Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I love postcards featuring an entire state. The shape of Montana lends itself well to this, as noted in a previous post showing a card actually shaped like the state.  

Montana claims a piece of my attention sometimes, in a variety of disparate ways.

1.  Ivan Doig.   He's been called the "dean of western literature" and a "worthy successor to Wallace Stegner."  If you haven't read his novels, particularly the "McCaskill trilogy", consisting of English Creek, Dancing at the Rascal Fair, and Ride with Me, Mariah Montana, you've missed out on something great, especially is you have any interest in the history of the American West.

2.  My friends Claire & Steve.  They moved to Montana last summer.  Steve attended college there and Claire is going back to school for a MSW (Masters in Social Work, specializing in hospice care) after 30 years in the travel business.  Yeah, Claire!

3.  Big Sky.  My friends John and Cindy have a recently completed building a compound.  We spent time at Big Sky when the compound was just a glimmer in John's eye, and haven't yet seen the finished product.  I imagine it to be pretty wonderful.   The whole area is beautiful and close to Yellowstone and offers a wide variety of winter and summer sports.   However, the day we left it was 30 below zero at the Bozeman Airport.   Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Missouri, II

Two more postcards from Missouri, just because.  Because the one on the left is one of the Mystery Sender's favorites and because the one on the right is unusual.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


In my collection of postcards, for several states I have postcards only of the major city, probably because many of these cards I sent to myself or to my  kids from business trips.   For Missouri, I got lucky.  Turns out the Mystery Sender had sent me the card on the right, allowing me to show both urban and rural parts of Missouri.

For the urban view, a street shot of St. Louis, looking toward its quintessential icon, the Gateway Arch.  The arch is a monument to the westward expansion of the United States, and was designed by Eero Saarinen.  [Random side bar:  Saarinen also designed, with Charles Eames, the Tulip Chair, popularized by its appearance on the original Star Trek television series in the late 1960s.]  For the rural view, a shot of Indian Creek, along "scenic U.S. Route 71 in the Beautiful Ozarks",  located in the far southwest corner of the state.

In thinking about Missouri, I found myself curious as to why it has an uneven southern border with a chunk of the state encroaching into Arkansas.  Called the "Bootheel", there is some debate as to how this came to be.  According to the Wiki, the bootheel originated in the request of some Missourian to remain in the state "as he had heard it was so sickly in Arkansas;" ""...full of bears and panthers and copperhead snakes, so it ain't safe for civilized people to stay there over night even." Another folktale has the adaptation made by a lovestruck surveyor to spare the feelings of a foolish widow living fifty miles south of the Missouri border, but unaware of it. At one time, the area was known locally as "Lapland, because it's the place where Missouri laps over into Arkansas".

Whatever the origin of its border, Missouri shares the distinction with Tennessee of being one of only two states that share borders with eight separate states.  In Missouri's case the states are  Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee,  Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska.

Monday, June 28, 2010



1 & 2.  Mount Repose and one end of ballroom in Stanton Hall

3 & 4.  Melrose (left) and Stanton Hall (right)

5 & 6.  Lansdown (left) and Richmond (right) with members of Natchez Gardenn Club Royal Court, in costume.

Natchez, Mississippi is the oldest city on the Mississippi River, founded in 1716.  "The first route into Natchez was the Natchez Trace, originally a buffalo trail and later used by Native Americans and early settlers. Flatboat men plied their craft downriver to Natchez or New Orleans, sold their goods and boats, and walked or rode wagons north toward home on the Trace. With the advent of steamboat travel in the early nineteenth century, the Trace fell into disuse."  [There's a word I've only heard used in the South - "trace" - my grandmother used to talk about "Buffalo Trace", a big very old house overlooking the town of Maysville, Kentucky, where she was from.  The Buffalo Trace in the Wiki sounds more like a road than a house.]

Natchez is the home of the twice yearly Natchez Pilgrimage during which many of the town's antebellum mansions are opened for visits.  The city claims it "has more antebellum homes than any other city in the US, as during the War (that would be the American Civil War), Natchez was spared the destruction of many other Southern cities".  The Natchez Pilgrimage Flower Club names a coterie of young people from what are probably old-time and/or otherwise  prestigious local families to serve as the Royal Court. 

The postcards above, of some of the mansions on the tour, came from my grandmother's house - she probably made the Natchez Pilgrimage at one point in her life, perhaps in the 1950s or 1960s.  What is most amazing is, while my grandmother's house wasn't quite as grand (although it was pretty grand), much of the furniture and furnishings from the homes above remind me of hers

Random facts about Mississippi:

1.  The largest city, Jackson, has less than 175,000 inhabitants.
2.  The American Litter Scorecard (that's a new one on me) ranks Mississippi dead last in terms of removing litter from its highways.
3.  In 1966 (!!!), Mississippi was the last state to repeal the prohibition of alcohol statewide.

 M-i-ss-i-ss-i-pp-i. It's difficult for me to even say the word "Mississippi" without the rhythmic spelling of the name echoing through my head. I imagine most American school children, at least those of my generation, do the same. Do you?

P.S.  Hard to even write about Mississippi without thinking about the globs of oil polluting their coastline and waterways right now.  Say a prayer for the Gulf, every time you get a chance.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Only one postcard from Minnesota, unless there's more in the stack I just uncovered today.  I found a very large box in my closet that had over 1000 advertising postcards in it (called "free cards, I learned today), as well as several cards that were sent to me over the years, or that were part of my grandmother and mother's collections.

In any case, a blast from my past.  The woman who sent the card worked with me in San Francisco but was from Minneapolis and has long since moved back to be closer to her family.  As I recall, some of her family ended up in California!  The way the world works sometimes.

Four random facts about Minnesota:

1.  70% of the state's population is of German and Scandinavian heritage, and is 88% white.
2.  PrinceGarrison Keillor, and Jessica Lange are all from Minnesota.  [What's your favorite Prince song?  Mine is Go Crazy.  I've seen him in concert once.]
3.  Movies and TV shows set in Minnesota include Fargo, Juno,  and the Mary Tyler Moore Show were all set in Minnesota.
4.  The Minnesota State Fair is known for, among other things, the butter sculptures of the dairy princess, also called "Princess Kay of the Milky Way".

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Seems I haven't done a "seven states in a row" series in a while, so I thought I'd start one today. This series will take us through Nevada. First up, Michigan.

Considering Michigan is the 11th largest state in the US, I was a bit surprised to find that every postcard I have of Michigan is of Detroit. Three of the four cards I sent to myself from business trips, but the card in the lower right corner was sent to me by the Mystery Sender with these random facts about Michigan on the back:

1. Colon, Michigan is home to the world's largest manufacturer of magic supplies.
2. Novi, Michigan was named for its designation as "Stagecoach Stop #6" or "No.VI" [Note: See section on Wiki about origin of name - Random fact #2 may be historically innacurate - an early urban legend, perhaps.]
3. Michigan ranks first in state boat registrations. (Who knew?)
4. The painted turtle is the state's reptile.
5. Indian River, Michigan is home to the largest crucifix in the world - the Cross in the Woods.
6. Michigan has more shoreline than any other state except Alaska. (Wow!)

A random (and frightening) fact about Detroit is that as of February 2010, its unemployment rate was 25.6%. I doubt the rate has improved much; if anything it's probably worse.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Not a Great Day

Not a great day today, so I think I'll take the advice of Nancy and her card from Germany, who sent this via Postcrossing:  "Sometimes we have to relax."  

P.S.  It's Postcard Friendship Friday.  Check it out.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Lisbon - The Retraction

In May of this year, I spent a week in Portugal. When I returned, I posted a few postcards from my trip.  One of these posts, that of May 31 requires a retraction.  (I feel like the New York Times having to make a correction.  Okay, maybe not.)

In it, I described how our tour guide had told us that Lisbon was known for identifying monuments and other structures they liked and admired, and building their own versions.  The Triumphal Arch ("Arco do Triunfo e Rua Augusta") was  cited as an example of this.  In the Postcrossing postcard above, Joana corrects me:  "I read on your blog what you wrote about it and I have to make a correction.  The Arch is actually older than the one in Paris.  This one was built in 1775 although it was then demolished and rebuilt in 1875.  Even so it is not at all a copy of the one in Paris."

Joana, this correction is for you! 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lucy the Elephant, Again!

Who would imagine that I'd receive another postcard of Lucy the Elephant?  Well, here she is.  For details on Lucy, see previous post here.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dutch Artists Marte Roling and Henk Jurriaans

I've said it before, but I'll say it again.  One of my favorite things about Postcrossing is learning about new artists, unusual locations, innovative peformers, and popular local musicians I wouldn't necessarily have heard of any other way.  Here's another example.

The above is a painting by Marte Roling, a Dutch artist and actress, of another Dutch artist, Henk Jurriaans. The two artists, along with three other women, lived together for many years.  Marte Roling was known for smoking cigars, wearing heavy make-up and large paintings and sculptures.  She was awarded the Knight of the Order of the Dutch Lion in January 2010.

Henk Jurriaans was both a psychologist and an artist.  In his therapy practice, he had an unusual approach:  he advised his clients and followers to "do what you love and just stop doing what you find annoying". While this advice may have been perfectly suited to the zeitgeist of the 1970s, it may have been a bit problematic in practice for sufferers of any number of psychological conditions:  ablutophobia (fear of bathing, washing, or cleaning), phagophobia (fear of swallowing), somniphobia (fear of sleep), or my two personal favorite phobias - phobophobia (fear of having a phobia) and.anatidaephobia (fear of being watched by a duck).  Check out the complete list of phobias here

But I digress.   Another of his messages was "I'm okay. You're a dick", although that phrasaeology is from automatic translation software, so I'm not positive that's exactly what he said. In an interview after his death, Marte Roling said that this phrase was just a commentary on a very popular book at the time, "I'm Okay, You're Okay."

Jurriaans was well-known for offering up himself and the four women he lived with for an hour per day for 25 days in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam as "living art".  He may have been a conceptual artist only, as I was unable to find any other references to his art work.

P.S.  A shout out to Shira from the Netherlands for such a cool postcard.  Thanks, Shira!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Bourbon/Whiskey III

More than any other alcohol, Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey reminds me of bars and bikers and blues bands. In my mind's ear I can hear a scruffy guy belly up to the bar and order a "Jack" on the rocks, or ask for a "Black Label" and mean Jack Daniels, not Johnny Walker.

Jack Daniels is a Tennessee whiskey, with an "e" (in whiskey, that is that was established in either 1866 or 1875, and it is hard to know which of the stories around the brand are advertising fabrications/corporate "legend" and which are truth. The Jack Daniels website is beautifully designed and appears to have a wealth of information and history, but is horrific from a useability standpoint. Too bad, because even if the stories aren't the complete truth, the ones I looked at were interesting to read.

According to the Wiki on Jack Daniels, "Tennessee whiskey is filtered through sugar maple charcoal in large wooden vats prior to aging, unlike the process used to make Kentucky bourbon." Three days of bourbon/whiskey postcards and I still find this bourbon/whiskey distinction confusing, to say the least.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Bourbon/Whisky II

George Dickel is a sour mash whisky distiller from Tennesse, "nestled on the Highland Rim of the Cumberland Plateau, ... halfway between Nashville and Chattanooga".  George Dickel  "declared that because his whisky was as smooth as the finest scotch, he would always spell the “whiskey” in George Dickel Tennessee Whisky without an “e”, keeping with the Scotch whisky tradition."

I like bourbon, but I am by no means an afficianado.  However, I imagine discussions about the quality of the water (both Maker's Mark and George Dickel only use water emanating from limestone spring water), experience of the distiller, quality of the oak barrels, and a number of other factors could become quite animated, especially after more than one glass of bourbon.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Its a logical segue from a Kentucky horse racing course to a short series on bourbons and whiskeys. 

The first question to be answered, not surprisingly, is:  what is the difference between bourbon and whiskey?  The short answer is:  not all whiskey is bourbon, but all bourbon is whiskey.  Bourbon must be aged in charred oak barrels and aged for two or more years.  The longer and pretty interesting answer from "The Straight Dope" website is:

A definition of whiskey/whisky from "Whisky is an alcoholic distillate from a fermented mash of grain produced at less than 190 proof in such a manner that the distillate possesses the taste, aroma, and characteristics generally attributed to whiskey, stored in oak containers (except that corn whisky need not be so stored), and bottled at not less than 80 proof, and also includes mixtures of such distillates for which no specific standards of identity are prescribed."

For a whiskey to qualify as bourbon, the law--by international agreement--stipulates that it must be made in the USA. It must be made from at least 51% and no more than 79% Indian corn, and aged for at least two years. (Most bourbon is aged for four years or more.) The barrels for aging can be made of any kind of new oak, charred on the inside. Nowadays all distillers use American White Oak, because it is porous enough to help the bourbon age well, but not so porous that it will allow barrels to leak. It must be distilled at no more than 160 proof (80% alcohol by volume). Nothing can be added at bottling to enhance flavor or sweetness or alter color. The other grains used to make bourbon, though not stipulated by law, are malted barley and either rye or wheat. Some Kentucky bourbon makers claim that the same limestone spring water that makes thoroughbred horses' bones strong gives bourbon whiskey its distinctive flavor. Kind of like that "it's the water" thing with Olympia beer.

Bourbon can be made anywhere in the U.S., but all but a couple of brands are made in Kentucky. Only the state of Kentucky can produce bourbon with its name on the label. The name comes from Bourbon county in the central bluegrass region of Kentucky. This county was named in 1785 to honor the French royal family and was once the major transshipment site for shipping distilled spirits down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans. Barrels shipped from there were stamped with the county's name, which then became the name of this kind of whiskey. Interestingly, there are no distillers in Bourbon county, Kentucky right now.

As to Maker's Mark Bourbon, the distillery building itself may be historic, but the brand "Maker's Mark" was first introduced in 1959.  With its distinctive red wax seal and squarish bottle, it is unique in that it is one of very few American whiskeys to use the Scottish spelling, "whisky". Maker's Mark enjoys a bit of a cult status among some bourbon drinkers, and for years its advertising slogan was  "It tastes expensive ... and is." 

This bourbon is aged from six to seven and one-half years with a panel deciding when it is ready for bottling.  From the Maker's Mark website, "To make sure we always put the same great tasting bourbon out there we created a tasting panel. It's made up of 16 men and woman, and it includes the Master Distiller. Each barrel is sampled five times during the maturation process. Maybe a couple other times, as well. You know, just to be sure."  On the website, you have to submit a birthdate to "prove" you are over 21. Th e sitealso includes recipes, including the Kentucky Ice Tea - an Arnold Palmer, but with bourbon added to the mix.  Sounds pretty good, if you like bourbon.  I do.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Horse Racing Venues - III

If not an entire postcard, the above is at least a half a postcard of Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby, and among the most famous horse racing tracks in the US, if not the entire horse racing world.  It is also known for being the first race course to host a Rolling Stones concert in 2006.

This short series on race tracks led me to wonder about horse racing elsewhere in the world.  Turns out thoroughbred breeding started in England, and expanded to France, the US, Argentina, and much later, Japan.   There are race tracks (frequently called "hippodromos" in non-English speaking countries) in at least 44 countries.  (For a complete list, see here.)  Given the specialist postcard collections I've stumbled across, I don't doubt that somewhere there is a deltiologist specializing in race courses worldwide.

P.S.  It's Postcard Friendship Friday.  The big question is, how did we get to another Friday so fast?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Horse Racing Venues, II

According to the back of this postcard, Juarez Race Track is "the most beautiful track in North America...(and) boasts an annual horse racing season, year-round greyhound racing, and a public golf course in the infield."  However, this postcard is from 1968 (the back references that Juarez-El Paso is the gateway to the Mexico City 1968 Olympics.  It's not clear, from a quick search, that this race track still exists.  I did find a reference to grey hound racing starting up again in 2005, but there was also a news report of a fire at the track in 2009.  It is still listed on the "Casino City" website.

Whether it's open or not, I'm not inclined to visit Juarez and its racetrack in the near future.  According to the Wiki, Juarez is situated on "the Rio Grande across from El Paso, Texas. El Paso and Ciudad Juárez comprise one of the largest bi-national metropolitan areas in the world with a combined population of 2.4 million people. In fact, Ciudad Juárez is one of the fastest growing cities in the world in spite of the fact that it is 'the most violent zone in the world outside of declared war zones.'"  In fact, when a Google search is run on Juarez, the first thing that comes up is a reference to the 22 murders committed last week, and the five committed on Wednesday.  Yikes.  Postcards of Juarez have appeared in this blog before (here), also reflecting a more innocent, less violent past.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Horse Racing Venues - A Short Series

A shout out to my client, Michelle, who recently returned from a visit to her family, and brought me back a couple of postcards, including one of the Saratoga Race Course.  It inspired me to indulge in a "race track" series, although it might be a pretty short series.

Saratoga is the oldest sporting venue in the USA, opening in its current location in 1864.  Its most well-known race is the Travers Stakes which is the oldest thoroughbred race in the country.  Saratoga's nicknames provide a glimpse into its history:  "The Spa" and "The Graveyard of Favorites".  The Spa refers to the nearby hot springs.  There's actually a mineral springs located in the picnic grounds which produces potable water.  "The Graveyard of Favorites" is a reminder of significant  upsets that occurred here: "Man o' War suffered his only defeat in 21 starts while racing at Saratoga; Secretariat was defeated ... by Onion after winning the Triple Crown; and Gallant Fox was beaten by 100-1 longshot Jim Dandy in the 1930 Travers Stakes."

Note:  I don't think I have a postcard from Churchill Downs (Kentucky Derby) in my collection - I  have to check.  However, I have already posted one with the recipe for a Mint Julep, the official drink of the Kentucky Derby, here.


I've been helping my older son pack to go off to Oxford and London for two months.  He leaves very early tomorrow morning. 

Tonight the house was filled with eight or ten of his friends, eating me out of house and home, playing rock band, watching basketball and obviously enjoying each other's company.  Total chaos and pure heaven for me. 

It's been great having him home for the last month, and I'm going to miss him like crazy.   

Monday, June 14, 2010


Starting with Europe, I'm updating my knowledge of geography.  I've found an on-line geography quiz, and am almost up to 100% in placing European countries in their appropriate locations on the map of Europe.   I'm tackling Africa next.

One of the countries I mis-placed on my first couple of tries was Latvia.  The postcard on the left, above, is of very old warehouses (13th-18th century) on Alksnaja Street in Riga and on the right, a picture of the Riga Castle.   A couple random facts about Latvia:

1.  The population has declined 15% since 1991 due to low birth rates and emigration.
2.  The country was occupied by Germany and/or the USSR throughout much of the 20th century.  Occupation by others seems to be a constant reoccurrence throughout its history.
3.  The Latvian capital of Riga is the 3rd largest city in the Baltic region after St. Petersburg and Stockholm.
4.  Riga city center is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and considered to have "the finest collection of art nouveau buildings in Europe".
5.  Riga was named "Europe crime capital" by Forbes magazine in 2008.

Both of these postcards arrived via my participation in Postcrossing, which, as I've mentioned before, facilitates the ability to “send a postcard and receive a postcard back from a random person somewhere in the world!”  I find it amazing that of all the cards flying around the world from all the countries represented in Postcrossing, I've received two from Latvia.  I've also received seven from the Netherlands, five from Taiwan, three each from Germany, Poland and Russia, and two each from Belarus, Latvia, and Finland.  I've actually sent TEN to Finland and, since I'm reciting stats, four each to the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.   The countries with the largest  numbers of users are the United States (third in population worldwide), China (first in population), Germany (14th in population), Finland (111th in population) and Taiwan (50th in population).   Finally, there are 19 countries wih only one user each.  If we were to calculate a Category Development Index (can't help it, I'm a marketing person), Finland (111th in population, 5th in number of uses of Postcrossing) and Latvia (141 in population, 36th in number of users of Postcrossing) would probably be in the top twenty, if not top five.

Update to Imperial War Rooms Posters Wheat Versus Potatoes Question

On Friday, June 11 this blog featured two postcards from the Imperial War Rooms which were replicas of public service posters from WWII.  One encouraged citizens to use potatoes instead of bread:  "Save bread and you save lives.  Serve potatoes and you serve the country."  A few readers speculated that the use of potatoes over bread might have something to do with the additional resources needed to produce and process wheat or referenced food shortages and bread lines.

One reader provided a link to a BBC article on rationing in Englad during WWII.   It doesn't say why goods were in short supply, but it is an interesting description of what was rationed and how rationed goods were distributed.

Another reader provided a link to a NY Times article from WWI, announcing Hoover's request for voluntary reductions in wheat consumption due to the need for a steady supply of bread for soldiers, the stockpiling of wheat by pro-German sympathizers, and the hoarding of wheat by wheat brokers/profiteerers hoping for prices to go up.  She speculates that the same dynamics were occurring in WWII.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Prague, Czech Republic

Black Light Image Theatre in Prague, sent by my friend Corrine, from her vacation in Europe with her son and her husband, celebrating her son's graduation from Columbia University. (High five!)   

The website of the Image Theatre is well worth looking at (access through link above) as the copy is written with a sense of whimsy and passion for the art that is a pleasure to read.  From the "Welcome" page:  Sometimes it is difficult to be in the right place at the right time. But if you are sitting right now in the auditorium of the IMAGE theatre then you have succeeded. Welcome! Of course, not all the theatres are the same. Black theatre is different; the light is different and the dark is different. The intense darkness of black theatre is full of fantasy. Poetic pictures are approaching you from the mysterious and almost indefinite depth of a black cabinet. You cannot see the actors, as they are invisible. Suddenly you can see them rather well and almost dangerously close. Dance will express the unspoken, disturb emotions and overcome laws of physics. Music will bring inanimate to life, tragic will change into comic, unbelievable will become real. And, moreover, your imagination will fully awake. If you are willing to join our exploration, inside you may find something you have never known existed.  Bucket list!  Sounds very cool.

Prague is classified as an alpha- world city, a concept I hadn't heard of before.  The term is applied to "a city deemed to be an important node point in the global economic system".  Its city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and at 4.5 million visitors a year, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.
When I look up "Czech Republic", I realize I feel more than a bit inadequate in my knowledge of post-Cold War geo-political boundaries.   Given that this is one subject area I always considered myself pretty good at, I should really start the process of re-learning world geography.  How else can I reclaim my status as the go-to person in Trivial Pursuit for Geography questions?   I've found one geography game site but if anybody has any better suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Return Road Trip - Mt. Shasta

My first and very quick road trip of the summer to pick up my son from college was an up and back from San Francisco to Eugene, Oregon, about an 8-9 hour drive each way.  It was a long two days of driving, and included rain storms, rainbows, freshly snow-covered moutains, and a lot of highway patrol cars, on the lookout for speeders.  Mois?  No,  I was very careful.

One of the  highlights of this drive is Mt. Shasta, pictured above.  One the way north, it was cloud-covered, as it often is.  One the way south, cloud-shrouded as well, but the clouds parted for just a moment. [New art form:  I've been experimenting with the concept of drive by shooting  - pictures that is - by holding my cell phone/camera out the car window and clicking as I drive by.]  There was actually fresh snow on this mountain as well as those around it.  Amazing for mid June.

Mt. Shasta is of spiritual significance for multiple groups, from the Indians who believe "that Shasta is inhabited by the spirit chief Skell who descended from heaven to the mountain's summit"  to Harmonic Convergence  followers who "described Mount Shasta as one of a small number of global 'power centers.'"   My favorite legend is that of the Luminarians, superior beings who inhabit Mt. Shasta, in underground cities.  Climbers and hikers, trapped by weather on Mt. Shasta, occasionally claim to have been saved by these beings.

I'd like to meet a Luminarian someday, just to hear what they have to say.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Imperial War Rooms

Two postcards from the Imperial War Museum which consists of five locations, three in London.  The most recent of the five is the Churchill War Rooms, opened in London in 1984.

Both of the postcards are reprints of  "public service announcement" posters of the day.  I can understand about eating carrots for your eyes, but it's not clear to me what "Save Bread and you save lives" and "Serve Potatoes and you serve the country" mean. 

Any thoughts?

P.S.  It's Postcard Friendship Friday.  You know what to do.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


About to take off for the first road trip of the summer, this one a very quick one to pick my son up from his freshman year at college at University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon.  He hasn't been home for almost six months, and I can't wait to see him.  Eugene is about an eight hour drive from here and while I won't get as far north as Mt. Hood, a postcard from Oregon seemed an appropriate choice for the day.

I have a large stack of Mt. Hood postcards, as the Mystery Sender has sent me several of them. These cards are probably a clue to  his/her identity; however I can't for the life of me think of anyone I know who grew up in Oregon, but lives in Los Angeles. Perhaps the postmarks, usually City of Industry and/or Santa Clarita, both in Southern California, are throwing me off. 

The mystery continues.....

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Shanghai Expo 2010, II

Two more pieces of advice from the Shanghai Expo authorities:  "A courtesy a day, keep peace and harmony in your life," and "A good city requires good environment.  Love yourself, love the environment."  Good words to live by, for all of us!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Shanghai Expo 2010

A shout out to my friend Yolanda, who sent these incredible postcards from the Shanghai Expo 2010.  It appears the Shanghai Expo is kind of like a World's Fair, with pavilions and activities from countries all over the world.

These postcards are attempts at effecting public behavior, with the blue one above reading "Law & Order is the top priority.  It is the foundation of all wonderful things,"  and the green one saying "With passionate and orderly participation, let's support Shanghai Expo to make history".   One has to wonder, is it the translation that makes the phrase sound so stilted and formal or is it just a cultural thing?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Storks in Slovenia

I was amazed in Portugal to see storks and stork nests like this, everywhere.  Is this a European thing, or what?  This nest is on Postcrossing postcard from Slovenia.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

New York City Skyscrapers Souvenir Folder, IV

A last few images from the 1915 New York City Skyscrapers Souvenir Folder:  the view of Manhattan from Jersey City, Times Square during the day, the Brooklyn Bridge, and a shot of "high pressure in action" featuring New York City's finest.

The pictures from this folder posted in the last few days have reminded me of one of my favorite books:  Time and Again, by Jack Finney.  To describe the plot, involving time travel and self-hypnosis, makes it sound silly, but the book is an homage to New York City, as well as a great story.  The image in the book that comes back to me again and again involves the protagonist knowing he's traveled back in time when he looks out his apartment window and sees that the skyline has changed.   Every time I'm in New York, I think of this image when I look at the skyline, and these skyscraper postcards remind me of that as well.