Plains Folk

The Archives

Plains Folk, a commentary devoted to life on the great plains of North America, is now a special weekly feature on Main Street. Written by Tom Isern of West Fargo, North Dakota, and read in newspapers across the region for years, Plains Folk venerates fall suppers and barn dances and reminds us that “more important to our thoughts than lines on a map are the essential characteristics of the region–the things that tell what the plains are, not just where they are.” You can hear Plains Folk once a week during Main Street, weekdays at 3 pm CT with a repeat at 7 pm CT.

To read more Plains Folk commentaries, click on the “archives” link.

Recent Shows

  • Camp Atchison

    Could I be buried here, please? The site is inconvenient enough to keep away nuisance visitors, and the view is, you might say, to die for. Here I stand, in my mind, at the graveside of Private George E. Brent, a.k.a. Addie Brent, Company D, 1st Minnesota Volunteer Cavalry. I don’t know the origin of […]

  • Bison Heart

    Since last winter there has been a bison heart in our freezer, awaiting its time on the table. Frankly, I was a little intimidated by the thing. No one I knew ever had cooked one. Written sources consulted were not reassuring, as they all dealt with problems of taste and texture. We had acquired this […]

  • Rømmegrøt

    Some people call it Julegrøt, because they prepare and serve it mainly as a holiday ritual. Year-round it is known as rømmegrøt, rømme meaning sour cream and grøt meaning porridge. Around these parts, Norwegians generally get their fix of this sour cream porridge at the Norsk Høstfest in Minot or at their local Sons of […]

  • Networking North Dakota

    It was the 4th of July, 1905, in the little railroad town of Anamoose, North Dakota. The early-morning barrage of fireworks and firearms shocked the members of the Losk family, a party of brothers and sisters, Russian Jews just arrived from the old country. Unacquainted with American customs of the Glorious Fourth, but conditioned by […]

  • Bad Water

    When I was a kid, it was polio. Although I went to a little country school with fewer than a dozen pupils, I knew two kids who were stricken by infantile paralysis. Country museums still today exhibit iron lungs, and to view such artifacts is chilling, if you remember their history. For earlier generations on […]



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