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

Monday, April 27, 2009

Rio's Christ on High

This post card was sent by Luiz, a Postcrosser from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He wrote a very promotional note on the back that gave a lot of cultural-geographic background in the smallest script I've ever seen. He obviously loves his city of birth. He describes Rio as a " high on life, a city of beaches, football , samba and Carnival." I can't wait to go there. It is on my top ten cities list. If I take in a football game, I'll consider wearing my Nomex underwear and gas mask. Those celebratory flares can get hot and smoky. (See the football video link above. The samba video sizzles too.)
High above the city stands the Christ the Redeemer statue, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. Completed in 1931, it stands 38 meters (120ft) and is perched on Corcovado peak 700m (2,300ft) above the crowded metropolitan area of 11.8 million. Though it is a large statue an impressive atop Corcovado, its appeal comes from its pose. It is a cross triumphant -- a statue that hints at the cross but emphasises the grace filled Christ -- the one who forever stands with arms open to all.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Cleaving to the Cross

Printed in England, this Raphael Tuck & Sons "Oilette" is labeled "Easter Postcara (sic) No. 23." Used as an Easter greeting card, it is addressed to a Mrs. Adam Brown in Durham Canada. The addresser is A & GW Brown. The message reads: "How have you folks stood the winter, all well I hope. We are well. Hope you may have a fine time Easter..." The post mark over the green one cent stamp is obscured. On the face of the card at the bottom is hand written, "A Joyful Easter." The word "Faith" is also clearly visible. I think it was the name of the art compostion.

Today these turn of the century images seem melodramatic but I like the drama and tension of this one anyway. Labeled "Faith" on the bottom left, it was meant to illustrate the struggles of the faithful against the storms and tides of life. While clinging to the rock solid cross, this bride of Christ keeps her eye on the heavenly light above. In classic art the cross symbolizes suffering. To Christians, the cross is a symbol pregnant with meaning: of Jesus' suffering, of a believer's struggle and suffering in this life and the bridge of redemption over earthly sin to perfection in heaven.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Crucified Jesus Sold on Auction Block

Like an empty Easter tomb, this sculpture of Christ has disappeared.

This post card shows the crucifixion scene, one of more than 30 biblical scenes, once known as the Biblical Gardens in the Wisconsin Dell's area. The statues were carried away by an army of evangelical youth in the summer of 1997. The 3/4 scale to life sculptures were bought by the Commission on Youth Services and WELS Lutheran's For Life. The groups planned to use the biblical scenes for publicity photos, videos and dramatic displays. All the statues were purchased for $5,000 dollars, according to WELS.

Here you can find one man's account of carrying off the statues, including Jesus on the cross.

This card, published by Dells Photo Service of Dells, Wisconsin, is one of thousands documenting the tourist attractions, both natural and man-made, that awaited families from the American Midwest. The photo credit goes to John A. Trumble. The card locates the Biblical Garden sculptures between Wisconsin Dells and Lake Dalton, Wisconsin, on Highway 12. The area is a popular summer vacation destinations for residents of Chicago, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Petoskey's Underwater Crucifix

There is one crucified Christ that endures each Easter submerged in the icy waters of Lake Michigan. Only once a year is he saved from obscurity and curiously that is usually around Valentine's Day.

Few know or will tell you where the underwater crucifix is located but it lies not far off shore from the Northern Michigan city of Petoskey. It is west of the city's picturesque waterfront waterfall, several hundred yards off shore. Despite the development and beautification of Petoskey's waterfront in the past 20 years, the location of the underwater crucifix is not marked. If you can find a local willing to tell you where it is, you can either view it by rowing a boat over it on a calm day or don scuba gear in the summer and dive to it.

The best time for viewing is winter. Once a year, usually around Valentine's Day, volunteers clear a path across the ice to the location. A hole was cut in the ice and lights placed underwater to illuminate the crucifixion in the dark waters this past year. You can find out more about the underwater crucifix by reading this article in the Petoskey News-Review, the local daily newspaper.

The crucifix was first submerged in 1962 and moved to its current location in the early 1980's. It is dedicated to all who have perished in the water. It is believed to be the only submerged crucifix in fresh water.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Indian River's Crucified Christ

In April I am featuring a few post cards of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. To begin, I recall a site near my former home in Northern Michigan -- the 7- ton bronze cast of the crucified Jesus that hangs from a 55-foot tall redwood cross in Indian River, Michigan. I remember visiting the gift shop there but not the massive cross. I bought this card there. Why I didn't visit the cross is lost in time, thus another mystery.

The cross, located in the Cross In The Woods Catholic Shrine, was erected in 1954. The sculpture was created by Marshall M. Fredericks and added to the wood cross in 1959. The sculpture measures an impressive 22 feet wide and 31 feet high.

An impressive picture of the crucifix, taken from beneath the sculpture, can be seen over at Scott Richert's Catholic Blog.

Each year thousands of people visit The Cross In The Woods, not only to view the stunning crucifix but also to attend outdoor Mass. On the grounds one can visit the All Faiths Gift Shop, statues of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Peregrine (the Cancer Saint), Our Lady of the Highway and the 14 Stations of the Cross.

The grounds are also the site of the world's largest Nun Doll Museum.

To see the doll museum click on these links: and

In 1964, Sally Rogalski's donated 230 dolls to the Shrine with the only instruction, "that no admission charge would ever be asked, so that people, rich and poor alike, would be able to see them". Sally wanted to document the traditional habits of American nuns to preserve the rich history of the Catholic Church and what were once every day folk dress of Europeans. Today the museum has 525 dolls.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Spring Flowers and Love Blossoms

Cherry Trees Bloom in April at the Jefferson Memorial
In Michigan the Cherry Trees Do Not Bloom till May

But Love Blossoms are Eternal in Montana

Jefferson Memorial post card is a Kodachrome Reproductions of L.B. Prince Co, Arlington, Virginia. Michigan Springtime post card is from Perrin Sourvenir Distributors of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Montana Double Date is a "Duckboy Cards" by Paul Stanton, PO BOX 86, Milltown, Montana 59851.

I had difficulty posting comments on this post so here are some comments:

Postcardy said: Thanks for linking to my Postcard Scavenger Hunt. I was suprised to discover (via Google) that there are several places besides Washington that have Cherry Blossom Festivals. I love that Montana card!

Outstanding Stranger said: Oh ho ho....I bought some Duck Boy postcards too.. they are very funny..The one I liked was a bunch of recked trucks..quote says "Truck Farm". The other one was a California Wine tasting...back yard style. Drinking wine out of a box. What was that link? Diane

Chris Overstreet said: To quote Robert Mitchum, "Life is more exciting in Montana."