The journey of a thousand postcards begins with a single entry on Postcrossing. Or something like that. I’m joined by two prolific Postcrossers for this show — Sue Boggs and Jennifer Gilman. They’re both with the San Diego Postcrossing FB Group — and send thousands of postcards. You can find Sue on Postcrossing as @suegathman; and Jen is on Postcrossing as @jenniferkg.
Our story starts with a headstrong young girl and her collection of found objects. That’s the story of Ariel in The Little Mermaid — and it’s also the story of how Betsy Kirichenko started with her fascination with mermaids and how that led to her collection of mermaid postcards.
When you connect with people through postcards, you never know where that will lead. I didn’t know it would lead to me learning new slang terms from New Zealand at three o’clock in the morning. But that’s what happened with my guest, Samantha Cook, who is also known by her IG handle Princess in a Teapot. We also talked about postcards and Postcrossing and the price of sending mail. And fudge.
Did you know trick-or-treating wasn’t popularized until the late 1950s? Or that Halloween was a day of romance in the early 1900s? Or that cabbages featured prominently on Halloween postcards in the early 20th Century? That’s what this episode is about — a brief history of Halloween postcards.
I’m joined again by postcard enthusiast and sticker aficionado, Jim Lynch.
Long-time listeners of the show will recognize Jim from episode 60, where we talked about his extensive foray into the postcard world. In this episode, we expand on that topic…here’s a list of what you’’ll here us discuss in this eclectic episode:
There’s a terrific article by Benjamin H. Trask on Postcard History titled Coastal Sentinels: United States Lighthouses. I’ve always been captivated by the solitude of a lighthouse keeper’s life. I’m actually somewhere between fascinated and disturbed by what that life must have been like. And that interest continues with lighthouse postcards. I buy them whenever I see them. But what I have pales in comparison in what exists. Trask writes in the intro:
A thread of shoreline with a lighthouse has long been a focal point for artists and photographers as well as a destination for tourists and lovers. At the close of the postcard’s golden era, around the outbreak of World War I, America boasted more than 1,400 lighthouses tended by resident keepers.
Benjamin H. Trask, Costal Sentinels: United States Lighthouses (2020)
It’s not every day that we get to hear Navajo being spoken and I’m honored to have been joined by Navajo Nation writer and postcard creator Sylvanus Paul. We talk about how Sylvanus got started with with writing letters and postcards; why he named his Instagram account Letterdoggy; how he writes meaningful messages on his postcards; and how his stand up comedy influences the jokes he sometimes writes on postcards.