HPPR Arts, Culture & History

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Dust Bowl era
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Culture:
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Arts:
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Radio Readers BookByte: Food as a Weapon

Sep 25, 2017
Wikimedia Commons

Hello, Radio Readers – I am Jason Harper, food and fiction connoisseur (as well as solely self-proclaimed chef and author) coming to you from Hays, Kansas. Today, I’ll be talking about High Plains Public Radio Reader's Fall 2017 theme – Food and Story, delivering part three of my four-part Book Byte about Five Quarters of the Orange, a novel by Joanne Harris.

Today, my focus is that the characters in Five Quarters of the Orange use food as a weapon.

In the novel, the narrator describes how she, as a child, would bring oranges surreptitiously into the house because the very smell of them would trigger her mother's migraines, thus buying the child hours of freedom after her mother took heavy narcotics and lay in bed. Unbeknownst to her, these frequent headaches and that "medicine" she took led to a crippling opiate addiction.

Albert Mock / Flickr Creative Commons

It has now been 10 years since Amarillo’s Western Plaza was demolished, and The Amarillo Globe-News has published a brief remembrance of what was for many years Amarillo’s largest shopping mall.

In fact, upon its construction in 1968, Western Plaza was said to be the biggest mall between Denver and Dallas. The 400,000 square foot shopping mall’s first tenant was Montgomery Ward.

Pintrest

This is George Laughead of Lawrence and Dodge City.  I grew up in Dodge, as did my father and my grandfather, who was on the first city commission.   My cookbook recommendation comes with a personal note.  I have a recipe in The New Kansas Cookbook: Rural Roots, Modern Table by Frank and Jayni Carey with beautiful illustrations by Louis Copt and published by the University of Kansas Press.  I’ll come back to that cookbook in a minute and explain why I have a Moroccan style recipe in it.

Food had always had a big effect in Dodge.  A lot of people had to be fed because of the Santa Fe Depot and all the buses that went through in the 1950s and 1960s.  There were probably 20 trains a day.  There was a lot of hotel space in downtown Dodge City.  It doesn’t have that now.  There were hundreds and hundreds of rooms.  The Harvey House set a standard and the women’s church groups were always a feature at each community holiday or event. There were thousands of travelers, so there were many restaurants, cafes, bars and grills. 

Don't miss Rob Gerhardt's traveling photography exhibit, "Muslim American / American Muslim," on display now at Mercer Art Gallery  (801 N. Campus Dr.) at Garden City Community College. He will be hosting a talk this Thursday, Sept. 21st at 7:30 pm CST at the Pauline Joyce Fine Arts Auditorium (801 N. Campus Dr.). 

Radio Readers Book Byte: In Times of Distress

Sep 20, 2017
Melany Wilks / Colby, KS

Hi, Radio Readers – I’m Melany Wilks talking to you from my home in Colby, KS.  

The book, “Five Quarters of Orange,” by Joanne Harris talks about food in the midst of WWII.  I kept being drawn to the fact that the families had homes and farms where they normally grew food for their lives. But that the soldiers came in and took what they had grown or stored. When the floods came and the weather destroyed the crops the community really began to suffer.

As Francoise Simon is describing her family having to harvest the fruit from the trees when all that was left was rotten fruit in habited by hornets.  And the need to pick the fruit, then boil the fruit and skim off the insects from the top of the jam or syrup.  Sounds really gross but that is what happens when food is scarce.

The City of Stratton, Colorado is looking to engage the community through the arts on November 3rd with a new FIRST FRIDAY ART EXHIBITION!

Thanks to art teacher Bri Hill Kastner, City Council member Lynn Gottmann, and Town Clerk Cindy McCaffrey​, this small town might get a big BOOST on the creativity front.

This week on Amarillo Symphony Presents, we're taking a little trip! First, we visit the American West with Aaron Copland's "Rodeo." Then, we're off to the UK for Ralph Vaughn Williams's "Lark Ascending." Finally, we drop by France with Gabriel Faure's "Pavane." Plus, ASO's Music Director/Conductor Jacomo Bairos talks about the upcoming 2017-18 symphony season.

Film lovers across the High Plains, you might want to mark your calendars for the Austin Film Festival (Oct. 26-Nov. 2). They have announced their "Opening Night & Centerpiece Films" for the 2017 season, which are already being touted as Oscar contenders:

Opening Night: Lady Bird from Writer/Director Greta Gerwig—Starring Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, & Tracy Letts.

Radio Readers BookByte: Food Becomes Currency

Sep 18, 2017
Wikimedia Commons

Hello, Radio Readers – I’m Jason Harper, food and fiction connoisseur (as well as a solely self-proclaimed chef and author) coming to you from Hays, Kansas. Food is used in several ways throughout Joanne Harris’ Five Quarters of the Orange, fictional WWII exploration of a set siblings. On multiple levels, food peppers this novel and leaves the reader with quite a lot to chew on. 

In my first Book Byte, I discussed how creating a great book is a bit the same as baking a delicious dessert, and then I compared recipe steps from Five Quarters of the Orange to the elements of storytelling.

Today, another food angle in Five Quarters of the Orange is how these characters in the novel use food as a kind of currency — partly as a currency of collusion with German soldiers. Chocolate, oranges, bread, and many more examples feed the storyline.

For centuries, food has been used as a form of money. I would like to serve up the following three morsels of trivia of how food was historically a kind of currency that might tantalize our Radio Readers: 

Don't miss Oklahoma singer-songwriter HAVEN ALEXANDRA,with special guest, jazz/blues master MARK MONTGOMERY from Kansas City.

Saturday, September 30

HPPR Studios (210 N. 7th St.) 

Doors at 7p | Show at 7:30p

Suggested Donation: $15

 

RSVP online now, or call us at 806.367.9088!

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Radio Readers BookByte: Two Deer

Sep 15, 2017
CREATIVE COMMONS

Deer fascinate me, and sighting them is always magical, maybe because they move so effortlessly, compared to us.

Here are two deer poems, “Levitation” and “White Deer Chirascuro.”

Chirascuro is an Italian term for high contrast paintings, where black background emphasizes the light.

Levitation

The psychic says ghosts float

above ground. When deer waver

in sunrise fog over asphalt,

I believe. Front-on, only ears show

but sideways, slanting northward,

full bodies appear—soft-tan fur,

solid torsos, brown cherub eyes.

If you have not yet attended an HPPR Living Room Concert, you are missing some serious fun. Our station proudly hosts singer-songwriters, folk artists, and Americana masters from across the country as they travel through the High Plains. We also love supporting regional favorites, growing our station's community of live music lovers, as well as fans of public radio

Melany Wilks / Colby, KS

Hi, Radio Readers – I’m Melany Wilks talking to you from my home in Colby, KS.

Today, I am bringing you some thoughts that I had as I read Five Quarters of the Orange, by Joanne Harris.  Our subject discussion is on food and story this quarter.  As I read the book so many stories came into my mind.

Joanne Harris the author places the Francoise Simon in a small town, Les Laveuses. Mirabelle Dartigen shares how her mother wrote all her best recipes down in a book and handed them down to her daughter. In the midst of the recipes were snatches of history of life, especially during WWII.  It reminded me how my mother always wrote in the recipe books she used. She’d write down when it was first used it and what the occasion was.  Then she would write down how she changed the recipe to make it better or easier. 

Radio Readers BookByte: Five Quarters And A Recipe

Sep 11, 2017
Open Source

Hello, Radio Readers – this is Jason Harper, a food and fiction connoisseur (as well as a solely self-proclaimed chef and author) coming to you from Hays, Kansas. Today, I’ll be talking about High Plains Public Radio's 2017 Fall Read – Food and Story, delivering part one of my four-part Book Byte about Five Quarters of the Orange, a novel by Joanne Harris.

As per her m/o in her previous work, Harris includes quite a few food references and even some recipes in Five Quarters of the Orange. One recipe from this novel in particular that caught my attention is for an Apple and Dried-Apricot dessert. It reads as follows:

Radio Readers BookByte: A Gustatory Home

Sep 8, 2017
Tom Averill

I’m Tom Averill, author of the culinary novel Secrets of the Tsil Café, and a “foodie” in my kitchen and in my library.

When I was writing my book, I became aware of how important food is to our identities as people, and how food memories shape us.  Cookbook writer Molly Katzen first learned the power of food at her childhood dinner table.  Her father had served in World War II, and while he was overseas, his mother died.  His favorite of all her dishes was tzimmes, a casserole dish of potatoes and onion and carrots often served at Rosh Hashanah.  Each year, Molly’s mother tried to replicate her mother-in-law’s recipe, and each year she failed—until the time her father tasted the tzimmes and broke down sobbing; his mother had come back to life in that dish.  Molly was 10 years old.  Perhaps all of us miss a person, along with the dish that person traditionally brought to the holiday meal.

Radio Readers BookByte: Food to Five Quarters

Sep 7, 2017

In each of our Radio Reader series, we try to offer a variety of genre, and in keeping with that idea, we now move from a nonfiction book of essays about food in different regions of depression-era America, The Food of a Younger Land, to a novel about food in Nazi occupied France during World War II, Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris. 

Both these books present stressful historical eras in which people endured long lasting hardships:  The Food of a Younger Land recalls the Great Depression where people suffered deprivation of everyday necessities; Five Quarters of the Orange centers on World War II, where French citizens lived under oppressive Nazi occupation and coped with food shortages and loss of freedom. In both situations people struggled day to day to provide food for their families.  Both Joanne Harris’s characters and Mark Kurlansky’s essayists sought the comfort of food, steeped in the familiarity of their long-standing traditions.

Margaret Brundage / Wikimedia Commons

The small town of Cross Plains, Texas, recently held a literary festival to honor the most famous West Texas writer you’ve never heard of.

Robert E. Howard lived in Cross Plains during the 1920s, and that’s where he created his most famous character, Conan the Barbarian.

As The Texas Observer recounts, Howard lived in a clapboard house with his physician father and chronically ill mother. He converted a porch to a tiny bedroom, and there he wrote pulp stories for up to 12 hours a day.

Radio Readers BookByte: Food as Metaphor

Sep 6, 2017
Garland, Kansas / Kansas Memory, Kansas Historical Society

I was six years old when I realized that food can be dished up in two categories:  food that proves someone loves you, and food that proves someone doesn’t love you.

Let me explain.

Imagine that you go to your grandmother’s kitchen in the morning. Breakfast at your grandmother’s—crispy bacon, fluffy scrambled eggs, warm, tender cinnamon rolls—lets you know that the day will be good.  Life is good.  Someone loves you.

HPPR thanks FolkWest for their hard work making the Four Corners Folk Festival in Pagosa Springs, CO an enchanting, surreal weekend with a phenomenal lineup.

Here are a few flashes of the fest! 

Math Knight / Wikimedia Commons

A construction crew unearthed more than it bargained for while working on a fire and police building in Thornton, Colorado last week. In among the rocks and soil, the crew discovered a 66-million-year-old Triceratops fossil.

Radio Readers BookByte: What Else Are We Missing?

Sep 4, 2017
Victor Hugo Green, 1940 / Wikipedia

I’m Meagan Zampieri, your book discussion leader for this month. Our first Fall Read 2017- Food and Story is The Food of a Younger Land, edited by Mark Kurlansky and I chose to lead the discussion for this book because, well.

I travel a lot for my work.

That is an understatement. This year alone, I’ve crossed Kansas so many times I’ve lost count. I have gone to Texas, St. Louis, and Chicago, and I have a trip to Utah planned. Wichita tomorrow, Topeka on Tuesday, Lawrence the following Tuesday. Sharon Springs at the beginning of August, Dodge City at the end of August, Wichita again in a couple months… That’s outside of whatever meetings I might need to attend inside of the 12-county region I serve in my work with libraries.

Did you know that in addition to performing the standard classical repertoire, the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra also showcases emerging contemporary composers? Through West Texas A&M's Composer's Initiative and other commissions, listeners across the High Plains have access to new, original classical music. This week on Amarillo Symphony Presents, we'll enjoy works from several of these musical visionaries. So show your regional pride, and tune in for this special program!

   

Wisconsin Historical Society Press

My name is Tom Weso. It is an Indian name, Weso meaning One Who Stands Firm. I had a complicated childhood that was exacerbated by certain economic realities. We were poor. We had to move around a lot looking for work. We had a large family, including in-laws, children, and shirttail cousins. My grandparents had 15 to 20 people to feed at dinnertime. Obtaining food was a full-time occupation.

I woke up feeling good, but now I’m feeling even better. This morning, Sophia Landis & Jason Surratt of the folk duo Honeywise stopped by HPPR-Amarillo for a live, in-studio set on High Plains Morning. They’re playing tonight at Leftwoods in Amarillo at 10pm.

HPPR’s Living Room Concert Series presents:

Jerry Barlow, Live in Concert

Saturday, September 23rd

Fibonacci Space (3306 SW 6th Ave., Amarillo)

Doors @ 7p |  Show @ 7:30p

Suggested Donation: $15

RSVP ONLINE or call 806.367.9088!

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Radio Readers BookByte: Food of a Younger Me

Aug 30, 2017
Wiki Commons

Hello, Radio Readers.  This is Valerie Brown-Kuchera, talking to you from Quinter, where it’s a typical western Kansas fall day.  This kind of day reminds me so much of my first fall as a college student at Fort Hays State University almost 30 years ago.  Up to that point, my experiences with food had really resembled some of those related in The Food of a Younger Land, our fall read selection this month. 

Radio Readers BookByte: Art & Sustenance

Aug 28, 2017
EDSITement / National Endowment for the Humanities

Radio Readers,  we’re discussing The Food of a Younger Land edited by Mark Kurlansky as part of the 2017 Fall Read – Food and Story.  I’m Meagan Zampieri from Norton, Kansas and today I’d like to talk about  the role of the federal government.

It's the end of Summer, and we're taking a mini-musical vacation this week on Amarillo Symphony Presents. Tune in for a few Broadway blockbusters, and then spend some time getting to know the innovative and talented group, Project Trio—including the "Scatter" Concerto by Adam Schoenberg, developed for Project Trio and the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra.   

Radio Readers BookByte: Chickens and Cast Iron Pans

Aug 25, 2017
Kathleen Magouirk Holt

My grandmother Minnie Cora Roberson Magouirk, born in 1902, lived to be 99 years of age.  When she was 98, she decided to tell some stories.  I was lucky enough to be sitting beside her with a cassette tape recorder when she began to talk. Those 17 hours of recordings may have been amateur and scratchy, but today, they are priceless to me.

Radio Readers BookByte: Turtles As Survivors

Aug 23, 2017

Growing up in the grasslands, I have always admired turtles. They are tough and beautiful, like the ornate box turtle, state reptile of Kansas. I met many turtles, from painted beauties to scary snapping turtles, when I went fishing. My grandfather Frank Bruner, of Lenape and Munsee heritage, both Delaware bands, reminded me of a turtle because Delawares associate themselves with turtles. Also, he was a tough survivor of the plains.

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