High Plains Morning

Weekdays from 9:00 AM to noon CT on HPPR

High Plains Morning is a long-standing tradition at HPPR. A daily mix of singer-songwriters, folk, jazz, Americana, world, reggae, bluegrass, rock and just about anything else that you can think of. Add a few live in-studio performances, interviews with community partners, and news from NPR + regional weather at the top of every hour, and you have a great way to move through your morning!

If you'd like to submit music for consideration, please mail a CD and one-sheet to: Jenny Inzerillo, Music Director, High Plains Public Radio, 104 SW 6th Ave., Suite B4, Amarillo, TX, 79101. (Please allow one month for processing, and then feel free to check the status of your submission by emailing music@hppr.org.)

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What makes a weed? Well, it depends on who you ask. Some have a lot in common with wildflowers, but good luck beating them back if you choose to introduce them into your space. Today's Growing on the High Plains regards the eternally pesky presence of weeds. We'll dig in on some of our region's most common weeds, like dandelions, loosestrife, Johnson grass, and more. The coming weeks will bring more discussion of gardening challenges, so stay tuned. If you have questions, feel free to reach out to me directly here.  

Today on High Plains Morning, I spoke with Dr. Daniel Helbert, Assistant Professor of English & Director of Undergraduate English Studies at West Texas A & M University’s Department of English, Philosophy, and Modern Languages, in advance of tonight’s Great Books Discussion Series, happening online at 7p CT.

Shucks, it's already late in the season, so check out today's installment of Growing on the High Plains where we'll celebrate the welcome gold of late summer sweet corn. I'm lucky enough to have arranged a produce exchange with a northerly neighbor, swapping melons for corn. So when their crop is ready, I'm "all ears." Of course I have my own thoughts about how best to clean and prepare it, and it's a bit of a departure from methods taught to me early childhood methods.

Today, I caught up with community advocate and Amarillo United Citizens Forum representative, Melodie Graves, while she shared details about a city-wide Annual School Supply Drive & Giveaway going on through late August. The event will take place on Saturday, August 29th from 11am to 2pm CT at the Black Historical Cultural Center (901 N. Hayden), just off of Amarillo Boulevard.

Image from WikiHow

Many cats long for the green, green grass of home...or anywhere they can get it, for that matter. Today on Growing on the High Plains, we'll talk about cat grass, which  many at-home pet owners have been growing during the pandemic lockdown. There are many varieties, and your homebound furry roommates might enjoy having a little taste of the outdoors. 

If you tuned in to High Plains Morning today, you got to hear my phone chat with a beloved folk music mensch and High Plains-adjacent neighbor often showcased on our station and at our Living Room Concert series: David Berkeley. He had a wild adventure at the onset of the international lockdown that led to a collection of raw, optimistic new songs that are all featured on his latest release, Oh Quiet World.

Thanks so much to aerial photographer Paul Chaplo for speaking with High Plains Morning today, sharing some insight and passion about his current photo exhibit on display at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum (PPHM): Amarillo Flights: Aerial Views of Llano Estacado Country. Making its premiere at PPHM, the exhibit features Paul’s aerial photography of the High Plains of the Llano Estacado. It will be on display through January 23.

Keeping a garden going is a lot of work. Sometimes it would be nice to have a helping hand on the sidelines to do some of the tough and tedious tasks requires. When the sun grows hot, the time seems short, and the yard work feels endless, that's when I let my mind wander to the glorious prospect of getting a hired hand to whom I could delegate upkeep. Today's Growing on the High Plains is a reflection of sorts, and it makes me think of one of the legendary "hired hand": Shane. Who can forget that final scene: "Pa's got things for you to do...and mother wants you.

Thanks so much to Melodie Graves of the North Heights Advisory Association for chatting with High Plains Morning about the unveiling celebration happening today in Amarillo. Unveiling of what? Well, the group has been working with the City of Amarillo for a year to secure historic street markers for Amarillo’s North Heights neighborhood, designating the community as an important piece of the town’s past, present, and future.

After a chat with Amarillo Opera’s Carol Coleson, I was excited to have the opportunity to interview the full cast of an upcoming children’s production of The Billy Goats Gruff, playing four times this week across Amarillo. Based on the Grimm’s fairy tale, this story promotes an anti-bullying message focused on bravery, compassion, and true friendship.

Listen up, Dodge City! According to the Community Housing Association of Dodge City (CHAD), the need for affordable, single-family homes persists in the greater Ford County area. An organization at the forefront of advocating for prospective home buyers, as well as home owners, CHAD will host a series of no-cost home maintenance classes open to the public. I had the pleasure of speaking with Mollea Wainscott about this initiative.

Summertime gardening often means spending some serious quality time with your own thoughts as you tend the plants, forage the foliage, and pluck out your harvest. I find that there's no better place to ruminate than while hunting down leggy legumes in my bean rows. Today's Growing on the High Plains will share some insight about a common regional garden  success story: the green bean. Whether you prefer "string," "jade," or "snap," climbing beans can yield a hearty crop in our zones. So get out there!

Today's Growing on the High Plains will put a familiar garden friend "on the spot." Obviously, we're talking about the polka-dot winged ladybug. They've been a staple helper on the High Plains for centuries, and they've even warranted a folk song often issued to warn them of forthcoming prairie burns. Always a boon among the garden leaves, these classy little friends not only add a speck of flair and elegance to the landscape, they also keep some of the more unsavory pests at bay. 

Thanks to Jason Crespin for his time today. We chatted on High Plains Morning about the current streaming opportunity for HPPR listeners: Amarillo Little Theatre’s production of Annie.

Happy Fourth of July, High Plains. (Well, a little early, but IT'S ALL I GOT!) Today on High Plains Morning, I talked to Jill Bronaugh, the Public Information Manager for the Office of the State Fire Marshal for Kansas. She shared some great tips and reminders regarding safety for this year's holiday weekend. Not only do you need ot be mindlful of fireworks, but this year also has a lot of other risks due to the pandemic.

Today, I'll share my deep love for one of the signature soldiers of my summertime gardening . These "golden apples" often top the list of favorite veggies (even though they're technically a fruit). Enjoy today's installment of Growing on the High Plains as I reflect on these fragrant plants with an ode to the mighty tomato.

In case you missed The Final Hour this weekend, Kellen nailed the year 1980 to the wall with some medieval spikes. You have until July 10th to check it out on Radio Free America!

High Plains Public Radio Day- Saturday, June 27, 2020. 

Thank you Mayors and Cities/Towns for recognizing HPPR 40 years of service to the High Plains. We celebrate Looking Back with Gratitude and together we will Look Forward with Hope.

Participating Mayors and Cities/Towns:

Gary Adrian - Colby

Joyce Warsaw - Dodge City

So it seems not EVERY folk show has been cancelled! Thanks so some serious dedication to the arts, the fine folks at Starlight Canyon Bed & Breakfast (100 Brentwood Rd., Amarillo) have secured a regional folksinger, Longriver, to take the trek up from Austin and play a show in the Panhandle this Sunday night at 7pm.

Looking Back with Gratitude: There Was Always Hope

Jun 24, 2020

Chapter Eleven

“Two Join Hall of Fame” read the headline from the Garden City Telegram, Monday, May 19, 1986.One inductee was Quentin Hope, Class of 1972, Garden City High School.

The article continued “Hope, from Pierceville, is the executive director of KANZA Society, the non-profit organization to which public radio station KANZ-FM is licensed. He generated community interest, federal and local funding, location,

facilities and staff during the formative stages of establishing the station.

Unemployment is at an historic high, the global economy has seen better days, and a pandemic has shaken communities to their core. What a fine time graduate college, am I right? Well, thankfully, the professionals in charge of Career Services are doing all they can to take care of the students coming out of the Texas A&M system with their landmark Summer 2020 Virtual Career Fair, taking place on Tuesday, June 30th across the entire cyber landscape.

Chapter Ten          

From Chuck to Chuck, 1980-2020. The minutes from May 25, 1980 reflect the board’s awareness of the importance of the station’s engineer by marking the technical staff as one of the highest priorities. Chuck Lakaytis, the first engineer, discussed those duties as including maintaining existing equipment, designing new equipment, and fulfilling the FCC guidelines and regulations.

For those of you who have been loyal member-listeners of High Plains Public Radio through the years,  this Thursday will feel a little familiar. IT'S GARDEN BASKET TIME on High Plains Morning!

Looking Back with Gratitude: HPPR Needs A New Home

Jun 22, 2020

Chapter Nine            

Jam-packed and the roof leaks, too – read the Sunday, April 25, 1987 headline in The Garden City Telegram. The lengthy article pointed out the need to find a new home – roomier and drier quarters. Some offices had two wastebaskets – one for paper and one for water. The only space available for private conversation was the restroom – the girls, as the boys had been converted into a studio.

Chapter Eight

Roping in the Dollars for KANZ

Who could resist? An offer to have your picture taken as Wolfgang and Mrs. Mozart (Steve Olson, the first music director, felt Mozart’s genius was undeniable). And there would be a volleyball tournament, a flea market, auction, bands, and performers - all to help KANZ-FM mark five years on the air. Summerfest, July 20, 1985, at the Pierceville station also offered food and drink and a chance for listeners to meet the faces behind the voices heard on air and to raise funds for the station. 

Today's Growing on the High Plains will put a hold on the topic of gardening and rather reflect on two people who nourished my life and growth: my father and father-in-law. Both men had a common bond, as they each had a hand in defending our country in World War II—and there's an even more incredible link in the machinery of it all. From my heart to yours, have a happy, safe, and fulfilling Father's Day.

Looking Back with Gratitude: The Mail Bag

Jun 18, 2020

Chapter Seven—The Mail Bag: Letters to the Station ~ The Mail Bag reported two letters of special interest – both mentioning the Wall Street Journal article, November 29, 1982, p.1:

Dear Mr. Hope,

I recently had the pleasure of reading an account of KANZ’s accomplishment in the Wall Street Journal.


Chapter Six: Chautauquas—a popular adult education movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 

Chapter Five

First Anniversary program listings carried a message from the station director – “We’ve dedicated ourselves to offering a listening schedule which is as diverse and interesting as the people of Southwest Kansas.”

Chapter Four

How Does It Work? In an early issue of “KANZAN, the Guide to Community Radio for Southwest Kansas”, readers were treated to an explanation – “Here’s How It Works”. A reminder -  FM radios were not standard equipment in cars in 1980.