Thursday, May 28, 2009

Postcard Friendship Friday: plus ça change...

"Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose"

According to the dictionary: " the more that changes, the more it's the same thing"

Addressed to Miss Pearlie Richardson, Meadville, PA, April 18, 1911.

"Dear Granddaughter have written to you but have not got any answer. I would like to hear from you to know if you are well. From Grandma to Pearl."

Guilt guilt guilt! Text or e-mail your grandma right now! That Victorian invention, the telephone, still works too. Someday your grandma or grandpa may not be there.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

From Blanch

Postmarked Nov. 9, 1910. Sent to Mrs. Wm. (William) Fish, Pittsfield, Vt.
" My dear Aunt Ina: I am well and hope this will find you the same. I am working down to the Wardsboro Hotel. I will close for this time. I do not know if you can read this - hoping to hear from you soon, From Blanch."
Both of these small towns are near modern ski resorts (think Stratton, Mount Snow). Skiing wasn't big in 1910 but there were always tourists in Vermont.


Friday, May 22, 2009

PFF: Guess who?

A sweet postcard from Brooklyn NY to Violet in Long Island, 1930. There is a story here for sure! I hope it had a happy ending.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Postcard scavenger hunt

Sent to Mr. Atwood, of Arlington MA, postmarked June 26, 1945.
"Dear Wexie, how would you like to catch all the fish in the picture on the other side? You know of course, that the famous fish company here is the Gorton Co. I suppose us Gortons are all distantly related. What are you doing now that school is over? Oceans of love, Grammy A."
I am participating in Postcardy's Scavenger Hunt #3. I had to search to find a fishy card!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Happy Christmas?

Indeed. Are you? Addressed to Mrs. Annie Neal, no postmark, address or stamp. Message; "Wishing you a Merry Xmas. Am coming to see you before I die. Florence Chase"

Does Florence know she is dying of cancer, or heart failure? Is she pining away for Annie? Is she cutting off their friendship - implying she will not see Annie again until she is old and knows she is going to die?
I don't know what to make of this message.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Strange Postcard Friendship Friday

To Kenneth Van Patter or Van Patten, Hubbard, Iowa. Illegible postmark.

"Tell the kids Hello! My school let out last Friday the 19 th. Good-bye. All kinds of flowers here now. Hello Kenneth, I rec’d your card. I found you on the picture. Would you like for me to send some little Prairie Dogs? If you do let me know right away for I have my trap set now. I’ll tell you how I’ll send them if you want them. I am well and so are papa and mama. Hope you are well." C. Ri ????

A very mundane card, except for... the prairie dogs. What is going on here? How would one send prairie dogs through the mail, even now, never mind 90 years ago? Live in a cage? Butchered and dressed in a box? (Ugh) I don't think refrigerated or frozen delivery was available then. I sure hope this was an inside or family joke.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Family Dynamics

To Master Lester W. Hall and Mrs. H.C. B. Hall, Corwen, West Virginia.
Dated March 15, 1911

Dear Lester
You tell mama and Aunt they need not expect a letter from me this week. Everyone is getting along all right. Now that this is a sunshiny day you can be out; as you are getting over whooping cough. Of course you are helping make garden and other things that are to be done. Good Bye. Grandma.

Gee, can you say passive-aggressive? Addressed to the grandchild, grandchild asked to be messenger…. What kind of family fight is implied for grandma to write everyone is getting along all right. Is grandma indirectly writing to her daughter or to her daughter-in-law? Either implies some interesting family dynamics. What unconscious message is being sent by grandma with this postcard? A pretty pink rose on a gold background, but note the poetry: “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may/ Old time is still a-flying;/ And this same flower that smiles today,/Tomorrow will be dying."

Oh I wish at times I could write like Muse Swings and come up with a great backstory.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Peek into Boston, 1949

One of the postcard blogs I follow pointed out that in the past, people sent postcards the way we send instant messages or twitter updates. (I wish I could remember which blog - I would link to you.) The heyday of sending postcards - lots of postcards - was early in the 1900's, but here is an example from October 25, 1949:
to Arthur Knowlton, Farmington, Maine.
"We are at the station in Boston & have had some coffe. [sic] Now we are going to get a taxi and go to the hotel. Love, Irma."
Would that fit into a tweet? I don't use twitter so I know there's a limit on characters, but not what the limit is.
Irma (who is traveling with her?) could be writing from either North Station or South Station in Boston. If she was writing home, then it would be North Station. The Mass. Highway Dept. has a great photo taken within months of her postcard. Think of the haze and dirt from the coal-fired steam locomotives.
Did I mention I love Google, and finding information and images so easily?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

New York City, 1930 and PFF

To: Mathews & Taylor, 505 8 th Ave. New York.
Image of St. Francis of Assisi Church, Diamond Jubilee Souvenir.
Postmarked Nov. 8, 1930.

“My Dear Friends: many many thanks for the lovly [sic] donation for our large bread line. We had today 1644 in the morning and 1500 in the afternoon. Respectfully, Brother Gabriel”

This postcard is from Brother Gabriel Mehler, founder of the breadline in 1929.
St. Francis of Assisi Church is at 135-141 West 31st Street, between 7 th and Ave. of the Americas, half a block from Madison Square Garden and Penn Station.

November 1930. It’s been about a year since the 1929 stock market crash. It was in early 1930 that then-President Hoover said “Prosperity is just around the corner.” These are the days of apple-sellers on the streets of New York. And the priests and brothers of St. Francis of Assisi, serving an unimaginable number of people, each day.

From the breadline’s webpage: “The Breadline reassures poor men and women that no matter how bad life gets, we will be there to help them start their day with a meal and a kind word -. every day for as long as it takes them to get back on their feet. Every morning at 7 a.m. we head out onto the sidewalk in front of Saint Francis of Assisi Church to greet about 200 people who line up for a cup of coffee and a couple of sandwiches. Within just a few minutes they disappear into the crowds of commuters rushing by. We don't know where they go, but we know they will be back, and we will be there waiting for them.”

“The Breadline is needed today more than ever, and that is where you can help. For just $15, you can feed a hungry person for an entire week. For $75, you can feed five people for a week. That's a pretty significant accomplishment, and it's something we don't take for granted. We will use whatever you can give us to ease the suffering of those who seek our help.”
This is a view into the past that moves my heart. Consider contributing to the breadline; I did.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Peek into old New York

Postcard addressed to Miss Ethel Conklin, Freeport, Long Island, New York. Dated 12-29-1908.

"Having a swell old time. The Majestic last night & the Orpheum tonight. Harry" (in fountain pen)

What a party boy! Is this addressed to his sister or his maiden aunt? The Majestic Harry refers to is the old Majestic at Broadway and 59th, at Columbus Circle. (I just love Google - and I love the dedicated people who keep up web pages about every topic imaginable.)

Even better: John Kenrick has a web site where he has compiled the book musicals that have played Broadway over the years (I think this means not vaudeville shows). So I can tell you that Harry probably went to see "The Pied Piper", which opened December 3 that year. Probably wearing tails or at least a tuxedo.

I can find less information about the Orpheum. The current Orpheum is on Second Ave. (STOMP is playing there now) but I can't easily find info on its history. Maybe this is where Harry was going.
Party on, dudes!

PS. The days when you could send a postcard to Freeport with just the recipient's name are long over - Freeport is now a huge suburb on Long Island.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Peek into Kansas, 1913

OK, you knew I couldn't keep up a postcard a day for long. My collection is not that extensive or deep. So, every other day. The next few entries cover postcards with mundane messages that yet offer us a peek into the past.

To Charlie McCloud of Iowa, from his sister in Coats, Kansas, July 13, 1913.
"Dear Bro.
I recieved [sic] your kind & welcome letter yesterday was glad to hear from you. We are well and hard at work thrashing wheat. Did you go the 4th. We thrashed all day. We have made over $80.00 since we came here. O the wind is blowing awful here today and has blowed hard every day we have been here. I don’t like it here at all. Well I guess I will have to close for this time hoping to hear from you again soon. I remain your loving sister [illegible]"

$80.00 was very good money. Of course, we don't know how long she worked to earn this amount. I wish I could read her name.

Whitten, Iowa (population 160) is in central Iowa, northwest of Des Moines. It's clear in Google Earth that it was once on a railroad line, but that the tracks have been taken out.
Coats, KS is still there, a little farming and railroad town in Pratt County. According to Wikipedia, its population was 112 in the 2000 census. It is SW of Wichita and south of I70, and about 26 miles from Greensburg KS, the town that was destroyed by a tornado and is now rebuilding itself.

The teens were a time of more rainfall on the plains and farm yields were good. Labor was needed. She does not live in Coats but is there for the work. Who was with her? I wonder how old she was.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

S.L. Sunday

Best wishes for a quiet Sunday, and a good week next week.
And, another plug for vintagepostcardshop, on ebay.

Friday, May 1, 2009

S.L. and PFF Friday!

Oh my. I saved this one for Friday! Sentimental landscape AND roses. It was printed in Germany, and sent to a lady in Kirksville, Missouri, from a loving grandson, "wishing you many more Happy Birthdays".
Happy Postcard Friendship Friday!


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