HPPR Arts, Culture & History

Native American history
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Dr. Watson, Famous Sidekick

10 hours ago
Sidney Paget from The Strand / Wikipedia

I have never been much of a mystery reader. To me, the usual—if prosaic—depths of the human heart have provided all the mystery and intrigue I need. I’ve never felt the need to look for too much drama.

Really, isn’t every person, and every novel, a mystery, in its way? I read fiction because it lets me imagine the inner lives of the people around me: our everyday heartaches and desires, and how those desires drive us to do what we do. The greatest mystery to me, in many ways, is you. Who are you? What makes you tick?

Leslie VonHolten Explores Mystery Classics

13 hours ago

Listen each Wednesday, January 16 through February 6, to hear Leslie VonHolten explore classic mysteries featuring the iconic Sherlock Holmes. BookBytes are heard at 7:45 a.m. during Morning Edition and again at 6:44 p.m. during All Things Considered.

A native of Wellsville in Southeast Kansas, Leslie's sense of home was strengthened while her family was stationed in Germany for the U.S. Army.


Listen each Monday - January 14 through February 4 - to hear Jonathan Baker explore the world of crime. BookBytes are heard at 7:45 a.m. during Morning Edition and again at 6:44 p.m. during All Things Considered. 

Jonathan Baker recently returned to the High Plains from New York City, where he was the assistant to the editor-in-chief at W. W. Norton & Co. At Norton. Baker worked with a wide variety of authors, including Neil deGrasse Tyson, Michael Lewis, and Larry McMurtry. 

Scene of the Crime

Jan 14, 2019
ALICE POPKORN / Flickr Creative Commons

I’m Jonathan Baker, a journalist and crime writer in Canyon, Texas, and I’m here to talk to you about our Radio Readers Book Club topic, on crime and suspense books. 

We’ve got a busy spring for all you mystery lovers out there on the High Plains. Over the next three months, we’ll be discussing an overflowing cornucopia of dark deeds and dastardly villains, with regular radio essays—which we call “Bookbytes”—being read by nine different discussion leaders.

Who What Where Nguyen Why / Wikimedia Commons

The financial woes of a prominent West Texas Museum have been receiving a lot of statewide attention over the past couple of weeks. The Panhandle-Plains Museum, on the campus of West Texas A&M University in Canyon, appears to be in serious financial trouble.

First, the museum was the focus of a feature in the Texas Observer entitled “Plight at the Museum: The best Texas history museum you’ve never heard of is staring down a financial crisis. Will it survive?”

HPPR's Living Room Concert Series continues with our first shows of 2019! Don't miss the sweet harmonies and inspirational soul of Kansas-based En Power & Light, live in Garden City. Then, kicking off the series in Amarillo, catch The Division Men, a Texas-bred, husband-and-wife duo bringing "acoustic desert noir" to the High Plains. Read more below!


A plaque honoring the Confederate States of America in the Texas Capitol will be taken down after a vote from the Texas State Preservation Board.

In a meeting that lasted all of three minutes, board members unanimously approved the measure to remove the plaque, which was installed in 1959, though it's unclear when exactly it will be taken down. 

All right, HPPR Radio Readers! It's time to crack open those mystery novels as we move into the 2019 Spring Read: It's a Mystery to Me! This season will surely delight with a huge list of stories, covering classic noir novels, true crime nonfiction, vintage whodunnits, regional mysteries, and so much more.

Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

The Oxen
By Thomas Hardy

Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock.
“Now they are all on their knees,”
An elder said as we sat in a flock
By the embers in hearthside ease.

Every year, kids across the globe follow Santa Claus on his Christmas Eve journey from the North Pole. The source of the information is NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, in Colorado Springs.

Last December the NORADSanta.org website received 18 million visits from people around the globe speaking many different languages - along with evidence that kids still use phones. There were 126,000 calls last year to NORAD's Santa line.

From Texas Standard:

Many Texas holiday traditions are in full-swing. Some folks hang lights, some will go to a German-style Christmas market. Others will make tamales and attend at least one posada. If you’ve never been to one – they’re like a holiday block party. Posadas are often organized by a Catholic community to mark the Biblical journey of Mary and Joseph as they searched for a place to stay in Bethlehem. Some posadas are huge, others are intimate. But almost all of them include a special piñata. A place many folks in the Central Texas city of Manor get their posada piñata. Is one you’d only find by word of mouth.

Radio Readers Book Club Holiday Tradition Listen Now!

Dec 22, 2018

Tune in tonight for an HPPR Radio Readers Book Club holiday tradition: the two-hour broadcast of a High Plains author's delightful Christmas story: A Carol Dickens Christmas, featuring a fresh reading by the book's author, Thomas Fox Averill


Saturday, December 22th—  7-9pm CT

Monday, December 24th— 7-9pm CT

For local art that's truly out of this world, check out the new Galaxy Gallery in Lamar, Colorado. I had a chance to catch up with the gallery's owners/arts advocates, Vincent Gearhart and Robert Townsend. HPPR wants to thank them for spending time with us on the phone as we discussed their new space and how it serves the community of Eastern Colorado. 

Lock the doors. Close the curtains. Keep the lights on. And get ready for HPPR Radio Readers Book Club's 2019 Spring ReadIt's a Mystery to Me! This season will surely delight readers who love thrillers, true crime, murder mysteries, classic detective stories, and regional authors exposing the darker side of our High Plains home. Now let's all snuggle up with this hearty stack of books and try to figure out WHODUNNIT! See below for the book list!

Click here to see a printable, two-page Reader's Guide, complete with bios and books! 

A monument was unveiled last Friday at Kansas' Fort Leavenworth to honor the only black Women's Army Corps unit to deploy overseas during World War II.

Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. CST, tune into HPPR for a LIVE broadcast radio production of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol. 

This charming radio play will hearken back to days of yore with old-time, on-site sound effects and features the supremely talented Amarillo College Conservatory Theatre players.

The Colorado Springs-based North American Aerospace Defense Command--or NORAD--has officially begun tracking Santa Claus for this holiday season.

Tune in tonight for an HPPR Radio Readers Book Club holiday tradition: the two-hour broadcast of a High Plains author's delightful Christmas story: A Carol Dickens Christmas, featuring a fresh reading by the book's author, Thomas Fox Averill


Saturday, December 22th—  7-9pm CT

Monday, December 24th— 7-9pm CT

Wichita will soon be home to the world’s largest mural painted by a single artist.


The mural is on the east side of the Beachner grain elevator on 21st Street. It’s visible west of I-135 as well as westbound K-96.


William Henry Ellis was born a slave in Victoria, Texas, in 1864 — a year before slavery was abolished in the state.

Ellis was able to take advantage of his proximity to the border — and his light complexion — to reinvent himself as Mexican businessman, Guillermo Enrique Eliseo.

“It’s a pleasure and privilege, as always, to be bringing you the annual night-before-Thanksgiving special Reflections, now in its ninth year. The program presents jazz, swing and pop standards from the 1930s through the 1960s.

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

Audio File
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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.