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

  • Eighteen Dead Cows

    One Wednesday night in April 1937 Gottlieb Grenz got to nursing a bottle and a grudge at the same time, and the results were not good. Drinking somewhere in the town of Temvik, in Emmons County, he encountered his brother-in-law, Henry Wills. The two got into a dispute, with Grenz accusing Wills of spreading a […]

  • That’s It!

    The social media contraption Facebook has this feature where now and then it brings up a photo from the past. This week the photo feature indicates that two years ago I was eating a huge hamburger at a café in Burdett, Kansas. The image of the burger is voluptuous, but I am not ashamed.   […]

  • Medicine Rock

    A welcome sign for the town of Gettysburg, South Dakota, reads, “Gettysburg: Where the Battle Didn’t Happen.” Actually, a skirmish did take place near here during the Civil War. It was a grisly episode of the Dakota War. It amazes me how little the public, outside of the state of Minnesota, knows about the Dakota […]

  • Conversations with Walt

    I’m in the middle of a long conversation with an old friend. It started about forty-four years ago. The old friend is Walter Prescott Webb, historian, author of the 1931 classic, The Great Plains. It should come as no surprise for people who know me to read that I talk with dead people. They are, […]

  • Pioneer Girl

    So who owns Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the Little House books beloved to millions? The television version of Little House on the Prairie, running from 1974 to 1982, did much to fix public memory of the Ingalls family in Walnut Grove, Minnesota, where the TV show was set.   The book that carries the […]

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