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

Just Swingin

Apr 28, 2016
dailymail.co.uk

Once upon a long time ago, children played on asphalt or gravel playgrounds filled with tall metal swing sets and finger pinching chains. Those thick links froze little hands November through February and roasted those same palms July through September.

The Ada News

This week marked the 83rd anniversary of the first White House performance by the Chickasaw storyteller Te Ata. Te Ata was a graduate of the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, reports The Ada News. She performed at the first state dinner of Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency in 1933.

McClean County Museum of History / Bloomington Pantagraph

One-room schoolhouses used to be the thriving heart of American agricultural communities. When children weren’t learning their three Rs, the buildings served as community centers and a town meeting place. Sadly, as reported by the Bloomington Pantagraph, most of these schools have gone the way of steam locomotives and wooden silos.  The closures began 70 years ago during the first wave of American public school consolidations.

The 2016 Spring Read Comes to an End

Apr 24, 2016
Kathleen Holt

Hello, Radio Readers!

You know, when friends at HPPR talked about developing a book series based on a novel about eastern Colorado, a social  history of the Comanche, and a memoir about growing up in the ‘60’s and 70’s in Amarillo, I was , well, intrigued…But, wow! Now that we’re about to conclude our series – A High Plains Sense of Place—I just don’t want it to end…

Author Philipp Meyer on Pioneer Myths

Apr 21, 2016
Library of Congress

The following is a transcript of the conversation between Dr. Alex Hunt and Philipp Meyer:

AH – For Radio Readers Book Club, I’m Alex Hunt, Professor of English at West Texas A&M University in Canyon.  Today, I’m speaking with novelist Phillip Meyer.  Your most recent novel, The Son, has been called a Texas epic.  What moved you to write a novel so engaged with Texas history and identity?

The Lumineers / cpr.org

Colorado indie stalwarts the Lumineers have had a breakout few years, vaulting themselves into the upper echelons of mile-high pop-folk. Their hits “Ho Hey” and “Stubborn Love” remain permanent radio fixtures four years after their release. Colorado Public Radio’s Ryan Warner recently spoke with frontman Wesley Schultz and percussionist Jeremiah Fraites: Here are some highlights from that interview:

On if they get sick of hearing "Ho Hey":

New Mexico's Yucca

Apr 20, 2016

This week we’ll complete our state flower series with a tribute to a plant that can take the heat and thrive on very little water, making it a good choice for many of the gardens in our High Plains Public Radio broadcast area.

Talking with Philipp Meyer

Apr 20, 2016
Alex Hunt

AH – For Radio Readers Book Club, I’m Alex Hunt, Professor of English at West Texas A&M University in Canyon.  Today, I’m speaking with novelist Philipp Meyer. In The Son, an important part of the novel occurs on the High Plains of the Texas Panhandle and clearly draws on some legendary types – the cattleman Charles Goodnight and the Comanche leader Quanah Parker. Can you talk about your decision to write about this place and these figures?

Steve Swain / RFD-TV/Variety

Did you know America has a network devoted solely to rural-interest programming? The channel is called RFD-TV, and it sometimes has to fight to survive among networks designed to appeal to more heavily populated areas.

Philipp Meyer, acclaimed author of The Son and American Rust, will give a reading Thursday night at 7 p.m. at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, on the campus of West Texas A&M University.

Jensen Sutta / Boulder Daily Camera

The Colorado Music Hall of Fame inducted six new artists on Saturday, reports the Boulder Daily Camera. The ceremony, and an accompanying concert, occurred on the University of Colorado campus.  The event was held in an auditorium named for one of the inductees, Glenn Miller.

Four Letter Words

Apr 15, 2016
thodasasomething.wordpress.com

Most of us have heard about four letter words. The minute you mention them, many immediately think naughty words. But this time of year, hope is a four-letter word. As is soil, seed, rain, bird, root, stem and grow. Four letter words-- every one. As I roamed about my yard planting hollyhocks, bachelor buttons, sweet William, zinnias, and other butterfly attractors, I kept thinking, I hope for moisture and that the hard little hulls I tucked in the earth would sprout roots and stems to unfurl skyward under warm, spring sun.

NewsOK

The 2016 Oklahoma Book Awards were held this weekend in Oklahoma City, reports News OK.

Winners included Bike on, Bear! by Cynthea Liu for Best Children’s Book and The Mercy of the Sky by Holly Bailey for Best Nonfiction Book. The Long And Faraway Gone by Lou Berney won the Fiction award, and Places I Was Dreaming by Loren Graham took home the Poetry prize.

The Beats: Many have Kansas roots

Apr 10, 2016
George Laughead, Jr.

I grew up in Dodge City. My father grew up here and my grandfather was on the first city commission, so I have deep roots.  Part of living in southwest Kansas was that we had dozens of buses and trains going to all sorts of places back when I was a kid.  Thus we had a paperback bookstore very early and it had a lot of books.

In that bookstore, I found a book called The Beats edited by Seymour Krim. It had come out in 1960.  In 1963, I stole a copy of it. Because I was 13, the owner wouldn’t sell me one. 

Caldwell's story is my story

Apr 7, 2016
Cindee Talley

I’m a Radio Reader from Canyon, Texas. This spring the HPPR Radio Reader’s Book Club is exploring the theme – a sense of place.  In Gail Caldwell’s A Strong West Wind, every page took me home. 

Caldwell and I share a birth year and many thoughts.  Beginning with the prologue, I felt as though I was reading my own story. Caldwell was growing up in Amarillo at the same time I grew up in Muleshoe, but her experiences reflect my own as a product of the Texas plains. Her words bring back my own wonder and angst while growing up in an era of conservatism, patriotism, and faith rapidly evolving into a world of unrest, feminism, and new freedoms. 

Caldwell’s memory of her grandmother’s house, as she words it, a “rambling old white house” with its rooms “bearing whispers of the past,” took me back to my grandfather’s farm and the little stucco house that formed a cocoon of love around a very large family. I relived through her words, a time of weekends spend hanging around the local drive-in burger joint and rulers measuring hemlines in school. As she recalls cars pulling aside to stop for her father’s funeral procession, I remembered a lone farmer in the middle of his fresh plowed field standing respectfully beside his tractor, hat in hand, as we made the trip from Dimmitt to Muleshoe behind the hearse that bore my brother’s body.  Home is depicted in every chapter.  Wide open spaces of flat land and strength sapping wind that bent trees and people to its will.

Colorado Public Radio

I’m a former Kansas poet laureate and fifth generation Kansan. I am proud of my Lenape (Delaware) heritage. Vietnam was a tragic time for the large number of Indigenous Americans and their families. They followed traditions of protecting their beloved land and families. Some had ceremonies for returning warriors. Geary Hobson, Linda Grover, Karenne Wood, and Jim Northrup express the Vietnam experience in poetry:

 

Central Highlands, Viet Nam, 1968 by Geary Hobson—Cherokee, Quapaw, and Chickasaw

1

An eagle glides above the plain

Kathleen Holt

Some have compared what seems to be a political and social revolution pitting conservatives and progressives today to a parallel, although profoundly different period of change outlined in the HPPR Radio Readers Book Club’s 2016 Spring Read’s book A Strong West Wind by author Gail Caldwell who grew up in the Texas Panhandle in the 1950s and 60s.  

juliezickefoose.blogspot.com

You’ve heard the saying, “Looks can be deceiving.” That statement describes our little terrier’s coat. When you meet him, he looks like a sleek pooch that doesn’t shed. That’s true July through February. However, when the calendar says spring, he gives March Madness a new interpretation.

Most folks who meet the winter Buster love to stroke his silky fur and rub his soft ears. Let them visit before a spring de-thatching, and they’ll wear Buster home. That little guy sheds like a champ. If there were Olympics for losing winter hair, our pet would win a gold medal.

Luke Clayton

Folks, after making corned venison last week, I got an idea to make sauerkraut to make some Reuben sandwiches.    Now, I've never done it before, but I have to tell you, it turned out to be pretty simple, and very delicious!

Take a listen, I give you step by step instructions.  

Until next week, go outside and enjoy the great outdoors!

Cindee Talley

Hello, Radio Readers! You know, when HPPR wanted to explore a High Plains sense of place, I was a little skeptical. That our terrain and lives are different from, say the East and West coasts, seems fairly obvious, but are the High Plains all that different from the Midwest? The Southwest? I wondered what ideas about life on the High Plains a novel about eastern Colorado, a social  history of the Comanche, and a memoir about growing up in the ‘60’s and 70’s in Amarillo and Austin could share.

Goldenrod is a wallflower, standing in the background, while other flowers in the garden take center stage.  It has been blamed for watery eyes and runny noses, when in fact, the true cause of those allergy symptoms is probably ragweed which blooms at the same time.  Goldenrod has taken the heat for years for, but its  blame without substantiation.  It is a rare gardener to take up the cause of the Goldenrod, but I like this plant.  It has a place in my garden. 

DeGolyer Library SMU

I’m curator of art and western heritage at the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum at West Texas A&M in Canyon, Texas.  I’ve been asked to comment on this month’s High Plains Public Radio’s Radio Reader A Strong West Wind by Gayle Caldwell.  I’ve lived out here for going on 29 years.   I grew up in Kansas and the title appealed to me initially because of the reference to wind.  I’m out west of Canyon, a little bit north and west of Canyon.  Canyon sits about 18 miles south of Amarillo.

Texas makes you tough

Mar 27, 2016
Cindee Talley

I’ve been thinking a lot about the influence of “place” on who we become and whether or not that influence ever wanes.  

In A Strong West Wind, an account of a Texas high plains girlhood, Gail Caldwell writes, “How do we become who we are? The question belongs not just to genes or geography or the idea of destiny, but to the entire symphony of culture and its magisterial march—to Proust’s madeleines and Citizen Kane’s “Rosebud” and anyone’s dreams of being someplace, anyplace, else. I was a girl whose father had taken such pride in her all her life, even when it was masked as rage, that he had lit a fire in me that would stay warm forever. I was the daughter of a woman who, on a farm in east Texas in the 1920s, had crept away from her five younger siblings so that she could sit on a hillside and read—a mother whose subterranean wish, long unrevealed, was that I might become who she could not. Each of us has these cloisters where the old discarded drams are stored, innocuous as toys in the attic. The real beauty of the question—how do we become who we are?—is that by the time we are old enough to ask it, to understand its infinite breadth, it is too late to do much about it. That is not the sorrow of hindsight, but its music: That is what grants us a bearable past.” 

dariennewsonline.com

Easter is about much more than egg hunts and a big ol’ rabbit posing for pictures with little ones. However, in small towns across Kansas such festivities remind winter -weary children and adults that spring truly has arrived. With the promise of sugary treats, hope rises like sap in tots impatient to collect brightly colored eggs tempting them from a green lawn. Their enthusiasm should be bottled and sold.

Venison Pastrami

Mar 25, 2016
Luke Clayton

Join Luke this week for some hands on, step-by-step instructions in making pastrami and corned venison at home! Many people might be surprised to learn that making corned beef (or corned venison) has very much in common with making pastrami. Both tasty sandwiches cuts require curing the meat first. After curing, pastrami is seasoned and either baked or slow smoked. Corned beef or corned venison is slow simmered for a couple hours after curing. Luke goes into great detail this week in describing the process.   

Ridin' the Plains

Mar 24, 2016

In A Strong West Wind, an account of a Texas high plains girlhood, author Gail Caldwell evokes a sense of place through many descriptive passages, often involving her father. She writes, for example, “When I was a girl of nine or ten, my dad would take me along on autumn dawns to go quail and dove hunting, out to the far reaches of the Caprock, past towns named Muleshoe and Dimmitt to prairies so remote and unrelenting that even the phone lines seemed to disappear as we drove into morning light.

Cindee Talley

I’m a High Plains Public Radio Book Club reader from Northwest Kansas. It’s time to think about our third novel of this season, A Strong West Wind by native West Texan Gail Caldwell. The question that comes to mind is how does this memoir enhance our understanding of place? As one would expect, it’s different from Plainsong and Summer of the Comanche Moon. Based on reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and Barnes and Noble, it’s a book readers either love or hate. With such strong responses in mind, it’s important to focus on insights this author’s memories offer this unique book club’s membership.

Xing Lida / Wikimedia Commons

You may know your state flower, but do you know your state fossil? According to The Atlantic, since the 1960s, most US states have elected their own official fossils. Often, the choice comes down to a dinosaur that was discovered in the region. For example, Colorado has claimed the Stegosaurus, since the plate-backed dinosaur was first found there.

Jonathan Baker

I’m a writer in Canyon, Texas, and I’ve been asked to talk a little about this month’s Radio Readers Book Club Read, A Strong West Wind by Gail Caldwell. Gail’s story is a familiar one to me. In fact, my story mirrors hers in many ways. Both Gail and I grew up feeling isolated on the High Plains, and escaped into books. We both left the Panhandle for Austin, where we both rebelled, discovered politics, and sowed our wild oats.

Almost Empty Nest

Mar 18, 2016
Vincent Mancini

I’ve observed a great-horned owl on her nest for the past three months. This triggered a reflection on parenting similarities humans and critters share. It also added questions to those already swirling about my busy brain. One of those is do birds experience a sense of unsettledness like the one humans have when their young first leave home? After surviving those aching months when our youngest moved away, leaving behind an unnaturally quiet house, I recall a moment when my husband and I looked at one another, and said something along the lines of, “We’re going to have to relearn what a world without kids is like.”  

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