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

  • 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 […]

  • Bring Over Six

    About half of North Dakota, I would say, was an audio frontier—by which I mean, there were telephones in the towns almost from the beginning. Even small towns were acquiring telephone systems during the 1880s, and expansion accelerated when the Bell patents ran out in the early 1890s.   Certainly the towns planted during the […]

  • The Unequal Battle Against the Elements

    There is the granite memorial, there is the song by Chuck Suchy, and there are countless commemorations of the sacrificial death of Hazel Miner, the Oliver County farm girl who died saving her brother and sister from the killer blizzard of 15-16 March 1920. There were others who died in that storm, however.   Among […]

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