HPPR Arts, Culture & History

Native American history
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Winston Corfield

In this week's installment of Agland, Amy Bickel and Kathy Hanks give an update on a young farmer who was severely injured last harvest season.  The man was not expected to live, but life had other plans, and he's made it back just in time to help bring in this year's crops.  

Hoarding isn't confined to city limits.  The duo explore the phenomenon happening down on the farm.


In this episode of Agland, it's about the State Fair Banana Bread Queen, a ghost town trying to come back to life, a fall harvest update, and the most beautiful Kansas places to visit in the fall.


Due to its central location between Forts Leavenworth and Wallace, Hays, Kansas, hosted numerous famous military men who earned their gold stripes and leaves fighting the Mexican- American War, Civil War, and Indian Wars.

These soldiers left their mark on our landscape in the names of forts, towns, parks, streets, and university buildings.  We would have forgotten one such site except for its mention in the letters and diaries of Albert and Jennie Barnitz, later collected and edited into Life in Custer’s 7th Cavalry by historian Robert Utley.

Kansas Artist Recreates a Masterpiece on a Grand Scale

Oct 5, 2015
Minneapolis Institute of Arts

If you’re traveling to Minneapolis by plane any time soon, don’t forget to look out the window. As reported by inhabitat.com, Kansas artist Stan Herd has recreated Vincent van Gogh’s Olive Trees painting on a massive scale in a Minnesota farm field. The artist used native plants to create the image, and the result covers an area of 1.2 acres.


Once upon a long time ago, children played on asphalt or gravel playgrounds filled with tall metal swing sets filled with finger pinching chains and towering slides with two thin rails to guide a youngster up a dozen rickety steps. Those chains and rails froze little hands in December through February and roasted those same palms July through September.

A Texas Storyteller Laments Change

Oct 2, 2015
QuesterMark / Flickr Creative Commons

Texas raconteur WF Strong recently lamented changing times in Texas on the NPR newsmagazine Texas Standard. The former Fulbright Scholar noted that we used to stay in the truck to get gas and go inside to eat. Now we get out to pump gas and sit in the truck to eat. Only one in five Texans are rural anymore. Small farms are disappearing, replaced by commercial farms where tractors never sleep. Today teenagers are happier cruising the net than cruising around town, opined Strong.

Lucas Foglia / Courtesy of Fredericks & Freiser Gallery, New York

In 2009 the photographer Lucas Foglia got lost in the Western wilds of Wyoming. For Foglia, who was raised on Long Island, the West was bigger and harsher than any landscape he’d ever seen. In a piece in The New York Times, Foglia talked about a realization he had. Folks in the West, he noticed, take care of each other; the unforgiving landscape requires it.

Megan Verlee / CPR News

A half-dozen horseback riders traveled back into the 1840s last week on the Comanche National Grasslands. Their mission: to spend three days living like the frontiersmen who traveled this country more than 150 years ago. Their destination was the same as many of the travelers they were emulating: Bent’s Old Fort on the Arkansas River. As reported by Colorado Public Radio, the riders were on their way to the 2015 Fur Trade Symposium, which was being held at the fort.


Despite the fact I had a flu shot the minute the doctor made them available, one of those germs invaded, took up residence in my ears, lungs, and sinuses, and has hung around with his buddies far too long. I’ve taken antibiotics and added a few homeopathic treatments to see if I can send this invader packing. Some of my self-care, which includes slathering Vicks on my feet and wearing cotton socks to bed, has offered comfort but not a cure. Several sympathetic friends recommended taking elderberry elixir, and one provided a bottle of his homebrew. When I looked up elderberries, it appears science agrees that syrups made from this native fruit have successfully evicted this nasty attacker and its accompanying symptoms.

Stephen Graham Jones

This week, the third and final finalist for the 2015 Texas Observer Short Story Contest was posted on the Observer’s website. The story, “Hands Moving Through Hair” by Rebecca Wurtz, joins the two previous selections, K.C.

A Texas Legend Goes Back to His Panhandle Roots

Sep 24, 2015
Eric Frommer / Flickr/ Texas Standard

Texas music legend Joe Ely is going back to his roots—though it might be said he never left them. After some 45 years in the business, the influential singer-songwriter is releasing an ode to his home, reports NPR newsmagazine Texas Standard. The album, entitled Panhandle Rambler, is a paean to Ely’s native home on the South Plains.  Ely was born in Amarillo and raised in Lubbock. The singer hopped trains as a teenager, and says he never really appreciated the Panhandle until he left. But he always came back to the flatlands.

Most of us think of him as Newly O’Brien from the long running television series Gunsmoke. But, Buck Taylor first love was art says his wife Goldie. Taylor’s art is on exhibit along with a private collection of memorabilia from movies he’s been involved in during the Wild West Fest at the Boot Hill Museum in Dodge City. The exhibit features watercolor western scenes, images from Gunsmoke and Tombstone, as well as movie scripts and outfits. People are loving the traveling showcase says museum director Lara Brehm. She says most of the visitors are baby boomers who grew up watching Gunsmoke. Taylor will be in attendance at the reception being held at Boot Hill Museum Friday evening.

My August Kitchen

Sep 23, 2015

    One thing that keeps me in the annual gardening go-round  is the idea of growing and creating good food for a good cause.  This week we'll visit about the incredible amount of work that goes into dealing with the harvests of August, and the friendship and camaraderie of canning that all that work creates.


It’s clear Americans have a love affair with stuff. Even the tiniest towns have entrepreneurs who build and rent storage units to families and individuals who own more than they can keep at home. Reality TV caters to this crowd with shows such as American Pickers, Hoarders, and Junk Gypsies. Northern Kansas communities that border historic 36 capitalize on this popular trend each September. The annual Highway 36 Treasure Hunt focuses on both buying and selling goods that might include ornate doors and their hardware, pre-war metal wheels that didn’t get collected in the iron drives during WW II, antique furniture, dishes, and glassware, hunting and fishing gear, and oddities too good to throw away.

Slideshow: "Aud" to Receive a Makeover

Sep 18, 2015
Terry Henderson
Canadian Record

The dinosaur statue that looks out from atop a mesa outside Canadian, Texas, has fallen into disrepair. But now, reports the Canadian Record, the 50-foot-long, 17-foot-high dinosaur has a bright future. A fund has been established for the concrete-and-steel dinosaur’s restoration. 


    This year my husband and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversay, and the week of festivities brought to mind a GHP story that I felt we needed to repeat.  So without further adieu, here's the scoop on what happened at the dinner table when a Yankee boy met and married a distant member of the sister sorority known as GRITS - Girls Raised In The South.


Kansas will be performing at United Wireless Arena in Dodge City, KS on Saturday, October 3. New lead singer and keyboardist Ronnie Platt spoke with HPPR's Ryan Gottlieb in advance of the show.

Luke Clayton

Most readers of the outdoor press have read newspapers and magazine articles written by Bob Hood. Bob was a very active outdoors writer for close to half a century. He was one of my best friends and we hunted and fished together often and shared story ideas, pictures and the experiences of spending time together in the outdoors from the brush country of Mexico to the Rocky Mountains.

Author to Give Talks in Western Kansas on US 83 Book

Sep 15, 2015

A new book called The Last American Highway details the history of US Route 83. The highway is an almost 2,000-mile route that stretches from North Dakota’s Canadian border and ends at the southernmost tip of Texas in Brownsville.

The online magazine Slate has come up with a list of favorite slang words for each of the fifty states, plus the District of Columbia. Some are widely recognized, such as California’s “hella” and Hawaii’s “aloha.” Others are less well-known, such as Connecticut’s “glawackus.”  

A Peek into America's Unusual Culinary Past

Sep 3, 2015
Di Qiu / Creative Commons

Of regional interest, Americans of the 19th century had some rather unusual eating habits, according to the History Department, an NPR project that takes a fresh look at American History.

Luke Clayton

Another of my favorite recipes for wild pork is what I call “smothered” pork steaks. This is pretty basic country looking but is it ever mouth-watering good!

If the ham steaks I am using are from a larger hog, I use my meat tenderizer but with the slow cooking method, even the tougher cuts of meat usually become fork tender.

I sometimes use steaks from the back straps and these require no tenderizing other than a little time in the skillet. 


“Gotta crawl, gotta crawl
To the ugly bug ball
To the ball, to the ball
And a happy time we'll have there
One and all
At the ugly bug ball.”

Disney knows how to capture an audience with a combination of heartwarming characters, snappy tunes, and memorable lyrics. 

Go Set a Watchman

Aug 20, 2015

Go Set A Watchman is one of the selection's for the fall season.    

XXXXXX is the scholar for this book.  

You can share a comment here or to share online by __________________.

The in-studio book discussion is November 12, 2015 at 2:00 pm.

Go Set a Watchman 

Jacob Byk / The Hutchinson News

In regional news, a beloved Kansas painter is putting away his brushes, reports The Hutchinson News. Hutchinson resident Larry Lambert went deaf at age 3 following a bout with measles. But he eventually learned to express himself with paint, and art became a lifelong passion for him. 70 years later, after selling thousands of paintings, Lambert is retiring. His vision is failing, and he is going blind.

"Gunsmoke" Cast to Reunite in Dodge City

Aug 18, 2015
Kansas Heritage Center

Kansas fans of the show Gunsmoke have reason to rejoice. Six decades after the series first aired, there will be a reunion of the show’s cast in Dodge City, reports The Wichita Eagle. The actors, including Burt Reynolds , Buck Taylor and Jess Walton, will appear at Wild West Fest in late September.  Gunsmoke was nominated for over a dozen Emmys and ran for twenty years, from 1955 to 1975. The show took place in and around Dodge City during the settling of the American West.

For the past four summers, Doug Armknecht of Smith Center, Kansas has been working to capture his wife's family harvest in Osborne County. His breathtaking YouTube videos of the LaRosh family harvest have drawn increasingly large viewerships since 2012, now reaching 37,000 hits, reports Kansas AgLand.

Test book club post

Aug 4, 2015

Setup text about the book/topic, including images, audio, links, related content, etc. along with invitation to discuss. 

We’ve raised chickens most of our marriage, so that’s thirty years of learning to understand feathered, cackling females. I can confirm this species is messy, noisy, piggish, and sometimes mean –which explains the term henpecked. They’re also dense and run like gawky, miniature Tyrannosaurs. Despite their character flaws, I love my girls. However, one of them has confused me.

Wikimedia Commons

Of regional interest, The Pampa News has published an interesting story about Peter Gray, for whom Gray County in West Texas is named. Gray was a lawyer in Houston in 1847, when he agreed to take the case of Emeline, a freed black woman who had been forced into slavery.