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

  • Kuchen Bars at Zeeland Hall

    The only problem was, there was a run on the rhubarb kuchen bars. My buddy Clarence announced that of all the bars on offering at the Zeeland Hall on a Sunday afternoon, the rhubarb were the best. People looked at Clarence, and they just knew he was a reliable source on such things, so the […]

  • Remembrance of 1890

      There comes, Christmas week this year, an anniversary to be observed with remembrance rather than celebration. On December 29 it will be 125 years from the day of the tragic carnage at Wounded Knee, South Dakota. Once called a battle, it is generally today termed a massacre—a word that I use sparingly, but recognize […]

  • Buttercup

    There is a problem when, as a scholar, you live the same thing that you study—as in my case, life on the Great Plains of North America. You never really get away from your work.   If you’re chasing ringnecks through the stubble, you’re thinking about the historic introduction of the pheasant into the American […]

  • Zeeland Hall

    Such a beautiful heritage building, its creamy stucco aglow in the golden sunshine of autumn. That’s what I was thinking as I stood outside the Zeeland Hall, on the main drag of Zeeland, North Dakota.   Then I went inside and another beautiful scene unfolded, as there in the kitchen stood the ladies of St. […]

  • Monster Mash

    Readers of this column know that I am an enthusiast for seasonal routines and traditions. This may be a matter of attaining a certain age. You come to love those things that recur in annual cycles more than the things that occur but once.   Halloween has become such a big thing (and such a […]

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