March 8, 2009

Postcards as Documentaries

Posted in Look tagged , at 5:53 pm by onetinyacorn

I love glimpses into people’s lives. The old postcards that I’ve collected whisper their recollections from generations gone by, and I can’t help but imagine the circumstances and lives entangled in these missives. Here are a few from my collection:

1. Lilac Corner

[Front]

Lilac Corner

Greetings

Date Nov 22

Still with You in Thought and Wish.

From “Lilac Corner”

[Back]

Lilac Corner Back

Don’t worry over Alcie [?] Monday morning

My dear boy. If it’s as dark when you get this as it is here this morning you won’t be able to read this. It’s raining dreadfully. I just got your card written Friday you should get one from me this morning. I cant hardly wait morning until the mail gets here. Rev Boyan [?] didnt come yetsterday we had another sample I am feeling good only a little nervous of course I am glad you got the slippers Mrs. Lilly said yesterday that Alcie [?] has the grippe but dont worry for Fread R is attending him and he was able to eat yesterday You see he took cold one day last week but it isnt pneumonia and he wasnt any worse last evening Of course I will keep on praying and so many others are to Mrs Brown said yesterday she had all last week. Well I must stop hope you can read this I wanted to say so much more

Lovingly Fanny

[Details]

Addressed to recipient, “c/o State Sanitorium.” Stamp removed. No cancellation stamp.

2. Merry Christmas

[Front]

Merry Christmas

MERRY CHRISTMAS

May Santy find you with a smile and very

merry hearted,

And may that smile shine all the while

till Christmas has departed.

[Back]

Merry Christmas Back

Dear cousin: —

You will spend Christmas far from home this year, hope you will enjoy it.

Hoping you are well and wishing you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Lovingly

Emma.

[Details]

1 cent postage stamp. Canceled by stamp that reads, “CHRISTMAS SEALS STAMP OUT TUBERCULOSIS.” Mailed December 20th, 1923, from St. Louis, MO.

3. Pivot Rock

[Front]

Pivot Rock

PIVOT ROCK, IN THE BEAUTIFUL OZARK REGION -2

[Back]

Pivot Rock Back

Did-you-get-my telegram?

Dear Bess:

Just stopped in this town for supper. Expect to arrive in city at 12:15 tonight. Boy am I tired. Two girls on our bus had a pick fight & one girls nose was bleeding like mad. Will have to hurry as I have a grilled cheese sandwich to eat & only have 20 min. Will write a letter tomorrow. Love Bob P.S. B. good.

[Details]

Printed information about the postcard:

“THE LAND OF A MILLION SMILES”

A wealth of attractive camping grounds, pastoral scenes of unsurpassed beauty, prosperous dairy and fruit farms, mountain scenes of rugged, verdure clad charm, massive and picturesque overhanging bluffs, good roads winding thru forests, purling streams, countless enchanting spots, good fishing, thrilling golf, up hill and down hill.

1-cent postage stamp.

Sent at 8 p.m. on July 9, 1938, from Springfield, MO

4. Edgewater Hotel

[Front]

Edgewater Hotel

P.C. 32-Edgewater Hotel,

Panama City, Fla.

[Back]

Edgewater Hotel Back

Hi Mother this is our hotel here right on the Gulf of Mexico

Dear Mother

Here I am writing you a few short lines to let you know that I am allright.

I hope that you are not mad at me as I am haveing a good time Spice Marjolig [?] and I are together. So dont be mad. This is a swell place.

Love, El. [?]

[Details]

1-cent postage stamp. Mailed in October (year illegible) from Panama City, FL.

5. Turtle Back Rock

[Front]

Turtle Back Rock

TURTLE BACK ROCK, PINE MT., OVERLOOKING PINEVILLE, KY.

[Back]

Turtle Back Rock Back

Well here to you kid I fell for you the day I met you I go to town Sunday     Bob Rego [?]

[Details]

1-cent stamp. Mailed at 8 p.m. on September 22, 1934, from Pineville, KY.

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2 Comments »

  1. Dan said,

    I really like the composition of no. 4.

    It’s strange. When I first looked at it I thought there were a bunch of things under the overhang of the ‘anvil’. Like a seeing eye puzzle kind of thing.

    I love sending postcards, but I hate writing them out. Everything I say always seems so banal. I also worry if people can read my writing…

  2. Erin said,

    I think that banality is part of the beauty. As a composite, it just shows people’s daily lives. One of the most interesting things I was able to archive was a diary of a man who assisted along the Underground Railroad. Most of the entries, though, were not about this amazing task, but about the day-to-day events that transpired in the town. Seeing a record of the illnesses, deaths, and accidents in that town provided a lot of insight into life then.


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