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

ttu.edu

Jodi Thomas is a fifth generation Texan.  She has a degree in Family Studies, and is a marriage and family counselor by education.  She is also a successful writer, celebrating 25 years in publishing.  Honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Thomas enjoys interacting with students on the West Texas A & M University campus, where she currently serves as Writer In Residence.

Amarillo's Open Book Festival Has It All

Oct 28, 2013

If you love words, there's something to love about the Amarillo Public Library's 3rd Annual Open Book Festival, this Saturday, November 2, in the Heritage Room of the Amarillo Civic Center.  Starting at 9:30, there are activities, stories and games for kids, workshops, readings, and presentations on books and writing.  

For history buffs in particular, the event presents an opportunity to meet regional historians and get a glimpse into the process of writing historical nonfiction.  These are just a few of the authors taking part in the morning part of the Festival—Meet the Authors:

Greentechmedia.com

Kansas remains a great place to live, and Kansans are optimistic about the future, but they also revealed a significant amount of uncertainty in the fifth annual Kansas Speaks survey of public opinion in the state.

Colorado Getaway: A Weekend Full of Fun

Oct 24, 2013
David Andrews

If you’re headed to the Front Range this weekend, there are so many fun things to do.  Colorado Matters helps out with their weekly feature Weekend Arts Roundup: October 24 - 27 2013.  

greenwichmeantime.com

Kansas remains a great place to live, and Kansans are optimistic about the future, but they also revealed a significant amount of uncertainty in the fifth annual Kansas Speaks survey of public opinion in the state.

Bert Vaux (study data) and Joshua Katz (map)

We think of the High Plains as a region with a common geography, environment and economy.  But there are differences in language and dialect.  In some cases Panhandle Texans talk like other Texans and in others case they speak more like western Kansans.  And in still other cases there are differences once you cross the state line into eastern Colorado.  Browse through the dialect maps below to see some of these distinctions.  

farside.areavoices.com

Frequently, people lament the passing of the good ol’ days but when questioned, rarely do any Sad Sams want to return to days before air conditioning, central heat, automatic transmissions, cell phones, internet, and cable TV.  While it is possible to live life without those items, most of us don’t really want to revert to life without modern technology.

Courtesy Randy Waln

Rural roadsides are littered with neglected homesteads, long-ago abandoned. I see them all the time driving across Nebraska. Fallen farmhouses. Blighted barns. Overgrown fencerows. They even have a fanclub on Facebook.

For Randy Waln, a graphic design professor at Peru State University in Peru, Neb., there’s something about a rusted-out truck or weed-covered roadway that stokes the imagination.

http://joycewallace1.blogspot.com/

Normally, I avoid sequels.  I don’t want to know what happened after Rhett left Scarlet standing in the door with his famous line echoing in her mind.  I definitely didn’t want to see Rocky triumph more than once.  However, I must write a part two to the hedge apple saga.  If I don’t, that tale’s audience may enter the next bug cycle with unfounded hope.

Denver: Historic Brown Palace is For Sale

Oct 11, 2013
Brown Palace Hotel

The historic Brown Palace Hotel, in downtown Denver, is for sale. This is only the fourth time its been on the market since opening more than a century ago according to a recent feature of Colorado Matters.

Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

The tiny girl who opens the door is so excited to have visitors that she shouts to them as they get out of their car, “Hurry, hurry!”

Veronica Thang, a three-year-old dressed head to toe in pink, was showing off her new nail color.

“What color?” asks Velia Mendoza, the visitor.

“RED!”

And on the other hand? “What color?”

“BLUE!”

A Weekend to Remember

Sep 27, 2013
windriver.org

 Last week’s gusting winds did more than catch  arms and legs  in slamming doors, blow hair in directions it’s not intended to go, and make me tilt at a 60 degree angle in order to prevent joining a bazillion tumble weeds traveling hither and yon.  It set my nerves on fire and prepared me to enjoy a perfect weekend.

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.   

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