The postcards

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A Rude Awakening

When I was in boot camp, they usually just yelled and banged garbage cans. It didn’t matter to me, I was usually awake, hearing people that got up even earlier marching in the distance, or at least the wind whistling off the lake.

This card was sent to Billie R. From Virgil, and I have several of them, I suspect she kept them all her days. As far as I can make out, it says;

Hello Billy! I received your sweet letter today and was sure glad to hear from you. I guess that I did tell Eddie that you were working every day, I allow that (something) short of hands…. He would give you a job while school was out but it would be too much on you for regular work. You need to rest and play while you are young and can enjoy yourself —-

Truer words were never spoken, Virgil!

P.S. What is the guy in the next bunk dreaming about?

There are many Lapps

I came across this very old postcard in a lot I purchased a while back. This family is glad to pose on their little hill and with their (reindeer?)

Let’s pause for a moment and have some sympathy for mom.

So I was thinking, what’s up with the hill? Turns out that it’s their house, like this other Lapp family from the same era.

Fisherman math. It doesn’t add up!

I see only three ladies, and apparently four guys came on this trip. You would think that that having the extra guy out on the lake instead of cramping their style would be a good thing? I would rather go fishing than hang around with these cranky fucks too.

You can’t go there anymore

We were mulling over where to go on vacation this year. I had a crazy idea, we have a box of random postcards (because that’s what packrats do)… My idea was to blindly grab a postcard from the stack, and go there on vacation.

It would be wonderful to go to Mrs. Henderson’s Crown Point Chalet. Alas, this postcard is almost 100 years old. Her health failing, she sold the Chalet in the late 1920’s, and opened a small dining room in Portland. The depression caused that business to fail, and Mrs. Henderson died broke at age 58. This is from the MountHoodHistory.com website. I am assuming that Mrs. Henderson was a widow.

She should have put a picture of one of those home cooked chicken dinners on the back.

Dodge City Scene

There’s a lot going on in this Dodge City postcard. At first I thought the guy in the street outside the cigar store had slipped in some horse poop, but it looks like the Man in the Yellow Hat has given him lead poisoning. Curious George would be appalled by TMITYH’s dark side.

The guy in the yellow shirt at the bottom right, had a WANTED flyer for some dude, and as luck would have it that dude just came up behind him. But the look on his face! Keep your cool man! This old west reenactment show was all very entertaining… Until I saw they hung a guy from a tree on the hill! At the rate people are being shot or hung, pretty soon it will be a ghost town.

Daring daylight robbery

Here’s a postcard from the sleepy little town of Oil City, Pennsylvania – but wait! In the lower right, you can clearly see three ex-convicts in drag preparing to rob the post office- doesn’t seem like that would be a lucrative target, but what do I know; the only thing I have stolen is my wife’s heart. The sender wrote, among other things;
“…Am working hard this summer. No joking, I am working 10 hrs. a day and most of the time with a pick and a shovel at that. It certainly does me good.”


He’s a better man than me, I would be whining like a loose fan belt if I had to use a pick and shovel for 10 yours, in the hot Pennsylvania August sun.

Beach Adventures

We haven’t been to the beach yet this summer, my mother psyched me out too much when I was a kid, she was so concerned the undertow would drag me out to sea while she was sneaking a Kool behind the restrooms. This is why we joined the Y, nice 4 1/2 foot deep pool, no fish or crabs, no sunburn, and you don’t track sand into the car. I think Elmer would prefer it.

Biloxi Chow

Here’s a postcard from a young man training at Biloxi to (I presume) his girlfriend back home. Or maybe his girl friend. Back then I think a guy could be friends with a girl without complications.

I found it interesting that the post office would mail these letters for free, thus saving a copper penny, for him to drop somewhere, to the delight of a guy with a metal detector years later. It must not have been in the summer, or he would complain that it is “Africa hot” down there.

Call your mother!

One of my favorite things about old postcards, the messages written on the back. When it’s not “The weather is nice, this place is beautiful, nyahh nyahh neener neener neener!”
This one someone sent to her mother, apparently they correspond only by mail;

Dear mom- Received your letter. Jim was to tell you about our moving, but your letter didn’t sound as if you knew. I thought he had called both you and Elsie and Frank. We are all packed, moving May 2nd. Will write to you from our new address as soon as I can. Love, Olive & Dale.

Teresa was thinking maybe Olive was mute, or deaf? But what are the odds that Dale was also? Obviously mom had a phone. Maybe they couldn’t afford long distance charges? Maybe Olive picked Oranges for a living?
We are so spoiled today

The Alarming Birthday Toast

Sometimes the postcards I collect interest me more from the message written on them than the postcard image. For example, this young lady writes to her friend;

Just a quick note,
early or late, to say
happy birthday. I
hope the sky finds
you well, the train
sings you to sleep,
the whiskey tickles
your throat, & a firm
hand slaps your ass 26
times over.
Lots of love, D

Now look, I know this is a tradition in some parts, but isn’t 26 a little old for the “birthday spankings” thing? She’s nobody’s poet.