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

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Chugging into the future

For the last postcard of 2011, I chose (no surprise) a train. To me there is nothing more symbolic of moving into the future than a train chugging along, especially trains powered by a steam locomotive.
This postcard came from friends and neighbors who just returned from the lower 48 (U.S.) states. I collect train postcards and they seem to find the best cards for me.
This card is post dated 1928 and shows the Royal Gorge, Colorado. The gorge's rock walls are some 2,500 feet and not nearly as wide, so the effect of being in the gorge is a little claustrophobic to some.
Traveling the gorge by train is fairly high on my bucket list.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Coach, "You gotta put me in!"

This guy is the personification of the kid who just wants to get in the game. This postcard came from a humorous dog-themed calendar, complete with removable postcards. I'm sending this card along with some other gifts to a friend who I think will appreciate the gun-hoe attitude.

I also like this card because the ready to play dog dons the helmet of the Green Bay Packers. The packers are my second favorite professional football team. I still like the underdog Detroit Lions because, well, I grew up outside Detroit and went to see them play when I was a very young boy. I remember also the Thanksgiving holiday tradition of Detroit playing the Packers and losing nearly every year.

I like that the "Pack" are doing well and continue to beat all the odds with their community-owned  franchise. It's evidence to me that  people-owned businesses are capable of beating the odds and being successful rather than all the other big business team franchises. No other team has won as many championships and the team has four Super Bowl victories. If not the Lions, let it be the Pack.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Yippie, share the serendipidy

After six out of seven days of record lows (-35 to -41), the air warmed to -18 today. I thought this post card expressed my elation. It felt nice to walk outside again. Instead of the smoggy smell of city air under a high pressure inversion, walking outside today you could smell clean winter air again. It reminded me to of winters in my home state of Michigan which seem tame and mild compared to the  brutal cold and dark of Interior Alaska.

The postcard above advertises the Share Experience Photo Contest sponsored by the National Park Foundation. For you shutter bugs who want to enter the contest follow this link. Photographers are to submit their favorite view from the nation's public lands.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Cold to the Bone

We're in a cold snap here. The weather turned cold the past week and there isn't any end in sight yet. On Wednesday, November 16, records fell: 54 below zero Fahrenheit at Manly Hot Springs, 41 below in Fairbanks International Airport.

This post card is my favorite local cold weather image. There are lots of these hearty souls walking the streets of Fairbanks this time of year dressed up like spaceman. This particular individuals face mask sort of looks like a blue pig snout or maybe a Yetti. It's a great picture illustrative of the ice fog and extremes of dress Fairbankians use to keep warm.

I remember the first Thanksgiving my wife and I spent in Healy, Alaska. We woke up and the temp was pegged at 49 below and the propane wouldn't flow. We ended up taking the turkey we were supposed to cook to our friends house to cook it there. They kept their propane tank propped up against the house and wrapped in a thermal blanket. The heat coming off the house was enough to keep the propane liquid and flowing. I know this is a perverse wish but I kind of wish that it would have been 50 below that year just so I can say some day, "I remember the day it was 50 below on Thanksgiving morning..." I guess I'll have to settle for saying, "I remember the day it was 49 below in the 49th state."

Monday, August 22, 2011

Landing a Big One

My high school friend, Rick, has a great sense of humor and wrote on the back of this old Curt Teich linen postcard, "Here's a photo of me catching a big salmon last week. He put up a mighty fight too!"

His fish story did catch the vernacular of the 20Th-century postcard greeting. How many folks back home were bamboozled or humored by stories of whoppers caught and eaten in obscurity on vacation in the back woods.? I would guess more than a few.

Though the old Curt Teich postcards were not of the great quality of color cards printed in Germany and France in the first half of the 20th-century, they do have a rich watercolor tone all their own. Looking at the image, I can feel the vast quietude of the water, timeless atmosphere and the euphoric mood that is a part of the fishing experience on large lakes. Someday I'll tell Rick about the summer when I was ten and landed the giant Sturgeon that bit our boat's oar in half.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Postcrosser and amateur photographer, Christine, sent this wonderful postcard image of her nephews eating watermelon. I think this one beats the usual kids in the bathtub. Then again, all baby pictures are like all babies, cute from the get go.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Postcards Cafe

Shame on my for neglecting my blog. I like to post weekly but life happens.

My friends Kim and Dennis returned from Kauai, Hawaii, from a much needed vacation and they were so taken with the island they could not stop talking about it and reading about it. They vowed to return. I'll give them a year or two but I bet they will be back. From their descriptions, Kauai sounds like the Garden of Eden, complete with wild food on the vine and the kind of warm temperatures riding moist ocean currents most Alaskan's only dream about.
My friends sent me a beautiful wood postcard (see my blog post here) from the island but waited until Christmas to give me this card which any self-respecting postcard collector would die for. This is so much like Kim and Dennis always giving what is most valuable. Thanks guys.
The Postcards Cafe specializes in seafood and gourmet natural cuisine. The postcard image is from a painting signed by Lauren Paskal, 1996. The cafe's contact information is P.O. Box 778 Hanalei, Hawaii 96714. Phone 808-826-1191.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Oh, say can you see...

This card of Fort McHenry was one of two cards sent recently by Stephen from Baltimore, Maryland. This was the fort the British bombarded for 25 hours on September 13, 1814, during the War of 1812. Had they passed and landed in Baltimore Harbor we Americans might be a part of the U.K. This is also the battle that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the poem "Defense of Fort McHenry. The poem would later be set to music, eventually retitled the Star-Spangled Banner and designated our national anthem in 1931. The site today is a national monument and an historic shrine under the authority of the National Park Service.