E84: Ben Irving Postcard Project with Tyler Sonnichsen

Ben Irving hanging out in Florida, sometime in the late 1950s

This week, I’m joined by Tyler Sonnichsen, who has a huge collection of his great-grandfather’s postcard collection from the 1930s and 1940s. 

Tyler’s great-grandfather, Ben Irving, was a musician. Traveling salesman. Vaudeville performer. And prolific postcard writer. Tyler has his great-grandfather’s postcards…and all kinds of terrific stories to accompany them.

Tyler is a PhD geographer and comedian based in Michigan and Florida. He teaches Human and Cultural Geography at Central Michigan University. He’s the author of Capitals of Punk: Paris, DC, and the Circulation of the Underground as well as work on the vinyl record industry and the history of Parisian hardcore punk.

You can follow more of his writing and research at He released his second standup album, Modern Life is Awesome, on RainShine Records in 2018.

Ben Irving Postcard Project on Instagram


Tyler, the Palmer House Hotel 1952 postcard, in the Palmer House hotel banquet room depicted.

The Hotel Sara Sota (Sarasota, FL) 1930’s postcard/ground truthing photo

The Sea Gull Trio at the premiere of WTIC radio in Hartford, 1925. Ben Irving is standing behind the microphone with the violin.

E83: A Big Day with Tiny & Snail

Leah and Grace of Tiny & Snail

Artists. Business owners. Comedians. Dancers. Sisters.

Those are just a few descriptors for Leah and Grace, aka Tiny & Snail. That’s the name of their business and their nicknames. Tiny & Snail is a stationery company led by two creative sisters who have a compelling goal: Bringing magic back to mailboxes with cards that people want to keep.

There’s magic in the mail. That’s Tiny & Snail’s tagline. And there’s magic in this show. Get writing. And dancing.

Tiny & Snail website

Tiny & Snail on Instagram

Tiny & Snail Dance Party!

E82: Postcards and Cake with Tiffany’s Postal Treats

Let them mail cake. That’s what Tiffany of Tiffany’s Postal Treats says. This show combines two of my favorite things: postcards…and cake.

Tiffany’s Postal Treats on Instagram

Tiffany’s Postal Treats on Etsy

Pink Cake from Tiffany’s Postal Treats
Cake Postcards in Many Varieties at Tiffany’s Postal Treats

E81: Elise Barras of Elise Loves Letters

When I referred to The Old Post Office Pub at the start, this is it from Elise’s site

I’m joined this week by Elise Barras of Elise Loves Letters. Elise tells us about postcard collecting, letter writing, and scrambling to the top of big climbs in the Peak District of England, only to find a Mr. Whippy ice cream vendor at the top. Plus, she tells us about The Ancient One and how to have a proper cup of Yorkshire tea. Sit back, sip your tea, and get ready for some real delight.

Topics referenced in this show:

Elise Loves Letters on IG

Cork postcards from Portugal

Peak District in England

Mr. Whippy ice cream

The Ancient One 

The Brontë sisters

Yorkshire pudding

Yorkshire tea

The Ancient One
Elise took this picture of a postcard in Lisbon. And sent me a cork postcard!

E80: Postcards and The Department of Lost Letters in India with Bhumika Israni

This show is an audio movie. It’s that rich with sights and sounds. And if you use your imagination, you’ll be transported to Mumbai, India. I talked with Bhumika Israni from there. Bhumika is a huge postcard enthusiast (find out what happened to her room), letter writer, and connector. And she’s a medical student who also collects stamps. 

This is a show to treasure. And come join us at the Department of Lost Letters.

References in this show:

Bhumika on Instagram

Yellow postcards in India

Paper Jewels of the Raj by Omar Khan

Dead Letter Office (what we like to call the Department of Lost Letters)

from Paper Jewels of the Raj by Omar Khan
from Bhumika Snailmail on IG

E79: Amina McCain’s Pen Pal Club

These are trying times. And with the onset of Covid Summer, where we really can’t travel anywhere, my guest Amina McCain decided to do something about that. To create connections. And that’s where Amina’s Pen Pal Club originated.

In this show, I talk with Amina about creating her pen pal club, writing plays and monologues, acting in musicals, and drawing sketches for her original fashion designs. 

All this at age 13. Yes, Amina is a teenager. And an accomplished one. 

The essence of this show is that every creative endeavor starts with the word. And that is especially true with postcard and letter writing. So, tune in and be inspired.

E78: Postcrossing’s 15th Anniversary with Paulo Magalhães and Ana Campos

In this episode, host Frank Roche is joined by Postcrossing execs Paulo Magalhães and Ana Campos to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the launch of the global postcard phenomenon. 

We talk about the origin story of Postcrossing, the challenges of scaling up so rapidly, the dance that Paulo and Ana do for every million cards sent, and how the Postcrossing community organized and developed over the past 15 years.


Ana Campos talking at TEDxOporto about how postcards connect people 


Show us your happy mailbox on the Postcrossing blog

Postcrossing history

Paulo and Ana and the Postcrossing team

Frank Roche (The Postcardist)  on Postcrossing


How Postcrossing Works
Ana Campos and Paulo Magalhāes of Postcrossing

E77: The Snail’s Mail — Postcards for People Who Love Postcards with Jess Davis and Charlie Davis

This week I’m joined by the talented mother-daughter team of Jess Davis and Charlie Davis. Jess is the proprietor of The Snail’s Mail, a New Zealand-based postcard shop. And Charlie is a postcard designer. Did I mention she’s 10 years old? 

In this show we talk about Charlie’s new postcard design that’s available on The Snail’s Mail store now. Jess talks about the new designs she has available, the challenges of postcarding in the Age of Covid, and lets us in on another creative project she has in development. 

Find The Snail’s Mail here

You can buy Charlie’s “adventure” postcard here

The Snail’s Mail on Instagram

Jess on Instagram

Charlie Davis — 10-year-old postcard designer
Jess Davis: Owner of The Snail’s Mail

Hawkeye the Postcard Pup

Hawkeye licks his lips in anticipation of a treat

When I finish writing my postcards and other correspondence each morning, I take a photograph of what I’m sending. And when that camera clicks, that’s Hawkeye the Postcard Pup’s cue we’re going to walk to the mailbox. It’s a happy moment for him — he gets to sniff the post on the mailbox, chase a squirrel, and nibble a few acorns before he comes in the house for a treat. My treat comes a few hours later when the mail is delivered. Hawkeye and I both love postcards.

E76: Kate Wiggins of Sugar & Kiki

In this episode, I’m joined by postcard entrepreneur Kate Wiggins of Sugar and Kiki. We talk about her postcard store, postcard designing, the joy of writing postcards, and Julia Sugarbaker (Sugar of Sugar & Kiki). 

Sugar & Kiki

Sugar & Kiki Blog

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