Posting vignettes based on great postcards found in my mail box and elsewhere.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Religious humor

I enjoy the tongue in cheek depiction of the apostle Peter's attempt to walk on water. The crowded row boat, complete with dangling oar, the disciples, depicted literally as sheep, most not paying attention, and the extra biblical addition of scuba gear on one who is willing to back him up, make this cartoon a hoot, yet conveys the story's intent: lack of faith.

The caption reads: "Ye...(of little faith)" which is a reference to the words of Jesus, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?"

I do not remember when or where I acquired this card. My best guess is the card was purchased in the late 80s, early 90's. I might have picked it up in Canada while traveling the Alcan Highway.

The reverse side has pricing in the U.S. (40 cents) and Canada (75 cents). The headliner has a verse from the Psalms. "Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice." The artist's signature in the lower right hand corner of the picture is unreadable. The card is printed with soy ink, so we might say it is a religious green card.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Frost flowers

"Mt. Fuji and trees with frost-flowers. Oshino Hamlet. (Yamanashi Prefecture)" is the label on the back side. The card was printed in Japan by the Nippon Kotsu Shuppan Company of Tokyo.

"Frost flowers" is a lovely phrase, isn't it?

I wrote the following three weeks ago before leaving town on an unexpected trip. In the haste of leaving taking and unable to access a computer while away, I was unable to post it until now.

This morning's dawn, around 10 am, came with deep cold (38 below zero f.) and a clear sky. Fetching my newspaper, the snow under foot crunched noisely. Paper in hand, I looked up into an azure sky to see the birch tree branches coated in delicate "frost flowers" and thought of this card. For decades it and other cards have lain burried in post card boxes, quiet as a dormant volcano, in the crawl space under the house. Like Mt. Fuji, most of its contents will remain quiet and undisturbed, except a few cards will "vent" in this blog.

The Fuji card was mailed January 4, 1971 to my great aunt from a Japanese friend who wrote a return address (unusual for a post card) from Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia. My aunt was spending the winter in Lecanto, Florida. Setsuko thanked my aunt for her "warm hospitality." She had spent the holidays with them and received chocolate fudge and jams which "grandma made." I'm not sure who grandma refers to. My great grandma had died by then. I suppose it could be my aunt's husband's mother but I never heard mention of her. Thus another mystery.

My aunt, no doubt, gave this card to her sister, my grand mother, to give to me. At the time I was a few months from high school graduation and had given up collecting post cards, yet it seemed I could not say no to a "gift" from grandma. She, her sisters and younger brother, among others, were co-conspirators in my post card collection. For decades their received cards were dutifully given to me. Only now do some tell the stories of people and events otherwise forgotten.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Mt. Rushmore: before and after

A fitting card from the past to commerate the U.S. Presidential Inauguration.
This two panel, black and white photo post card is post dated July 22, 1947. It is addressed to my grandmother from my mother, who was touring the west. She said the monument was "inspiring." Note the typed script on the top panel. Unusual for the time, the back of the card is undivided and does not include a description. The "812" number on the bottom panel is a mystery.
The Mount Rushmore National Memorial was begun in 1927 and completed in 1941. The sculptor, Gutzon Borglum created a lasting tribute in colossal form of four U.S. presidents, Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln. The monument is not simply a tribute to four past presidents but to the high ideals each represented.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Alaska's Birthday

Though usually I'm not all gaga about statehood anniversaries cards this one has some virtues. The background image is Mt. McKinley (20,320 ft) as seen from Denali National Park's Wonder Lake. The text is the state song. The flag is Alaska's: gold stars on a field of blue.

I am fond of our state's flag. It was designed in 1927, when Alaska was a territory of the United States by Benny Benson, a seventh-grader from the post city of Seward. His design was one of 36 submitted in a contest open to schoolchildren in grades 7-12. His simple design won the day and, thankfully, was not altered, by pompous crests and crowns that adorn many U.S. state's flags, when Alaska joined the union of American states on Jan. 3, 1958.

This particular card was sent to my daughter August 24 by her 4th-grade teacher a week before school started 2006. On the back was written this ditty.

On Monday morning,

Rise and shine,

Buckle your shoes, put on you backpack,

It's school time!

One last look at your bed,

Then out the door, on to school!

Everyone will be there, and

Let's make our year really cool!