will have a future during their turn at this earth?

Julene Bair is the author of One Degree West and The Ogallala Road. For links to her books and other essays visit www.julenebair.com.  

Our Turn at This Earth is a production of High Plains Public Radio, written and voiced by Julene Bair and produced by Angie Haflich. 

Our Turn At This Earth: Leaving Goodland

Nov 30, 2017
Ammodramus/Wikimedia Commons

My Kansas hometown was straightforwardly named for what surrounded it: good land. I grew up on some of that good, if somewhat hillier than prime, land, about fifteen miles beyond town as the crow flew, through sunny skies over sunlit plains, up toward the Colorado and Nebraska borders.

Our Turn At This Earth: Slow Migration

Nov 23, 2017
Julene Bair

They Came to Stay - that is the title of three big history volumes recording the stories of the first settlers of Sherman County, Kansas. I grew up basking in the pride of that phrase. Proof of my own family’s long past in Sherman County could be seen in the crumbled remains of the sod house where my mother’s older siblings had been born. In 1919 my grandfather built the big, broad, two-story farmhouse we lived in. Clearly, he believed that his family would stay on that land for generations to come. Why else go to all that effort?

Our Turn At This Earth: Plains Icons

Nov 16, 2017
Patrick Bolduan

Every few years, I obey the compulsion, as instinctive as a migratory bird’s, to return to the home nest. Last time I visited the northwest Kansas farm I grew up on, I parked my car by the pole that used to bring electricity to our house. The electricity it brought now kept a pivot sprinkler clocking through the ghost of the farmstead my mother’s family had settled in 1906. As usual, I walked down the rows of ankle-high corn, searching for artifacts I might recognize.

Our Turn At This Earth: An Introduction

Nov 9, 2017
CCO Creative Commons

“I grew up on the mild-green, short-tufted buffalo grass prairies of northwestern Kansas.” That is the first sentence in my first book, One Degree West. Not all people define themselves by their childhood past, but still today, if asked to explain who I am, I would begin there—on that western Kansas farm, under a broad sky on the dry sunlit plains, in a family who never had to question who we were, because we were directly connected to the source of our identity.

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