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

  • Reckless

    The town of Lemmon, South Dakota, which sits astride Highway 12 and spills into North Dakota, is known for several things. Over the past year its association with the saga of Hugh Glass, including its current iteration as the film, The Revenant, has attracted some press. Lemmon’s resident metal-art genius, John Lopez, produced a dynamic […]

  • Busted a Shear Pin

    For drive-time listening, I often tune in a radio station specializing in agricultural reports, mainly to hear the markets. Alas, like most all organs of communication, the farm stations, too, these days are excessively politicized.   Thus this week I was regaled with a half-hour rant about the foolishness and danger of urban chicken-keeping, which, […]

  • Commencement

    Next week, smack in the middle of a cluttered calendar, I have wedged a flight to Oklahoma and back to attend the high school commencement of No. 1 granddaughter. This will be fun, not only because of family ties, but also because I like getting immersed in pomp and circumstance as rendered in homely fashion […]

  • Mr. Foreman

    The New Deal of Franklin Roosevelt, during the Great Depression, left a considerable watermark on North Dakota. The physical legacy of New Deal public works programs ranges all the way from high architecture to WPA outhouses, tens of thousands of them.   The architectural historian Steve Martens has done an exhaustive inventory of New Deal […]

  • Immigrants, Sex, and Elwyn Robinson

    Before beginning, let me observe that I believe this is the first time anyone ever has paired the word “sex” with the name of the eminent historian of North Dakota, Elwyn Robinson. All right, getting on with it now. I am researching and drafting a new introduction for a new edition of the landmark work […]

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