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People & Life

People & Life on Weekend America


  • College Football Mania

    This weekend the air is becoming brisk. And if you listen closely, you can hear the sound of marching bands playing football fight songs. For college football fans, die-hards, true believers, the months between January and September are months of darkness, joylessness and patient waiting for the season to begin. Nowhere are fans more rabid than in the South. Georgia, Oklahoma, LSU, Mississippi, Florida, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and of course, the Crimson Tide of Alabama.

  • Saving Memories

    Edwin Harrison

    This weekend, New Orleans native Edwin Harrison is relieved. He was only a month away from moving back into his home destroyed by Katrina when Hurricane Gustav bore down on the Gulf Coast. This time, his house was spared. It wasn't easy to leave everything he'd rebuilt and flee to Atlanta to wait out the storm. But there was one thing Mr. Harrison didn't have to worry about this time. Earlier this summer, he entrusted one of his prized possessions to a stranger.

  • RNC Undercover

    Jim and Hugh

    The Democratic and Republican conventions that have dominated the last two weeks show an increasingly partisan America. In many ways, American communities are becoming more and more like political conventions all the time. Studies show that most of us spend the majority of our time interacting with people who agree with us. But that's not the case with reporter Jim Gates. He's a Democrat, but he found himself at the Republican National Convention as a personal guest of an Arizona delegate.

  • Beauty of All Sorts

    "Heather Come Hither" by Bianka.

    Art lovers in the Boston area have a lot of options for their weekend museum browsing. You've got your Museum of Fine Art, your Institute of Contemporary Art, your Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum and scads of little galleries scattered all over town. But what about bad art lovers? Well, you're in luck. Just for you, there's the Museum of Bad Art.

  • Happy Birthday Google?

    If you Google the phrase "Google's birthday," some results say it's this weekend. Some say it's a couple weeks away. Some say it was a few days ago. It's almost as if you can't trust what you read online. We Google so much, it's an actual verb now. And much has been written about whether it's making us smarter, making us stupider, or just plain changing the way our brains work. Now that so many topics can be explored with Google, what's really left to talk about when you get together with friends to celebrate, or enjoy people's company?

  • Pappenfus Tomatoes

    Pappenfus Tomatoes

    Harvest time is fast approaching. The corn is sweet, apple trees are heavy and tomatoes are plump. Especially plump is the Pappenfus tomato. Never heard of it? You're not alone. It's a variety brought to the United States from Germany in the 1860s. And it's not for sale. It's only grown by and for the Pappenfus family. Tomato seeds have been carefully passed down from generation to generation. But what happens when you're the last one in the family?

  • Preparing for Fall

    Squirrel's Nest

    Ever since John Moe moved to St. Paul last March, he's been on alert, waiting for the next weather extreme. It was eight degrees below zero when he arrived, and there was snow on the ground until April. Spring was around just long enough to get a whiff of the wild flowers, and summer seems like it started about a week ago. Now, we're on to fall, and John's started bracing for the winter. Before then, we had him get some insight into what fall has in store for him.

  • McCain's Real Summer Home

    Cornville, Arizona. Population 3,300.

    The names of presidential hometowns have a special ring to them, a sort of geographical charisma or gravitas. There was Hope, Arkansas. Plains, Georgia. Crawford, Texas and Kennebunkport, Maine. Well if John McCain is elected, the world will get to know a tiny town tucked in Arizona's Verde Valley. It's where McCain goes for weekend getaways. And it's not where you think.

  • Political Bets

    The big topic after the Republican National Convention seems to be Sarah Palin, an unknown when McCain picked her. The word you keep hearing is "gamble." She could flame out or pay off. It makes sense if you know that McCain likes to gamble. He's a craps player. Meanwhile, Barack Obama has stayed relatively quiet regarding Palin. As if he's sizing her up, reading her the way a poker player would. Turns out Obama loves poker.

  • Summer Cottages

    Poet Cornelius Eady

    This weekend, lots of folks are saying goodbye to their summer homes, at least until next year. Boats are coming out of the water, beach blankets are heading for the closet. Poet Cornelius Eady and his wife, graphic designer and writer Sarah Micklem, won't be doing either one of those things.

  • An Extra Day

    Cimarron High, empty on a three-day weekend

    It's a three-day weekend for many Americans, an extended weekend to hit the beach one more time. Or a state fair to have one last food item on a stick. But more and more Americans get to enjoy a three-day weekend every week. An increasing number of towns and cities, even school districts, are adopting four-day weeks in an effort to curb energy use. It often means longer days at the office, working four ten-hour days, but there is that one extra day off.

  • Dread of Back to School

    Eleven-year-old Jennadya Davis

    This is back to school weekend. For parents, it's a relief. But for students and many teachers, it can create a feeling of dread. Even kids who like school and teachers who love their jobs get this feeling of resentment, fear, even animosity at the prospect of returning. Many adults, long after graduating, also report that feeling of dread at the end of summer. It's a serious thing. We wanted to hear from folks who are going through it right now.

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