HPPR Arts, Culture & History

History:
prehistory
Native American history
early exploration
trails and railroads
homesteading
community settlement
farming & farm life
Dust Bowl era
ghost towns
personal remembrances & biographies

Culture:
ethnic groups
religion
language
cuisine
traditions
values
folklore
myths
humor

Arts:
literature
folk art
visual arts
music
theatre
events & festivals

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.

The Canyon News

This year the outdoor musical TEXAS, performed each summer in the Palo Duro Canyon near Canyon, Texas, celebrated its 50th anniversary. The musical held a reunion last week, which drew almost 500 alumni from the musical’s long and storied history.

Rhonda Dittfurth

The Three Redneck Tenors are back in the Texas Panhandle singing their hearts out and tickling funny bones.  Group members, Matthew Lord, Blake Davidson, and Jonathon Fruge followed different paths to return to the area.  

12 Facts You Might Not Know About "Lonesome Dove"

Jul 23, 2015
Bill Wittliff / Wittliff Collections, Texas State University

Did you know that Lonesome Dove was originally supposed to star Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne? Or that the novel’s movie rights were purchased by Motown?

KUT’s Texas news program Texas Standard has posted a fascinating list of “12 Things You Might Not Know About ‘Lonesome Dove’.” Give it a look to find out what former action star was originally supposed to play the role of Blue Duck.

TEXAS Outdoor Musical Celebrates 50th Season

Jul 16, 2015
Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation

Robyn Ross of the Texas Observer has written a wonderful article on the 50th season of the outdoor musical TEXAS, performed each year in a 1,600-seat amphitheater in Palo Duro Canyon, southeast of Amarillo.

A Poet Explores Her Relationship to Horses

Jul 8, 2015
Laura Spencer / KCUR

Member station KCUR in Kansas City has reported the charming story of the poet Lisa Stewart, who has traveled thousands of miles on horseback over the past few decades. Her recent series of poems is called The Points of the Horse, in which she explores various parts of the horse, like the jaw or the flank, giving each its own poem. Stewart has ridden horses throughout the Rockies and the Midwest. In 2012 she rode 500 miles through Kansas and Missouri.

HPPR welcomes Claudia Nygaard to Amarillo for a Living Room Concert on Friday, July 17!  This show will be in our studios, located at 104 SW 6th Ave, on the NW corner of 6th and Polk in the heart of downtown Amarillo.  We are in the basement of Amarillo National Bank's Special Asset Center.  The doors will open at 7:00, and the show will start at 7:30.  We will have the usual great coffee from the folks at Evocation Coffee Roasters and cookies as well.  To make a reservation, give us a call at 806-367-9088 or send an e-mail to music@hppr.org.

A Texan Weighs in on the Great Guacamole Debate

Jul 5, 2015
Nikodem Nijaki / Creative Commons

Last week The New York Times sparked a controversy about whether it was kosher to put peas in guacamole.

vcmga.org

This week we'll celebrate Old Glory by examining a popular way to 'plant the colors' in your yard or garden.  With roots in South America, the colorful petunia provides a basis for the three colors needed to recreate the American flag.  Though red and white flower blooms abound in our part of plains, blue blossoms are harder to grow successfully because they often need a more acidic soil than we can provide.  But petunias seem to fill the bill for that blue color, and their relatively low cost and successful growth record make them a good choice for patriotic planting.  

Missouri Shoemaker Invents Cowboy Boot Sandals

Jul 1, 2015

The website Mashable.com reports that a cobbler in Missouri has found a way to make cowboy boots more breathable for the summertime by fashioning cowboy boot sandals from old pairs of boots. These new boot sandals retain the top part of the boot—the part that surrounds the calf and ankle, but the lower part has been converted into a flip-flop.

Colorado Remembers the Pony Express

Jun 29, 2015
Frank Reese / Flickr

Last week, on a warm Wednesday evening, 600 riders raced on horseback across the northeastern corner of Colorado. The riders were retracing the route of the legendary Pony Express, to commemorate the mail service’s 155th anniversary.

Harper's Weekly

Shortly after the end of the Civil War, Lieutenant Colonel George Custer sent an Army search party to search for the Lieutenant Lyman Kidder and his men, who had gone missing. The searchers soon came upon the men, lying dead on the open plains, some with as many as 50 arrows. Kidder’s party had been set upon by a Sioux and Cheyenne war party.  Kidder was killed, along with an native scout and ten enlisted men.

Public Domain

In this age of chain restaurants and big box stores, the Dodge City Daily Globe has published an important reminder about the first people who lived in the Dodge City Area. These people did not live in cities or towns. Instead they moved in camps as they followed the Buffalo across the plains. The Cheyenne, Kiowa, Comanche and Arapaho, were nomadic, and they used the buffalo for virtually all of their needs, including food, shelter, and tools. The slaughter of the buffalo was no accident.

Daniel P. Sink of Vernon, Texas / Public Domain

According to historian Barry Scobee, Comanche Chief Quanah Parker once appeared in Big Bend seeking peyote. Glenn’s Texas History Blog reports that Parker arrived at the Lempert Hotel in Fort Davis in the waning years of the 19th century in search of the hallucinogenic cactus. It’s unclear when the Comanche first began using peyote in their shamanistic ceremonies, but anthropologist Omar C.

kristy fuller

99 people spent part of their Father’s Day at The Fibonacci, and were rewarded with an amazing afternoon of great music.  The Red River Songwriters group consists of our own Susan Gibson, Walt Wilkins, Drew Kennedy, Kelly Mickwee, Brandy Zdan and Josh Grider, and we were able to catch them on their way home from their annual songwriting camp in New Mexico.  6 top notch songwriters, 6 powerful voices, 6 guitars and 1 banjo, and a guest song from Zach Wilkerson.  What a great way to end your weekend.  If you would like to be on our e-mail list to find out about future shows, send an e-mail to

Image engraving by
J. Pass / Wellcome Library/Creative Commons

Slate reported this week on growing concerns in the scientific community about the continued necessity of the leap second. At issue is the fact that time tracked by atomic clocks diverges with time determined by the Earth’s rotation.  Every year, scientists insert a “leap second” into official time so that timepieces on Earth will match up with atomic time.

Corbis

This year commemorates the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, and the Wall Street Journal has reported on the similar careers of two of America’s most celebrated veterans of that war. George Herbert Walker Bush fought in the Pacific Arena and was shot down, and Bob Dole was wounded in Italy and left for dead on the battlefield.

As a self-appointed foodie, I often watch Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives for cooking inspiration. Guy Fieri’s success at seeking eateries with reputations for amazing fare motivates me to look for excellent dining on road trips. Because of my research, I have a list of favorite restaurants. However, none of these culinary institutions matches the quality or flavor of my all-time preferred place to eat, Grandma Lottie’s kitchen.

Train Travel

Jun 10, 2015
www.usnavyseabeemuseum.org

This week we'll leave the garden and hop a train to the west to celebrate last year's Father's Day at the U.S. Navy Seabee Museum on the coast of Southern California.  My trip was the result of finding a final resting place for my Dad's World War II memorabilia, and then transporting the precious cargo on the same route the G.I.s took 70 years ago, when they fought the war in the Pacific. 

No Place for Sissies

Jun 1, 2015

We invited a French exchange student to share our lives for six weeks one summer. Her first question after she deposited her luggage in the bedroom was, “Do you have tornadoes here?”

Morning Edition featured a story that reminds us to take a moment to remember what this day is about. If you missed it, follow the link.

What is this three day weekend all about? What are the traditions of Memorial Day? Take the quiz from the Washington Post and find out how much you know about a holiday many will say marks the beginning of summer.

solarlivinginterns.blogspot.com

It is that time when Kansas cars, driveways, and tops of heads wear purplish reminders of a passing bird’s mulberry feast. Everyone saw it coming as pale fruits of this native tree first turned from white to bright red then matured to black-purple. Not so long ago, Jayhawk-state residents looked forward to this early spring fruit as one of summer’s first harvests. Now days, most folks consider these berries a mess to clean up.

  HPPR is so pleased to present Terri Hendrix and Lloyd Maines in a Living Room Concert  on Friday, June 5! This show will be at The Fibonacci, located at 3306 SW 6th Ave, the home of Chamber Music Amarillo.  The doors will open at 7:00, and the show will start at 7:30.  We are asking for a suggested donation of $15.00 for this show.  To make a reservation, call us at 806-367-9088 or send an e-mail to music@hppr.org.  Don't miss this one!

About Terri Hendrix(from terri's website terrihendrix.com)

This Lamar Town

May 21, 2015
Russ Baldwin / The Prowers Journal

Pick a highway.. any highway… here on the high plains… as you pass through small towns there are skeletons standing on main street, reminding you of another time, when the bare buildings were bustling business, the quiet streets were full of cars, there wasn’t a parking place to be found, and the sidewalks were brimming with people. 

One Lamar, Colorado resident shares a poem of longing for those days and hoping they return.  

pphm.org

American artist George Catlin (1796–1872) journeyed west five times in the 1830s, traversing the Great Plains where he visited and painted more than 140 American Indian tribes. The exhibition “George Catlin’s American Buffalo” presents 40 original Catlin paintings from the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s collection to show the crucial role of the buffalo in Plains Indian culture. Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum will host the Smithsonian American Art Museum Touring Exhibition “George Catlin’s American Buffalo” May 30- Aug 30, 2015 in the Foran Family Galleries.

The Gourd People

May 20, 2015
Skip Mancini

A trip to the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show brought me face to face with a family of gourds that were watching me as I was watching them.  This whimsical art form has been mastered by a garden artist named Betty Finch, and she does wonderful things with gourds big and small.  Don't miss the slide show!

Here's a link to Betty's website: finchgourd.com  

If you’re a fan of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, The Oklahoma Historical Society just released a compilation of rediscovered songs from the personal transcriptions of Bob Wills. The original recordings were included in the Wills Family donation of Bob Will’s personal items. About 130 recordings of radio broadcast from the 1940s were discovered in the collection. The audio was deteriorating because they were only meant to be played a limited number of times. The work was restored and remastered. The initial run is 1,000 records pressed on 180-gram vinyl. The album features songs once thought lost to time, dust, heat and mold from one of Oklahoma’s biggest musical icons. The effort is part of OHS’s effort to tell more Oklahoma history through music, film, radio, television, literature, theater, and more.

The second to last Saturday in May people who were held at Camp Amache journey to the detention center in southeastern Colorado. The come to share what they remember about their time behind the barbed wire. Previously, busloads of former detainees have attended. This year there were only two who could make the trek- Bob Fuchagami, age 85, and Jane Okubo who was born at the camp. Fuchagami was 12 years old when his family of 10, were taken from their walnut and peach tree farm outside Yuba City, California to take up residence in two rooms in 7G. He says it wasn’t freedom to be swept up and have two suitcases of stuff, go to an area you’ve never known before with sandstorms coming through the cracks. There’s almost nothing left of the camp. A handful of buildings, shattered porcelain, exposed rebar, concrete slabs, an occasional ribbon of barbed wire, and very few survivors. Survivors say as they age and their peers die, their experiences are falling deeper and deeper into the footnotes of history.

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