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

Is This the Last Dance for the Kansas Polka Lovers?

Sep 26, 2013
flickr.com

In December, the PolKofA Kansas Chapter, which is the Kansas chapter of Polka Lovers Klub of America, will decide if they will continue to dance according to The Wichita Eagle.  

CBP Photography

Texas has one of the largest populations of “unauthorized” immigrants in the nation, and it is the only state that didn’t have a significant drop as did California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, and New York according to data Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Trends Project. 

eyes4mwanza.blogspot.com

  Folk wisdom, especially weather-related folk wisdom, captured my attention when I first learned the saying, “Red sky at night—a sailor’s delight and red sky at morning—a sailor’s warning,” from my grandmother. I’ve tried to determine whether or not her wise words consistently ring true over the decades, but so far--no verdict.

Don’t Mess With Texas and Don’t Remember the Alamo

Sep 23, 2013
Jamie Golden / texastribune.org

The Texas Department of Transportation owns the federally registered trademark on the phrase, “Don’t mess with Texas.”  The slogan was coined in 1985 by Tim McClure, a native Texan and a founder of GSD&M, an advertising agency based in Austin.  The agency was hired by the state to help its antilittering campaign reach the worst highway offenders — men under 25.

amarillo.com

The Potter County Court House is one of the three finalists in the restoration category for the Texas Downtown Associations’ Presidents Awards Program reported the Amarillo Globe-News.  

Pedal the Plains: Explore Colorado’s Eastern Plains

Sep 18, 2013
Pedal the Plains

Celebrate the agricultural roots and frontier heritage of Colorado’s Eastern Plains by participating in the second annual “Pedal the Plains.”  This year there’s a brand new route for cyclists of all ages and abilities.  Riders will have a chance to taste regional foods, learn about the area from local experts, try their hand at local crafts, enjoy lively entertainment, and experiment, hands-on, with farming techniques.

texastribune.org

George W Bush.  When you think of that name what comes to mind?

  • The Yale party boy of the late 1970s?
  • The son of a Yankee blueblood who made a ton of money on Texas oil?
  • The son of a politician?
  • A native of Midland?
  • A Texas oil baron?
  • A Texas governor?
  • President of the United States?
  • September 11?
  • Wind energy champion?

myhighplains.com

Professional baseball came to Amarillo in 1922 with the Amarillo Gassers.  For more than 90 years, the tradition has continued. 

hutchnews.com

The Kansas State Fair celebrated its 100th birthday this year, and after 100 years, the rain legend continues.  The superstition is that it will rain during the fair.  It may have taken until the last day, but Sunday, the skies opened up, providing a shower with a bit of hail to pepper to all in attendance according to The Wichita Eagle

acquaplumbingllc.com

  When I left home to attend a five week National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Teacher Seminar, my husband devoutly promised he’d water my flowers.  By the time I left, velvety purple petunias, coral moss rose, and vibrant snapdragons already showed heat distress.

While in North Dakota, I kept track of western Kansas weather through phone calls and monitoring the Hays Daily News.  Though some rain fell, I knew the only way my flowers would survive was through regularly hosings. 

Back in the Day: Dodge City was… Sturgis Nascar?

Sep 12, 2013
http://dodgecity300.org/

In 1914, 17,000 people came to watch the Dodge City 300.  A motorcycle race that took place on an oval track, northeast of Dodge City.  The epic race took place on July 4.  26 trains a day brought race fans to town.

Susan Werner: Celebrating agriculture through music

Sep 12, 2013
Official press photo

Chicago-based singer-songwriter Susan Werner has worked on concept albums before – from jazz standards to pop classics to Gospel music for agnostics. But now she's turned to her farm roots for inspiration.

Werner, who's currently touring in the Midwest, describes her new CD, Hayseed, as "egg meets art," celebrating agriculture through music.

umich.edu

From the time I toddled until I finished 3rd grade, I called oil boomtowns dotting Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico home. During those years my family lived in this stark and beautiful region, my dad would bring me bits of petrified dinosaur skeleton he found near rig locations where he worked. These bones-turned-stones gripped my imagination until I added a dinosaur tooth and a dinosaur coprolite or fossilized doo to my rock collection.

http://germancapitalofkansas.com/

  Small-town Schoenchen is keeping its heritage alive with a German feast of green bean dumpling soup, sauerkraut soup, German sausage, ham and beans, noodles, homemade bread, pies, kuchen and other desserts this Sunday.  While enjoying dinner, traditional sounds of polkas and waltzes will fill the air according to the Bee

The gossip on states

Sep 2, 2013

Side-by-side Kansas and Colorado were ranked first as having “the worst” and “the most beautiful” scenery in the country, respectively, according to a recent poll by Business Insider.  It is not clear whether eastern Colorado was considered part of Kansas or Colorado by the poll respondents.

usends.com

As a youngster riding down Highway 50, I never questioned how this piece of asphalt connected me to the past of either Kansas or our nation. It was a boring ride that didn’t have interesting scenery unless we happened to drive through a storm with writhing clouds or pass through at sunrise or sunset.

Nearly 150 years later, the Sand Creek Massacre remains a wound that has not yet fully healed.  This is evident in the recent closing of a permanent exhibit at the History Colorado Center in Denver exploring the 1864 massacre as part of its Colorado Stories section.  The closing was prompted by concerns of Cheyenne and Arapaho tribal members over aspects of the exhibit’s interpretation and the lack of prior consultation, according to a complete story in the Denver Post.  A reopening is pending the state and tribes reaching a consensus on the exhibit.

midatlanticnostalgiaconvention.com

Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer.  Here’s an idea to add to your end-of-season traditions:  the drive-in movie.  Remember?  The place with playground equipment under the big screen, the smell of popcorn on the breeze, and watching a movie under the night sky.   

Gifted Armadillos

Aug 23, 2013
superanimalwallpaper.blogspot.com

Sometimes you look at a creature and wonder how it evolved into the beast it is. The kangaroo and platypus come to mind, but they’re Australian, and who can account for animal adaptations down under? The critter I’m most curious about is one I see squashed all too often on the Texas and Oklahoma Interstates--the armadillo. Not long ago, I spied an immigrant armadillo flattened on I-70 in Trego County.

“Texas”… The Show Goes On

Aug 14, 2013
behance.net

As evening gives way to night, a lone horseman appears on the cliff above Pioneer Amphitheatre in Palo Duro Canyon.  He carries the Texas state flag.  Fireworks sparkle, the music grows, and a cast of 60 burst on the stage telling the struggles and triumphs of Panhandle settlers in the 1800s.  It’s the outdoor musical “Texas”-  a summer tradition in the nation’s second largest canyon for 48 years. 

Immigration Reform: Up Close and Personal in SW Kansas

Aug 12, 2013
Fernando Salaza / The Wichita Eagle

People value hard work in SW Kansas.  In an area where the unemployment rate is significantly below the national average, workers are needed.  The Wichita Eagle gave a glimpse into the struggles of being an immigrant.   

Artist: J. Keppler / Michigan State University Museum, Appel Collection

Two traveling exhibits, one featuring personal stories of Kanas’ immigration history and the other the role of caricature and stereotype in forming American values and attitudes about immigration, are now on exhibit at the Stauth Memorial Museum in Montezuma KS.  As part of the exhibition, a presentation and discussion on “Ethnic Labor and Small Towns on the Rock Island Rail Line” will be led by M.J.

Sean Steffen/Amarillo Globe-News

A fundraising campaign to sustain the Harrington String Quartet after a major loss of funding has raised a majority of its goal.

Stringendo, a West Texas A&M University project established in April to support the Canyon, Tex. classical music quartet, has raised $25,000 of a $35,000 goal in under four months, the Amarillo Globe-News reports.

amarillobotanicalgardens.org

The Amarillo Botanical Gardens is a shining example of the pioneering spirit of the High Plains.  The hail of May 28 destroyed what late frosts did not reported the Amarillo Globe-News

Take a Picasso Moment and Wash the Dust Away

Jul 30, 2013

Pablo Picasso - "Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."

In the midst of summer, take a breath, pour yourself a tall glass of iced tea, and enjoy the beauty of Texas native, Kimbell McCurry.  McCurry is the featured artist at the 20th annual Western Art Show in Dodge City, Kansas.  His work is on display at the Landmark National Bank, located at Central and Spruce, through August 2.

Photo courtesy Louise Ehmke

Rolfe Mandel recently found a knapping pile and mammoth bones in close proximity according to The University of Kansas.  Mandel, a geoarchaeologist at the University of Kansas, says the closeness, as well as human artifacts, suggest humans may have lived on the high plains earlier than previously thought. 

The First Lady of the Texas Panhandle

Jul 19, 2013
Charles Goodnight Historical Center

Mary Ann Dyer Goodnight: First Lady of  the Texas Panhandle, wife of Charlie Goodnight, and to cowhands, "The Mother of the Texas Panhandle."  Myra H McIlvain recently told the story of Mary Goodnight in her blog.

A father with Alzheimer’s alone on the farm.  A swindling banker.  The school bully now grown-up as the local drug dealer.  A bleak, fictional town set in eastern Colorado.  The “unhomesteading” of the plains.  These are all elements of Greg Hill’s new novel East of Denver.

First Carnivore Dinosaur Tooth Found at Black Mesa

Jul 15, 2013
byways.org

Black Mesa is the highest point in Oklahoma.  Its name comes from a layer of black volcanic rock that coated the mesa 10 million years ago.  Located in the northwest corner of the panhandle, it's where The University Herald says Dr. Mark Micozzi found a tooth from the largest land-dwelling carnivores- theropods. 

Southeast Colorado Getaway Spots

Jul 14, 2013
Colorado Preservation

If Colorado is on your summer get away list, there are some interesting places to visit.  Colorado Matters recently asked listeners and travel guide, Doug Whitehead, for suggestions that might not be as well-known.  Some of the ideas are right outside our front door in southeastern Colorado. 

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