September 16, 1910
will put an apron on you and make you
work all day if you do...Samantha Alice
It’s been raining up here in Maine for the past few days, and we’re all a bit cranky around our edges; there’s something particularly oppressive about rainy days in late fall.
But I’ve got the cure for that: browsing through indoor flea markets where, if I’m lucky, I can find a postcard vendor with row upon row of boxed cards – a deltiologist’s dream!
Most people collect postcards for the views, the graphics, the artist or the publisher.
Not me; I collect for the words written on the back – and Samantha’s warning to Peter Giberson from the New Meadows Inn near my hometown is a classic!
A couple of years ago I published a small book: “Father is here...he’s as fat as a pig,” a collection of messages found on postcards sent to/from people in Maine in the early 1900s; I lifted the title directly from a postcard mailed in Lisbon in 1912 (you can find it on Amazon or on my website if you want to take a closer look).
It’s full of oddball things people wrote to each other, such as:
Dear V, will you look on the wood box and see if Sam laid a mouse there... please destroy it for it will not smell very good...
Or, one of my all-time favorites:
Dear Helen...there’s loads of pigs and cows down here, but not many men.
I wasn’t thinking about compiling a collection for a second book until I found one mailed to Leon McIntire of Middle Dam, Maine:
Received your card. Thot you was dead. Stella
Perfect title, I thought! So I’m officially collecting for the second book.
I’ve found some absolute beauties, including one to Mrs. W.S. Mayberry, in
Intended to send you a card before this but have been very busy fighting hornets...MBL
And to Mr. Fred Plummer of Orono:
You left town just in time for Mrs. Warren put your name in the paper and goodness knows what she might have discovered about you if you stayed longer...
And to a Mrs. Cunningham of
in 1912: Jefferson, Maine
Walter has got his arm broke, the rest of us are all well.
Lottie is dead.
So much for Lottie!