Cover image for Charles Kuralt's American moments
Charles Kuralt's American moments
Kuralt, Charles, 1934-1997.
Personal Author:
[Large print edition].
Publication Information:
Thorndike, Me. : Thorndike Press, 1999.

Physical Description:
368 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
Originally published: New York : Simon & Schuster, 1998.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E169.04 .K874 1998B Adult Large Print - Floating collection Withdrawn from the collection

On Order



To generations of Americans, Charles Kuralt was the wanderer transfixed by the richness he found in every corner of the country. The project he was working on before he died was An American Moment with Charles Kuralt, a series of TV essays about the people, places and ideas that define the national spirit. Kuralt's longtime friend Peter Freundlich has edited and collected these essays. The result is an enchanting and touching book that brings back Charles Kuralt's distinctive voice and celebrates the American character and traditions he so loved.

Author Notes

Charles Kuralt, September 10, 1934 - July 3, 1997 Charles Kuralt was born on September 10, 1934 in Wilmington, North Carolina. He was the son of a social worker and a teacher. Kuralt attended the University of North Carolina where he edited the student newspaper. He graduated in 1955. A year later, Kuralt won the Ernie Pyle Memorial Award for his human interest columns while working for the Charlotte, North Carolina News.

Kuralt joined CBS in 1957 as a rewriter, moving quickly up the ranks to become an on-air correspondent, where he covered the 1960 Presidential campaign. He then moved to the position of head of CBS' Latin American Bureau. He eventually became a roving correspondent, doing four tours of Vietnam, covering the war. Kuralt quit hard news in 1967 and gathered a three man crew to do a three month trial run of "On the Road." After logging more than a million miles for CBS Americana, Kuralt became the anchor of "Sunday Morning," and hosted "An American Moment," and "I Remember."

Through the course of his career, Charles Kuralt won three Peabody Awards and ten Emmys. He received the 1981 George Polk Memorial Award for national television reporting and was named Broadcaster of the Year in 1985 by the International Radio- Television Society.

He has written "To the Top of the World," "Dateline America," "On the Road with Charles Kuralt," "Southerners," "North Carolina Is My Home" and "A Life on the Road." Charles Kuralt died on July 3, 1997 at the age of 63.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The late Charles Kuralt lumbered into many Americans' hearts when he took to the road to report on nonfamous Americans all over the country, first on TV, then in best-selling books, and finally, again on TV, in a series of 90-second slices of life. This volume collects those vignettes' verbal transcripts, illustrates each with one or more frames from their visual continuities, and, like the serenity-inducing broadcaster himself, charms the bejesus out of browsers one and all. A giant-bug sculptor in New York State, a woman cooking rice and black-eyed peas in South Carolina, and a Minnesotan who grabs his sleeping bag for a night's camp-out whenever he hears the temperature might sink to a new all-time low are three of Kuralt's human subjects, and arctic tundra swans settling in coastal North Carolina for the winter and tugboats in New York Harbor are a couple of his nonhuman ones. Without fail, Kuralt finds them fascinating and verifies the old Robert Louis Stevenson children's rhyme: "The world is so full of a number of things, / I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings." (Reviewed October 1, 1998)0684859033Ray Olson

Library Journal Review

A compilation of actual vignettes from Kuralt's American Moments television program, this audio version holds up well, despite having originally relied on a visual presentation. The narration by Boyd Gaines and the carefully selected and organized segments insure a pleasant, cohesive experience for the listener. From the threat to the Cape Hatteras lighthouse to tales of the Pony Express, from the demise of the outlaw Jesse James to the shop of a mender of stuffed toys and broken heartsÄyoung and oldÄthe late Kuralt (Charles Kuralt's America, Audio Reviews, LJ 2/1/96) traveled the country to discover bits of Americana to immortalize on his show. Listeners will be thankful to him and to the producers of this audiobook for preserving the whole happy experience for us all to enjoy. Highly recommended.ÄMark Pumphrey, Polk Cty. P.L., Columbus, NC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Chapter One A Stone Wall If you go for a walk in the woods in any northern place in America, sooner or later you'll come across what we came across in these woods -- an old stone wall. Fifty or a hundred or two hundred years ago, somebody clearing a field picked up every one of these stones and carried them a distance and made a wall of them here. Whatever else he did here, the forest shrugged off long ago. But the wall remains. Other countries have ruined castles, pyramids, and Parthenons. We have these grown-over monuments to forgotten farmers. The wall names no names, but whispers much about what must have been. There must have been a homestead and apple trees, a barn, children playing once their chores were done. All that must have been, or why this wall? With enough research into local history, I might have been able to tell you who built that stone wall. But I like leaving the history there in the woods where the moss and the dragonflies know it, and the rain and the snow know it, even if we don't. Copyright © 1998 Estate of Charles Kuralt. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

Charles Osgood
Prefacep. 11
Forwordp. 15
American Emblems
The Cords of Winterp. 20
Wind and Waterp. 22
Fun on the Hoofp. 25
Under the Big Topp. 26
The Little Red Wagonp. 28
The Once and Future Fairp. 31
The Last of the Red, White, and Bluep. 32
Sentinels of the Desertp. 34
Proof Through the Nightp. 36
A Stone Wallp. 38
Still Humming Alongp. 39
Fenders and Flapsp. 41
Candy Cloudsp. 42
For Whom the Bell Tollsp. 44
The Great American Hatp. 46
American Originals
Landing for Lunchp. 50
Our Great Woodsmanp. 53
Upright Announcementsp. 54
No Large Envelopes, Pleasep. 57
The Heights of Technologyp. 58
At the Marketp. 60
Lucyp. 62
A New Dishp. 64
The Lincoln Highwayp. 67
A Burst of Speedp. 68
The Barbershop Bluesp. 70
American Portraits
A Man of the Roadp. 74
Lions and Tigers and Bearsp. 76
Mending Their Majestiesp. 78
The Sounds of Silencep. 80
A Man of Partsp. 82
Home, Tiny Homep. 84
The Swift Completionp. 86
Big Ship, Small Shedp. 89
Cold, and Colder Stillp. 90
American Shrines
Sullivan's Islandp. 94
Noah Webster's Housep. 96
Mr. DeLeo's Monumentp. 98
The Czar's Americap. 100
When Shots Rang Outp. 101
Grant's Tombp. 102
At the Pumpp. 104
The Store That Wasp. 106
The Ups and Downs of the Evergladesp. 109
Hanauma Bayp. 110
Land's Endp. 113
A Railroad Palacep. 114
Rain Above, River Belowp. 116
American Makers
The President's Shoesp. 120
Swept into Officep. 122
Philip Simmons of Charlestonp. 125
A Maker of Whirligigsp. 126
Master of the Victrolap. 128
A Tune on the Chopping Blockp. 130
A Cymbal of Americap. 131
Turning Back the Clockp. 132
Dragonflies, Indeedp. 134
A Brush with the Pastp. 136
The Strength of Sweet Grassp. 138
The Fiddler of Americap. 140
American Dreamers
With Hope in Handp. 144
Trombone Shortyp. 146
Play Ball!p. 148
And Then the Curtain Fellp. 150
By the Billionp. 153
Flowers That Flyp. 154
A Gift of Wisdomp. 157
His Big Small Worldp. 158
The Call of the Wildp. 160
American Sights
Snow Geesep. 165
The Valley of the Eaglesp. 166
Giants in the Earthp. 169
In the Shallowsp. 170
Windblown Seedsp. 171
Key Deerp. 172
Among the Swansp. 174
A World of Icep. 177
The Unstoppable Sandp. 178
Bundles of Bloomsp. 180
Stone New Yorkersp. 182
Brief Beautyp. 185
American Heirlooms
Heavenly Windows, Hellish Hatep. 188
Hoppin' Johnp. 190
Let There Be Lightp. 192
America's Sunrisep. 194
The Weight of Progressp. 195
The Devil's Ropep. 196
Ink in the Bloodp. 198
Elephants of the Harborp. 201
The Last of Jesse Jamesp. 202
Wind Your Bobbinp. 204
Good Things Come in Big Boxes Toop. 206
The Towers Atop the Towers of New Yorkp. 208
Scratched in the Landscapep. 210
American Ways
Skipping Stonesp. 214
The Ferry at Los Ebanosp. 216
The Blessing of the Fleetp. 218
A Rite of Springp. 220
Miss Indian Worldp. 221
Of Horse and Manp. 222
Pilottownp. 225
The Canalp. 226
Dog Powerp. 228
Little Fish, Big Buildingsp. 230
Roll, Cross, and Flipp. 231
American Notions
The Right Toolp. 234
All Downhill from Herep. 236
A Click Heard 'Round the Worldp. 238
Smoke Signalsp. 240
And the Cares That Hung Around Me Through the Weekp. 243
The Music of the Mapp. 244
Seeing the Lightp. 246
Squinting Scientistsp. 248
Winter's Wild Ridesp. 250
About Timep. 252
On Paper Wingsp. 253
The Road Less Traveledp. 254
Acknowledgmentsp. 256