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.
I’ve been quietly working on a YouTube channel for The Postcardist, and I’m in pre-production on shows for that format. I’ve been posting some snippets here, but once I get get going I’ll create 15 to 20-minute shows on particular postcard topics. While The Postcardist Podcast sails along with great guests and storytelling, the YouTube channel will be more documentary style with a narrow focus.
Here are some initial topics I’m working on. I’d really love to get some feedback from you on additional topics you’d like to see. You can leave a comment or send me an email at email@example.com.
Episode 1: Shining a light on Hold-to-Light (HTL) Postcards from the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis
Episode 3: Assembling the World’s Largest Collection of Bigfoot and Cryptozoology Postcards
Episode 4: Showcasing a Collection of Postal Stationery from the U.S. and Europe
Episode 5: Maximizing the Value of Maxicards
So, that’s the first five. Each of these will take some time to produce because of all the shots and editing. Plus, there’s a lot of research that is going into each one. This will be fun. Let me know what you think.
Postcards connect people. And here’s a really interesting take on postcards creating connections during the pandemic.
Mississippi-based artist Ashely Brewer started a drawing on a postcard, sent that incomplete card in an envelope to people with a return envelope, and asked them to complete the drawing and send the postcard back to her. In return, she got lots of community-created art. I’m gonna try this technique with one person today.
The full article by Wayne Andrews at The Oxford Eagle is below.
I just got A Guide Book of Collectible Postcards by Q. David Bowers and Mary L. Martin and I can’t put it down. But if I did, I could use it as a paperweight during a hurricane. This book is big — 422 pages, 8″ x 11″ and nearly three pounds — and replete with 1500+ illustrations and photographs. And the writing and research is heavy and top notch, too.
After a foreword by eminent collector Leonard Lauder, the book launches quickly into early postcard history and includes pictures of postcards that illustrate the writing. Plus, each of the postcard images contain suggested prices for VF to Mint grade cards.
The authors make a compelling point to anyone who wants to be serious about postcard collecting. It’s all about building a knowledge base.
Reading this book is equivalent to spending a few days immersed in a postcard convention or show. Hundreds of cards are illustrated, described in detail, and have estimated values.
–Q. David Bowers and Mary L. Martin, The Guidebook of Collectible Postcards (2020)
The chapters in the book include:
Postcards of the Golden Age (1890s to 1910s)
Postcards of the Later Years (1920s to early 1930s)
Postcard Values: Grading and Other Aspects
Building a Collection of Postcards
A Closer View of Postcard Production
Events and Transitions on Postcards
Real Photo Postcards (RPPCs)
Political, Social, Racial, and Religious Postcards
Holiday, Greeting, and Novelty Postcards
Popular Sets of Postcards
Signed Artist Postcards
Advertising and Calendar Postcards
Restaurants, Ice Cream Parlors, Saloons, Gambling, Pastimes, Etc.
Stores, Offices, and Banks
Trades, Occupations, and Professions
Stages, Performers, Musicians, Circus, and Related
Movies and Players
Sports and Recreation
World’s Fairs and Related
Scenic and View Postcards
Linen and Other Postcards, 1930s to 1950s
Chrome Postcards, Late 1930s to Date
There is also a list of postcard printers and distributors along with another list of U.S. postcard clubs.
This book is one I’ve been carrying around and reading since it arrived. Every day is a learning adventure with postcards. The Guide Book of Collectible Postcards can be purchased for $39.95 by clicking here. (If you ask nice, I bet you could get a signed copy.)
In a recent Instagram story, I mentioned I collect Matthew Kirscht Halloween postcards and said I would love to have him on The Postcardist Podcast. I eagerly anticipate each monthly release of Matthew’s Halloween cards, so imagine my delight when I saw this animation of his artwork by Greg Rozeboom. Here’s Greg’s description:
HAPPY HALLOWEEN, EVERYONE! This year, I combined a spooky jazz song from 1929, ‘Bogey Wail’ by Jack Hylton and His Orchestra, with a collection of hand-painted Halloween postcards by the amazing Matthew Kirscht.
October 1, 2020 is World Postcard Day. I asked Postcrossers to leave voice messages about what they’ll be doing to celebrate. And 20 people answered the call from around the world — from New Zealand, India, Philippines, Greece, Ireland, England, Canada and the United States. This is what they said.
Special thanks to Ana from Postcrossing for adding what they’re doing at HQ on such a special day. #postcardrevolution2020
Postcards connect people. And this show is, once again, about another connection. I connected with Orla Hegarty over the past couple of years because of this show and because of postcards. Orla is a dedicated postcard creator and writer, a mathematician, a traveler, and a postmaster for Canada Post in her town of St. Vincent’s, Newfoundland.
In this episode, Orla and I talk about postcards. And mushrooms (the edible kind, silly); Burning Man (where I suppose there are other kinds of mushrooms, too); The Salt Path; Punxsutawney Phil and Wiarton Willie; Newfoundland boil ups; Newfie tacos (I really gotta have one now that Orla told me about them); Feminism; stamps; Postcrossing, and the special cancellation Orla does from her post office.
Thats’s the thing about postcard connections. It’s a lot more than a piece of paper with a nice design and a note on the back. What I like about the connections is that I am on a journey of continuous learning — about people and cultures and faraway places. That’s what this episode delivers — it’s another opportunity to learn about the world from someone who communicates with great storytelling. Plus, name me another show where you can learn about Newfie tacos and Burning Man postcards in the same show. This might be the only one.
As with most conversations, there is just a jumping off point. Let’s start this episode of The Postcardist Podcast chatting about…
And that, my friends, is another episode of the show. Thanks so much to Orla Hegarty for the stories and for all the ideas we were able to cover…just because postcards connect people, and we end up finding out we have lots to share and lots to learn from each other.
If you haven’t sent away for a special cancellation from St. Vincent’s, Newfoundland, I would do that. Here’s an example:
And as you’ve heard me say, if you want to be on the show — or know someone you think I should talk to — please send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org or direct message me on Instagram.
Coming up soon, I’ll be chatting with Mary Martin about her new book, A Guide Book of Collectible Postcards, that just published yesterday. And I have Sylvanus Paul of LetterDoggy coming up…you won’t wanna miss that show; you’ll hear something I’m gonna guess you’ve never heard before. And I have several more shows in development.
Speaking of development, you heard this episode number…89…which means I’m 11 shows away from the magic number of 100. I’m putting together a retrospective for that episode…but I’d love to hear from you about what you’d like to hear. And I’m wondering if you’d be willing to do a little snippet of a recording for me. I’d love to create an audio collage that answers this question: How have postcards created connections for you? If you’re interested in recording a one-minute snippet for me, you can call this number and leave me a voicemail…it’s +1 (215) 501-7826.
Okay…thanks for taking time out of your day to listen to the show. I know you’ll keep writing postcards….and I’ll look forwarding to seeing you back here new week with a new episode of The Postcardist Podcast.