Standing for hours shuffling through old postcards doesn’t sound like an appealing afternoon for most people, but it certainly does to me. Especially if it’s raining. Ah, then it’s a perfect afternoon. Is my husband reading this? He needs to take note. No more Sam’s Club food sample dates. I want dust and moth balls.
So I’ve started amassing a new collection. It’s so specific that it will keep me from buying out an entire store, yet general enough that my chances of finding them is not too bad. I’m buying postcards depicting sites I’ve visited. But it can’t just be any postcard. It has be old. The older the (so much) better. For one, you can see how that particular site has changed over the years and secondly, it’s just cool. Also, it has to be written upon. It can be as little as ‘See ya later alligator.’ (That phrase came out in the 50s, so it fits, people.) But something has to be written on it.
So I’ve found my first two. Wanna see them? Okay.
First stop, Canterbury Cathedral in England. I barely have any photos from this trip. I was 16 and thought it was more fun to take pictures of my friends holding plastic poo in our hotel room than of historical places. Don’t ask. But I did have the foresight to buy The Canterbury Tales from the gift shop, so I’m proud of that.
The note on the back is what got me, though. He phrased his thoughts in a way that reminded me of, well, me. I write differently when I know it’s just me reading it. More rhetorical questions and less jabs at myself. The year is unknown on this, but here’s what s/he wrote:
The Norman Staircase always gives me a shock of delight. And why? Why does that small structure give the eye such a joy? It is but a porch of 3 round arches resting on heavy columns and a succession of some five or six small arches supported by graduated pillers. The detail shows little fancy and the workmanship little finish. But the whole is such a beautiful imagination that among lovers of architecture it is as well known as a perfect poem is to the world of literature or as a master piece of musical composition like Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, description of it is quite in vain.
The second postcard I found was of Blarney Castle in Ireland, 1927. You can climb to the top of it and kiss a stone which will supposedly give you an endless supply of eloquence. I’ve yet to see the outcome of it.
If you can look closely, you can see an ink dot on the picture. That is where the stone is. No wonder I didn’t kiss it.
(If you click on the photo of the postcard, you can just make out the dot.)
Oh, but I kissed it. And I also let some Irishman cop a feel while I was at it. But hey, if that’s what it took for him to not let me fall, feel away. He probably got the short end of the stick anyway.
I’ll post more as I find them… and find them, I will.