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

  • 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 […]

  • Heritage Hall

    So the ushers were slouching around the entrance to Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, near Lankin, before mass. But boy did they straighten up fast when the bishop came around the corner! For the first time ever, the bishop—Bishop John T. Folda—had come to say mass for the Feast of Ss. Peter & Paul. […]

  • Forbes Sausage

    The place to begin in Forbes, North Dakota, is the People’s Store. You can’t miss it. A big sign, and you’re not going to have any problem parking. If you get there at nine or ten in the morning, the coffee klatch will be in full bloom. That will catch you up on whatever you […]

  • Good Dogs

    Angie the History Dog has discovered her alter ego: Water Dog. The drought has broken, the bar ditches are running brisk and cold, and our puppy cannot get enough of that ditch water. Labrador retrievers, I have observed before, are sensuous animals. Cool water, tummy rubs, stinky carcasses, sloppy mud, singing frogs, sweet grass—for them […]

  • The Gauntlet

    Tonight I travel to Ellendale for a meeting about how to restore, preserve, and make use of a grand historic building, the Ellendale Opera House. I’d like to share with you some remarks prepared for the meeting, because they apply throughout the northern plains. The first thing to remember as we contemplate the challenge and […]

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