Monday, March 20, 2017

Scraping the Barnacles Off My Brain
Trying to arrive at something meaningful to share with you sometimes is a frustrating and often nearly an unfruitful endeavor, so I am forced to share something that may be of little interest to many. Each morning I post a different postcard photo on Facebook. The postcards were left to me by my father Edson Carl Beck and my mother-in-law Retha Morrison. I have a boot box filled with them I decided to post a picture of them to share the history and geography represented by these souvenirs. Why should they be trapped inside a box collecting dust and mildew, food for silverfish?
Some of the cards are from as far back as the early 1900’s. Some show pictures of WW II scenes. Others express sentiment or celebrate holidays. The pictures are often photographs, while others are an artist’s rendition of a place, an expression of a thought or idea. These cards may have gold or silver gilding, made of copper, have raised forms, or can be smooth and glossy.
There are cards from different countries and cards from nearly every state in the union, sharing something deemed important. Animals, mountains, rivers, lakes, or buildings, may appear on the cards. Some buildings or views no longer exist, while others have been saved, restored and preserved.
Some of these cards are advertisements for attractions, motels, restaurants, or businesses. The stamps on the reverse sides are just as diverse, ranging from one cent United States postage fees to the stamps of foreign countries.
Many of the greetings written and passed along in the mail to waiting friends and relatives are mundane “Wish you were here” sentiments to expressions of love and genuine concern. The writing, often in pencil, has faded to the point it is barely legible.
Each card becomes a key to the past, unlocking my heritage and giving insight to my grandparents and recollections of friends that would probably be lost. I have become their guardian to pass them safely along to my children.

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