HPPR Arts, Culture & History

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

ethnic groups

folk art
visual arts
events & festivals

Don't miss the Incendiary Kid, Dana Cooper, LIVE IN AMARILLO. This High Plains favorite is back in the USA after a couple of months in Canada and Ireland, and HPPR's Living Room Concert Series is thrilled to have him back in our region for a fabulous night of folk music and storytelling. 

Not Depressed At All

Nov 9, 2018
Edvard Munch / Google Art Project, Wikimedia Commons

Hello, I’m Lynne Hewes. I’ve just finished reading the books on HPPR’s Radio Readers’ fall list—and I’m not at all depressed.

When I discovered that our steering committee (of which I am a member) had chosen the theme of Aging, Death, and Dying for our 2018 fall read, I was a bit disappointed.  Seeing a booklist with titles like Medicine Walk, Being Mortal, and Why Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? made me think, Why can’t we read something more pleasant? 

Old Age Intensifies What Is There

Nov 5, 2018
Wikimedia Commons

This is Leslie VonHolten of Lawrence with another HPPR Radio Readers’ Book Byte.

My father-in-law was a quiet, devout farmer who raised corn, hogs, and three beautiful sons on the flat plains of Illinois. When he retired, he worked three part-time jobs: He helped Doc, the veterinarian, with his hog farm; he worked the vineyards at a nearby winery; and on Saturdays, he manned the town’s recycling center.

Thanks to Dr. Daniel Helbert for stopping by High Plains Morning today to explains the particulars of tonight's Haiku Death Match

From 7 to 9pm on Friday, November 2nd (TONIGHT!), meet a motley crew of Panhandle poets at the Evocation Coffee Roastery (2300 SW 7th Ave., Amarillo) for a serious slam of 5-7-5'ers. That's right: you'll go head to head with other haikus, so bring your best and get ready to throw down.

Maybe Not So Pleasant

Nov 2, 2018

The supremest act of love is to cover the shame of the vulnerable. On the other hand, to broadcast their shame -- even a caricature of it -- is the worst kind of betrayal, the victims unable to defend themselves and unlikely to be defended.

Herein lies the transgression of Roz Chast, author of the memoir Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant?

Planning For Peaceful Transitions

Oct 31, 2018
Diane Goble

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My name is Diane Goble from Sisters, Oregon.

I loved the drawings and the handwriting font that temper Roz Chast’s memoir, “Can’t we talk about something more pleasant?” They make a difficult subject seem a little less fearful and at times even humorous as she takes us through the illnesses and deaths of first her father then her mother. 

Thanks so much to Katherine Stribling for stopping by HPPR Studios in Amarillo today to chat about this weekend's exciting concet. The Amarillo Youth Choirs will present the Vienna Boys Choir in concert on Saturday, November 3 at 8:00 p.m. The concert will be held at the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts and tickets are available online here.

What We Want For All Of Our Elders

Oct 29, 2018
Jane Holwerda

Hello, Radio Readers. I’m Jane Holwerda from Dodge City KS.

Throughout this fall, we’ve been talking about aging, death, and dying, most recently in response to the words and illustrations of Roz Chast who shares her efforts to care for her parents, as they transition from independent to assisted living to long-term and then hospice care and then their deaths. 

Thanks so much to Evgeny Zvonnikov for stopping by High Plains Morning to remind folks about the upcoming Season Opening Concert for the Harrington String Quartet on Friday, November 9th at the Amarillo Botanical Gardens. 

Hear all of the details in our interview below:

Join music instructor Amy White and the many students from across Amarillo performing at the 2018 Yamaha Clavinova Festival & Book Fair. High Plains Morning was thrilled to welcome her back, as well as two of her performers at this year’s celebration: Emma & Ella Mullin.

Old, Old Age Isn't for Sissies

Oct 26, 2018
Brewminate / Wikimedia Commons

This is Denise Low, a regular contributor to the High Plains Public Radio Book Club.

When my mother had her first health crisis, the social worker at the hospital informed me that at 72, she was in young old age, how fortunate because odds of successful treatment were high. I thought everyone over retirement age was just old. This was my introduction to the changes of aging, ahead for both of us.

Thanks so much to Valerie Brown-Kuchera of HPPR's Little Spouse on the Prairie for her thoughts after a FULL YEAR of writing and producing her regional feature for HPPR. Plus, she was just awarded Honorable Mention from the Kansas Association of Broadcasters!  

Using Graphic Memoirs to Tackle Tough Topics

Oct 24, 2018
Wikimedia Commons

Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast is a compelling graphic memoir about the struggle Chast goes through as she watches her parents age and eventually die.

Death Comes As A Shock

Oct 22, 2018
Frans Francken / Wikimedia Commons

Hello, Radio Readers. I’m Jane Holwerda from Dodge City, Kansas.  I’ve been thinking about the memoir Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

I’ve been thinking,  of all the many ideas that Roz Chast shares of her parents’ aging and death, one idea that I keep mulling is that aging and death sneak up on us, tip-toe from behind, tap us on our shoulders, catch us unaware.

John Graham

Recently I spoke with Amarillo Symphony Music director and conducter Jacomo Bairos about the 2018-2019 season now underway. In this audio clip, Bairos talks about the exciting  music, performers and outreach plans for the Amarillo Symphony for the current season.

Record number of families crossing U.S. border as Trump threatens new crackdown

Oct 18, 2018

The number of migrant parents entering the United States with children has surged to record levels in the three months since President Trump ended family separations at the border, dealing the administration a deepening crisis three weeks before the midterm elections.


After three years of public input and revisions, the Alamo Master Plan goes before the San Antonio City Council Thursday.

By popular request, we have wrangled THE RIFTERS from their NM home. They'll be LIVE in Amarillo at our next HPPR Living Room Concert. You'll adore their Southwestern folk-Americana from the Rio Grande watershed, so MARK YOUR CALENDAR!

Fifty Years Of Belongings

Oct 8, 2018
Lagunilla Antiques / Wikimedia Commons

Hello, Radio Readers. I’m Jane Holwerda from Dodge City, Kansas, ruminating on aging, death and dying for our Fall 2018 series.

In her memoir, Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant?, Roz Chast illustrates the things so many of us wrangle as our parents and elders die.  

A Kansas reporter wrote in 1893 he had discovered an all-female town in Oklahoma. But when he tried to go back to the village one week later, it was gone. 


KGOU listener Bart Varner asked How Curious: What happened? 

Chast's Experience Instructive

Oct 5, 2018

A hundred years ago the Sears and Roebuck catalog, in addition to ordinary household goods, carried numerous advertisements for coffins, wreaths, and clothes to wear to funerals. The average life span was short: every family had first-hand exposure to death and dying.

Alamo Plaza is one step closer to a complete redevelopment.

Wikimedia Commons

I’m Jonathan Baker, a writer in Canyon, Texas, and I’ve been asked to talk a little about this month’s Radio Readers Book Club Read, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast.

The National Park Service is donating more funds to preserve, restore and increase education about Japanese American internment camps scattered across the U.S.  Most of them are in the West. 

Isn't That The Crux Of It All?

Oct 1, 2018
Kathleen Holt

Hello, Radio Readers! I’m Jane Holwerda from Dodge City, Kansas, here to talk about our Fall 2018 book series on aging, death and dying. 

And, believe it or not, my task is to talk about these topics from the perspective of a comic book, or, more correctly, of a graphic memoir, of a “real” story conveyed through some narrative and lots of drawings (that’s the “graphic” part).  

Burial Practices And The Warrior Way

Sep 30, 2018

North American Indian burial practices varied widely across the continent.  In some of these cultures, the recently deceased’s name was never spoken again so as to avoid angering the spirit. 

The spirit world, in general, was revered and respected among American Indian groups yet may have been met with some trepidation and even anxiety. 

Ammodramus / Wikimedia

Northern Cheyenne descendants and some descendants of the U.S. Cavalry will gather at Lake Scott State Park to commemorate the 140th anniversary of the Battle of Punished Woman’s Fork Thursday.

According to a newsletter from the El Quartelejo Museum, the battle between the Northern Cheyenne and the U.S. Army took place on Sept. 27, 1878.

Pampa native and internationally renowned soprano Mary Jane Johnson sparkles as the featured soloist in this week's Amarillo Symphony Presents.   Johnson joins conductor Jacomo Bairos and the Symphony for some grand opera favorites including two arias by Puccinni and "Es gibt ein Reich" from Richard Strauss' "Ariadne auf Naxos."  A virtuosic reading of Wagner's celebrated "Ride of the Valkyries'' concludes the program.

A Cabin in the Woods

Sep 26, 2018

This is Tom Weso, and this is High Plains Public Radio’s book club. In the featured novel for this program, Richard Wagamese’s Medicine Walk, the deep forests of British Columbia provide the setting. In those forests are cabins.