Category Archives: Americana

TRR: Episode 83, “The Unknown Soldier”



The purpose of Memorial Day seems to have been lost over the past several decades. Instead of a day of remembrance to honor our fallen soldiers, the day has become little more than an excuse for a three day weekend and big sales events. Ironically, we hear people saying, “Happy Memorial Day,” and they do so without the slightest trace of irony.

In this episode, we have three readings about the Unknown Soldier, the fallen soldier who stands for all the forgotten common men who died in battle, including the poem read by Angela Morgan at the original dedication of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in 1921.

“The Unknown Soldier” (1922) by Angelo Patri
“Unknown” (1921) by Bruce Barton
“The Unknown Soldier” (1921) by Angela Morgan

The Reader

TRT: 18:31

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com and Archive.org.


TRR EXTRA: “Twas the Night Before Christmas”



Here we share with you the classic Christmas poem better known as “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” A little candy cane for your holiday!

“A Visit From St. Nicholas” by Clement Clarke Moore

The Reader

TRT: 4:40

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com.


TRR: Episode 63, “Snow-flakes” by Nathaniel Hawthorne



Winter is only truly here when we see snow. In this episode, we turn to “Twice-Told Tales” and a story in which Nathaniel Hawthorne describes the first real snowfall of the season.

“Snow-flakes” (1837) by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Reader

TRT: 19:04

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com and Archive.org.


TRR: Episode 62, “Early Winter” by Rosalind Richards



There’s no hope for it, so we’ll just have to face up to it… winter is almost here. To that end, this week we have a story of the New England wintertime to share with you. Taken from a book by Rosalind Richards that describes life in New England throughout the year, “Early Winter” based on stories and memories told to her by friends and relatives of what it was like to live in Maine a generation or two previous.

“Early Winter” (1916) by Rosalind Richards

The Reader

TRT: 23:18

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com.


TRR: Episode 61, “Mistress Esteem Elliot’s Molasses Cake”



In 1705, the residents of Colchester, CT faced a crisis. No molasses was available for the Thanksgiving holiday! Imagine, no pumpkin pies for the forthcoming feast! What was a colonial housewife to do? Based on a real historical event, we offer you a Thanksgiving story about the Great Colchester Molasses Shortage.

“Mistress Esteem Elliot’s Molasses Cake” (1910) by Kate Upson Clark

The Reader

TRT: 24:17

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com, Archive.org, and Hymnpod.com.


TRR: Episode 53, “School Lets Out”



Robert Nathan was an author, poet, and playwright. You may know of some of his works, albeit from the ones that had been adapted to films. Nathan penned the original source material for “Portrait of Jennie” (1948) starring Joseph Cotton, and the seminal Christmas film “The Bishop’s Wife” (1947), with Cary Grant. In this episode, we’ll hear excerpts from one of Nathan’s novels featuring an elderly schoolmaster.

“Autumn” (1921) by Robert Nathan

The Reader

TRT: 20:58

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com.


TRR: Episode 51, “Staccato Notes of a Vanished Summer”



Author, editor, and critic William Dean Howells was known by his friends and contemporaries as “The Dean of American Letters.” He was a proponent of “Realism,” a new “documentary” style that slowly eclipsed Romanticism in American writing. In this episode, we hear one of his descriptive essays of a fading summer on the coast of Maine.

“Staccato Notes of a Vanished Summer” (1902) by William Dean Howells

The Reader

TRT: 27:21

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com.


TRR: Episode 50, “Lost Pond”



Many states have a legend of a so-called “lost pond,” a place found by the early pioneers and woodsmen, but never marked properly on a map. All that remained were the stories told by the old-timers, the location itself lost to the wilderness. In this episode, we follow a pair of anglers in search of one such lost pond.

“Lost Pond” (1915) by Henry Abbott

The Reader

TRT: 30:15

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com.


TRR: Episode 49, “An Idyl of the Honey-Bee”



Naturalist and conservationist John Burroughs was one of the most influential men in his field at the turn of the last century. He wrote in a lyrical romantic style which made his observations on Nature accessible. In this episode, we present one of his essays on the bee and hunting honey in the wild.

“An Idyl of the Honey-Bee” (1881) by John Burroughs

The Reader

TRT: 48:06

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com.


TRR: Episode 48, “My Summers in New England”



Sara Willis was one of the most popular and successful newspaper columnists of her time. She was born into a family of publishers, but when her older brother refused to print any of her work in the Home Journal magazine that he published, she worked under a pen name to make her own way at writing. She liked her pen name, Fanny Fern, so much, she adopted it as her own in all facets of her life. Nathaniel Hawthorne admired her zest, and she defended Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass” against unappreciative critics of the time. In this episode, we hear excerpts from one of her essays on the benefits of New England life.

“My Summers in New England” (1868) by Fanny Fern

The Reader

TRT: 24:26

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com.