Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Day for Postcards

I love postcards. Inexpensive souveneirs, colorful, evocative, artistic, kitsch, memorable. You can send them. You can hoard them. You can find them by the box in antique shops and garage sales and bookstores and airports and museum gift shops. Finding postcards with messages written on the back is much like discovering inscriptions in old books; there is a sense of connectedness, of intimacy with strangers. There is dried ink, a real address, a real stamp, a real sliver of history.

I found this one in the Pioneer Square subterranean antique mall last week. The caption is "The King and Queen on their way to St. Paul's Cathedral for the Royal Silver Jubilee Service." (The date indicates King George V and his wife Mary of Teck, grand-parents of the current monarch Elizabeth II. This was the year before the King's death; he does look rather haggard. Apparently George V preferred to stay at home with his stamp collection rather than tour his Empire. In this postcard I just see him thinking to himself - "By Jove, I'd rather I was at home in front of the fire with a cup of tea and some lovely Ceylon stamps.")

It is postmarked June 20 1935, sent to St. Louis, MO, and says:

Hello there
England is a grand place - should I say country - next stop Leningrad.
Regards to the girls - J Laycob & Son."

(May be wrong about the name - handwriting is ambiguous.)

And I found this merry Moomin postcard in my mailbox yesterday from a co-worker and friend, Erin. Moomins and postcards - what could be better?

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