The Most Important Factor

17 hours ago
King of Hearts, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This spring the HPPR readers’ book club is reading Anne Fadiman’s “The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down”. I am Phillip Periman in Amarillo here to give you a little background on this narrative, non-fiction book which was published in 1997 and is the story of the cross-cultural conflict between modern American medicine and a family of refugee Hmong whose baby daughter Lia had a seizure disorder. The child had 17 admissions and over 100 clinic visits to the Merced medical community between the ages of three months and four year.


AMARILLO, TX – The Mary E. Bivins Foundation has awarded High Plains Public Radio (HPPR) a $20,000 grant.

The Bivins Foundation’s grant will allow HPPR to repair the transmission system of KTOT-FM 89.5-Spearman-Perryton, restoring it to 100% power and its full northeast Texas Panhandle coverage area. 

Today on High Plains Morning, we caught up with Stephanie Price and Heather Friemel, both of whom are now heading up the Cultural Foundation of the Texas Panhandle, a new organization formed that will join forces of two established entities in our region: the Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation, which is best known for the production of the TEXAS Outdoor Musica

Medications Only One Hurdle

Mar 5, 2021
Credit: NIAID, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hi, I’m Valerie a radio reader from Topeka and I’m in the middle of reading The Spirit Catches you and you Fall Down: a Hmong Child, Her American Doctors and the Collision of Two Cultures by Anne Fadiman. This book is part of HPPRs Radio Readers Book Club this go round with the theme Cultures in a Common Land.

Most of this book is about the clash of cultures and outlook towards healing and spirituality. Interestingly, I could totally relate to the Hmong point of view, as opposed to the American doctors.

Poets of the High Plains, get your pens ready! Seward County Community College’s English department is accepting entries for its annual poetry contest, and the deadline is 12:00 a.m. CT on WEDNESDAY, March 10th! I caught up with Dr. Lori Muntz, English instructor at SCCC, and student poet Dulce Perez. They shared more info about the contest, it’s history, and we even got a poem.

For the sixth year in a row, the Texas Municipal Library Directors Association has honored Amarillo Public Library with its Award of Excellence. Only 56 of Texas’ 568 public library systems earned this distinction for 2020, placing APL in the top 10% of all public libraries in the state.

Five years ago today, the world lost Bridget Patricia Albright (Foody), a beloved grandmother to percussionist, composer, and HPPR-showcase artist Julian Loida. We asked him to join us on High Plains Morning today to discuss his latest project, “My Gentle Harp.” It launches today as a short video documentary, featuring choreography by Kieran Jordan, as well as the audio compositions of the piece.

"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant." —Robert Louis Stevenson 

 To be a successful gardener, one must remain resilient despite disappointments. For me, the wily carrot has been a point of contention. There have been some victories, but this root vegetable has indeed been a challenge in my experience. So today's Growing on the High Plains will root down deep on how to make a pleasant bed for a nice carrot harvest. From soil tips to little-known facts about "baby carrots," this edition should inspire you to take a crack at these ancient root vegetables available in all the colors of the rainbow. Plus, an old friend make an appearance as a likely, iconic spokes-rabbit. (At age 80, he looks as spry as the day he hit the big screen. Must be the carrots!) 

Thanks to Beth Duke of Center City of Amarillo for stopping by HPPR studios to share information about the forthcoming 2021 Amarillo Community Market. Vendor applications are now open for submission, so check it out if you wanted to have a booth at the weekly market—which is now in its 6th season! Deadline for applications is April 30, 2021; you can apply online here.

This week, High Plains Morning caught up with Sophia Britto, one of four students at West Texas A&M University taking part in the 2021 Public Relations Student Society of America Bateman Competition.

Each Culture Has Own Interest

Mar 3, 2021
Marco Schmidt [1], CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Thank you for joining us on the High Plains Public Radio Station. My name is Jessica Sadler, and I am a Science Teacher and STEAM facilitator in Olathe, Kansas. I am here with the other book leaders to discuss When the Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman. For all initial appearances this is based on the true case of Lia Lee, a young Hmong girl with epilepsy and the battle forged by her family with the westernized world of medicine. However, there is a strong opportunity for learning more about the Hmong people and their centuries of history up to present day.

Courtesy, Black Archives of Mid-America

HAYS, Kansas — On the night of Jan. 6, 1869, Luke Barnes, Lee Watkins and James Ponder sat in jail accused of shooting a white railroad worker in this northwest Kansas town.

By sunrise, the three Black men had been dragged from their cell by a mob of white townspeople and hanged from a railroad trestle over the creek that separates the town from Fort Hays, where the men were stationed in the U.S. Army. A Leavenworth newspaper reported that the town “indulged them in a dance in mid-air.”

Attending academic discussions seems to be one of the few things that became more accessible during the pandemic. Thanks to West Texas A&M University’s Distinguished Lecture Series, listeners across the High Plains can enjoy live presentations by nationally-recognized scholars covering topics of interest to people of our region. Tomorrow night, March 2nd at 7:00 pm CT, you’re invited to join the latest lecture featuring Dr. Bryan M. Santin as he discusses “the rise of modern conservatism through a literary lens.”

We have all seen the national coverage of power outages across the US as a result of Winter Storm Uri, especially how it affected families across Texas. Today, we invited Wes Reeves, Senior Media Relations Representative at Xcel Energy, into the studio to unpack some of the complicated logistics of the power grids of the Lone Star state.

Medical Care Without Understanding

Mar 1, 2021
Wikimedia Commons

This is Phillip Periman in Amarillo speaking about the HPPR Reader’s Book Club This spring we are reading Anne Fadiman’s non-fiction, narrative story of the cross-cultural conflict between western medicine and a Hmong family(the Lees) whose 3 month old daughter, Lia, has a seizure disorder which in their language is called  kow da pays which means The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. Fadiman uses this as the title of her book.

Maybe There Is Another Way

Feb 26, 2021
Xavier Romero-Frias, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hi, I’m Marcy McKay from Amarillo, author of Amazon’s #1 Hot New Release, When Life Feels Like a House Fire: Transforming Your Stress. I’m excited to be a Radio Reader for High Plains Public Radio’s Book Club.

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman is thought-provoking and insightful. Even though it was written in 1997, it’s still standard reading for some nursing schools today. The book does a beautiful job of leaving you sympathetic to both the American doctors, as well as the Hmong refugees whom they’re trying to treat.

Trees tend to be few and far between in many parts of our region.But knowing how practical they are when it comes to providing a wind shield, I knew I wanted to curate a one-of-a-kind shelter belt on our property. Among the mix of many, I selected the great honey locust as a primary player. These thorn-thronged, bean-laden beauties have some upsides and downsides. So today's Growing on the High Plains will take a look at some of the perks and pitfalls of the mighty honey locust. 

Science And Spirituality

Feb 24, 2021
Edward R. Curtis, 1868 – 1952 from Library of Congress

You are listening to the High Plains Public Radio Reader’s Book Club. My name is Freddy Gipp, I am an enrolled member of the Apache Tribe of Oklahoma, and my Indian name is T’san T’hoop Ah’n, meaning “Lead Horse”, in the Kiowa language, I graduated from the University of Kansas and head a small community development firm based in Lawrence, KS.

In her book, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Anne Fadiman tells the story of Lia Lee, a young Hmong girl whose epilepsy was diagnosed in Merced, California.

Understanding The Hmong

Feb 22, 2021
Wikimedia Commons

This is Phillip Periman in Amarillo giving listeners a taste of what we are reading in the HPPR readers’ book club this spring. Anne Fadiman’s non-fiction narrative story of the cross-cultural conflict between a Hmong family whose baby girl has a seizure disorder and modern western medicine came out in 1997. Her title came from the Hmong name for the illness qaug dab peg(kow da pays) which translates: “The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down”.

Health Or Illness

Feb 19, 2021
864px-Hmong-Mien-en.svgn Wikimedia commons

This is Nicole English coming to you from the Sociology Department at Fort Hays State University for HPPR's Book-Bytes....

This is a discussion of the book, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down:  A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures by Anne Fadiman. 

On today's edition of Growing on the High Plains, I'd like to reminisce about my experience with a peculiar plant I've known since childhood. It's one of those plants that's considered a "noxious weed." Some called it "witch's shoelaces," others called it "dodder," but we always called it "love weed." This odd vampire has no roots, no leaves, and hardly any green chlorophyll. And while it's true that loveweed is not very nice to other plants, it has a loving folklore attached to it. I wish a Happy Valentine's Day to all of our HPPR listeners! 

Culture Is Our DNA

Feb 17, 2021
Wikimedia Commons, Laos 1973

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

A lifetime of reading books teaches you that words—English words, anyway—are expandable, malleable vessels of seemingly endless meaning. As I read Anne Fadiman’s incredible book, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, I kept chewing on one word in particular: Culture. Such a small word, culture. Interesting how in the United States, we load that small word up with so much  complexity and contradictory simplicity—with such respect and dismissal.

Quag Dab Peg – Kow Da Pay

Feb 15, 2021
Wikimedia Commons

Hi, I am Phillip Periman from Amarillo, one of the discussants for the High Plains Radio Readers’ Book Club. One of the three books we are reading this Spring is “The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down” written by Anne Fadiman and published in 1997. This non-fiction book is about a Hmong refugee family, the Lees and their daughter Lia stricken with epilepsy, and the major family trauma and loss they suffer because of  cross cultural differences with the American medical system.

An Amarillo political activist is slated to deliver a TED Talk at Texas State University Saturday.

Melodie Graves, associate director of advising at Amarillo College and 2nd vice president of the Amarillo Branch of the NAACP, will be delivering a presentation called “The Power of the Amplified Voice,” as part of TedxTexasStateUniversity’s AMPLIFY event.

Spring Read's Second Book

Feb 12, 2021

 Hello, Radio Readers. I’m Jane Holwerda from Dodge City, Kansas.  Our Spring Read, Cultures in a Common Land, invites us to think about conflicts between our ways of life and the customs, habits, and traditions of others.  We began our spring read with Barbara Kingsolver’s Poisonwood Bible, a novel that plunks a 1950’s family from the American South into the middle of the African Congo.  Not versed in the customs or the geography of the land, and slow to learn, each member of the Price family adapts or dies.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT, here are the two links for the two HPPR Showcases we presented for Folk Alliance International's "Folk Unlocked!" Thanks to all the artists who contributed, and thanks to the Texas Music Office for sponsoring the "Texas Room."

***HPPR Showcase: 2/22 (8p-12a)

***Texas Room: 2/23 (6a-10a)


While parts of the High Plains aren't exactly known for having an abundance of trees, Growing on the High Plains has been spending these last few, frigid weeks cycling through the state trees of HPPR's listener region and nearby territories. Today, we'll pop out in a purple haze with the Eastern redbud—which Oklahoma designated as the official state tree in 1937. Related to the pea family, redbud tree flowers are also edible; some use them in baked goods and on top of salads, and Native American tribes used them extensively in their diets.

Poisonwood Bible and Its Targets

Feb 10, 2021
Frank Hall, circa 1965, public domain. Wikimedia Commons

This is Mike Strong, in Hays, for HPPR’s Radio Reader’s Book Club. The book is “Poisonwood Bible” by Barbara Kingsolver.

The jobs of spies are justified by the stories they tell, even when the stories lie. They work best when your “customer” wants to hear them.” The oldest two-punch sales routine goes:
     1 – You have a problem.
     2 – We have the solution.

A Tale Of Two Americas

Feb 8, 2021

Hi, I’m Marcy McKay from Amarillo, author of Amazon’s #1 Hot New Release, When Life Feels Like a House Fire: Transforming Your Stress. I’m excited to be a Radio Reader for High Plains Public Radio’s Book Club. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver tells about Nathan Price, a 1950’s preacher who drags his wife and four daughters from Georgia to save the wicked souls in the Congolese jungle of Africa. It’s a powerful novel about politics, religion, sin, redemption and everything else that makes for great storytelling.