Plains Folk

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

  • A New Rock Star

    I am willing to admit that I still get a hoot out of the comic performances of Clyde Bauman, a.k.a. Milo Hatzenbuler, a “man of the soil transformed into a rock music icon,” as he puts it, the “North Dakota Rock Star.” Of course, if you’ve heard Milo perform seriously as Clyde, a fine tenor, […]

  • Hubris on the Plains

    About reading habits: generally I read three or four books at a time, placing one in each place where I commonly read—at bedside, on the table next to the big bison chair by the fireplace, and so on. It happened that last week in one place I was reading a classic in the history of […]

  • Custer’s Trials

    As you near the end of T. J. Stiles’s 582-page, Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of George Armstrong Custer, you come to realize, hey wait, he’s not going to fight the battle! There aren’t enough pages left to recount the so-called Sioux War of 1876 and detail Custer’s demise at the Greasy Grass a.k.a. the Little Big […]

  • Welcome to Leith

    The two film-makers responsible for the remarkable documentary, Welcome to Leith, explain that they made an important breakthrough when they recognized the type of story they were dealing with: it was a Western. Michael Beach Nichols and Christopher K. Walker made this observation following a screening of the film at the Fargo Film Festival, where […]

  • Magnificent Countryside

    You gotta love a man who shows up for work in bib overalls. With tools, lots of tools. And fire, hot fire stoked from Pennsylvania anthracite.   Bob McCay is comfortable at the forge. He’s comfortable, too, wading in and talking with those gathered around the forge for his demonstration of blacksmithing. We met him, […]

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