Kind of looks like a post card photo doesn't it? There is even an expression about it, "Pretty as a post card".
Do you remember getting postcards in the mail? Or perhaps sending one? It's probably been awhile. It's not a very popular thing to do anymore although it was at one time. Most of the postcards I get nowadays are reminder cards from my dentist or ads.
And I'm sure it will come as no surprise at all to know that the first postcard sent in the USA was, indeed, an advertisement. That was way back in December of 1848. Originally known as Picture Postal Cards or just Postal Cards, the first commercially produced in the US wasn't until almost 30 years later. The picture was of the interstate Industrial Exposition that took place in Chicago. Shortly thereafter, pre-stamped or Penny Postcards were created. Post cards by any name quickly came into popularity as a quick and relatively inexpensive way to send a quick note. Way back in those days a penny was actually worth a penny and had value.
The Post Office soon became the only company allowed to print postcards and it held that monopoly until 1898 when private printers and publishers were then allowed to produce them. Our government did not allow these other companies to call them post cards at that time, instead referring to them as Souvenir Cards or Private Mailing Cards. Finally in 1901, all that changed and the name Post Cards became the vernacular.
Sending a post card with a pretty or humorous or even mildly naughty picture on the front and a dashed note on the back has waxed and waned in popularity in the US from the beginning of the last century through today with it's absolute peak probably being in the 1950's or 60's. Original artwork postcards from long ago are serious collectors items and can bring in big bucks.
In my own personal history, when my sister and I were very young, our Dad travelled for business quite a bit. In fact, he was probably away more than he was home. But he sent us postcards to let us know that he was thinking of us. They were usually very involved pictures of cats dressed as humans, acting as humans beings and, at least to us kids, quite amusing. We looked so forward to getting one of those postcards in the mail, once every few weeks. They were treasures to us. A connection to a man we loved who was very far away. I have no recollection at all of what was written on any of those cards but the pictures I remember vividly.
My oldest boy used to travel all over the country for work. He, like my dad, was on the road more often than he was home back then. But I could track where he was by the postcards he sent. I adored getting those cards. It was a like getting a surprise package when I was expecting the usual bills, ads and promo materials. I always appreciated that he took the time and made the effort. There was just a quick note on the back, usually a funny or ironic observation but he made certain that the postcard personified the state he was in: the desert of Arizona, the beaches of California, peaches in Georgia or the Cherry Trees in Bloom in DC. I always intended to get a big wall map of the US and put in pushpins whenever I got a postcard to mark where he had been. Somehow I never did it and now that he no longer travels far for work, I regret never having gotten around to it.
But it inspired me to want to send postcards to loved ones when we travelled so I began. I think the last time we sent postcards might have been from Hawaii. I know for sure that I sent them from New Mexico. And then that fell by the way side too. All these good intentions unfulfilled. In the words of the late great Nana, "If you take all the good intentions in the world and lay them side by side, it still doesn't get the job done." Yes ma'am. You were, of course, correct.
Part of the problem nowadays is actually finding postcards. Maybe five years ago, the young daughter of a doctor I worked with began a project for school. She was trying to get a postcard from every state in the US and hopefully a few foreign countries. To help her, I sent out a facebook blast to all and sundry, She and I were both surprised and pleased at the huge response! But nearly everyone told me privately later, how difficult it was to find a postcard to buy! Probably because we live in a tourist town, it's not at all hard to find postcards here in Venice. They are nearly everywhere. Even the grocery store has them.
And now, every once in awhile, I take a photograph that looks to me as if it should be a postcard and I get nostalgic about it all. And I vow, once again, to send postcards when I travel. I don't know if it will actually happen but at least I've gotten to the first step. Intending to do so.
If it ever occurs to you, I love getting postcards. Just a hint.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.