I’ve got lots of old postcards, but I never can remember what’s on the front of them...Flowers, waterfalls, fat lambs with snowy fleece; windmills, mountain views, chickens or contented cows; old men sitting on stone walls, cheerful fireplaces in wayside taverns?
I never know.
I pay attention to the backside, to the messages written on the back; I search for the clever ones, the ones in secret codes, the ones that make me laugh out loud.
I even published a book about messages on old postcards: Father is here...he’s as fat as a pig—you can Google it!
I’m always entranced, though, by the postcards that are real photographs of places and people; sometimes I buy them because I’m familiar with the place—I make the then/now comparison. And sometimes I buy them because of the clothing people are wearing...
Here’s three of those:
I don’t know who Harry is, but I suspect he’s married to the woman to whom he sent this card in the early 1900s. It’s a photo of
in , and Harry has numbered highlights on
the photo and written the key on the side. Bangor, Maine
“You’ll know as much about this town as I will pretty soon,” he writes. “Don’t forget to kiss the kid for me...”
The writer, Mrs. Willson, has crossed out the “South” in “
South Union” and written “East”
instead – she probably lived there, so I’m guessing she’s right. It’s 1903, and
probably spring, since the river has washed over the wooden bridge!
“Dear Mrs. Greenwood,” she begins. “I guess Mamie is enjoying herself—as we have pitcher of new cider in the house...”
I have visions of Mamie, drunk as a skunk on the cider, careening down the street in
And, finally, the most sincere wishes of J. P. Lyman; white-shirted, vested, collared; a spiffy bow tie and a flower in his lapel.
“How about a game of bowling,” he says on the back, “if I ever get to
I don’t know about you, but I’d certainly go bowling with handsome JP Lyman...strike, spare or whatever!