14 February 2008

Get Gooey, It's Valentines Day

One of my favourite things to do when we toured the states was to wander off into these movie set towns to find the local antique/curio shoppes. I normally hunted for postcards. Postcards from the past are just so fucking romantic. They reveal such patience that it nearly drove me insane.

In 2008 we could not fathom being unavailable for even one second; the idea of 'disconnecting' is so radical it seems reserved for lunatics in movies who live in the woods, wrestling wolves whilst harvesting a serious neck beard.

But 'back in the day', as the kids say, people send postcards like we send instant messages and texts. People made motherfucking appointments via the mail! Can you imagine? Well, it's true.

I loved coming across postcards that were arranged dates betwixt two lovers across the country. I remember one from a woman in California sent to a man in New York. She said she was having a great time on a cruise and hoped they could meet up in two weeks and the so-and-so hotel at 4 o'clock in the afternoon. Can you comprehend how fucking romantic that is?!

The chance the postcard would ever even arrive! The trust, the patience. It was just so beautiful to imagine. There were no text messages or IM's or friend requests or even phone calls at times. California girl was on a cruise. There were no phones on those old ships so she sent a postcard to her lover back home!

Can you imagine your girl or your wife or your whatever being away at sea for weeks and weeks and the only correspondence you'd have was a postcard you couldn't even respond to?! Think about that next time you're playing your Xbox or whatever.

I just read an article about a man in Boston who received a postcard from 1929! The typically short message on the postcard was to a "Miss Margaret McDonald". Its path to the intended address was much longer.

Nearly 79 years after it was sent, a postcard of Yellowstone National Park's Tower Falls arrived in his Boston mailbox with the one-word message, "Greetings." Can you imagine?!?!?! The restraint?! The patience! Fuck that is amazing. God, I am so verbose.

The postcards intended recipient had long since left the Victorian on Sparhawk Street, and the sender was not identified by name. The guy who lives in the house now, Michael Cioffi, was shocked to find the card dated June 1929 in his mail. He says the McDonald family did own his house for generations, but he doesn't think there is anyone left in the family to pass the postcard to.

Naturally a "Who Me?" U.S. Postal Service spokesman said it's impossible to know what happened with the card. It somehow got into the mail and was sent with a one cent stamp from Seattle earlier this year.

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