Jump, Jive, and Whale

When I think about titles for stories, I often have a song pop in my head. I dare you to resist dancing along to this song.

I did a little dancing when by some coincidence these three whale postcards arrived in my mailbox. Thanks so much to Nikita Regina, Anne, and Dave.

From the artist Nikita Regina; card designed by Heidi Vilkman
From F1Annie, designed by Alexia Clare
Original image by photographer David Wolanski titled Summer Fun

When I got these cards I got curious about whale migration. Grey Whales travel 12,000 miles. Here’s a good article about which whales migrate and where they go. I’m sure Orla could tell us more.

I read a little excerpt from Whale Nation by Heathcote Williams. The entire poem is worth reading.

Sasquatch Sunday: February 27, 2022

This is quite a Sasquatch Sunday. I’ve added several items to The World’s Largest Bigfoot Postcard Collection™ this week, including Pie Grande, the first postcard I have of Bigfoot named in Spanish. (Muchas gracias a Daniel por esta postal de Pie Grande desde Cancun, México.)

It’s funny, collecting Bigfoot cards started out as a lark. It was one of those things where I noticed I had a burgeoning selection of cards with that theme. Then that theme built and built and built. And now I have albums upon albums of Bigfoot postcards and ephemera. I’ve even made podcasts about Biggie, like this one with Jamo, and this one where I talk about my pocket-sized grandfather.

I’d say if you want to create a collection — or a theme of anything on postcards — start with a single card. And declare it so. Start looking. Noticing. Commenting on cards with your theme. And then one day you wake up and find yourself with what could be a world-class collection of postcards. As the saying goes: The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second-best time to plant a tree is today.

Have a Biggie day.

Pie Grande enjoys Cancun on this Chibi Gutierrez-designed card. (from Daniel)
That Amber Marimba stamp and hand cancellation make this one extra cool. Check out these kids playing marimba in Oaxaca, Mexico.
I think I need a carved Bigfoot in my office like they have in front of Pacific Crust Pizza Company. (from Rich)
Rich added this extra stamp on the back of this TouchNote card. Biggie and I both like pizza. Coincidence?
There’s Biggie playing peek-a-boo. Do you see him? (from The Lost Postcard Bandit)
The Lost Postcard Bandit cooked up this terrific #WhereIsBigfoot hashtag.
This is a postcard I bought from the Royal Canadian Mint that includes an actual coin encased in it.
Even Biggie takes selfies from above like his friends, the Kardashians.
The Missing Link
Bigfoot. Yeti. Sasquatch. They’re all family. (from Rachel)

Episode 128: My Postcard Teacher

Did you see the Academy Award-winning documentary My Octopus Teacher ? It’s like a real-life Charlotte’s Web. But instead of a clever spider, there’s a clever octopus that provides lessons that are unexpected. And true. On the surface, the movie is about a man who found joy and purpose through immersion in nature and a remarkable bond with an octopus. And it’s really remarkable. But it’s deeper than the story of just a diver and an octopus. It’s also about how that man created a connection with his son while he built this deep admiration for an octopus. And that octopus taught him so much.

Postcards, in a way, are my octopus. I’ve been thinking about that a lot. You’ve heard me talk about how postcards connect people. Mainly, I mean that in the sense of one person getting to know one other person. That part holds. But there’s more. It’s deeper than that.

Postcards connect people…as in we’re people of the world. They connect us to something larger.

What made me start thinking about all this? Colors. And a postcard. This podcast is about a group of 10 recent incoming postcards and what I learned from them.

Note: If you would like to read a complete transcript, including substantial research links, please click here.

Ana’s Azure Blue Bench in La Boca, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Justin’s Peace Fountain
Jamo and Ashely’s Disney 50th Anniversary
Clocky’s Disneyland Card
Nikita’s Van Gogh: The Meadow with Butterflies
Denise’s Man Near Manhole
Maggie’s La Conquista del Espacio
Melissa’s Real Alcázar de Sevilla
Wild Animals in Hokkaido
Devin’s Stonhenge

Do me a favor, please. Leave me a comment about what you’ve learned recently from a postcard. Also, what do you think about a little postcard club to discuss a couple cards you like?

My Punny Valentine

Since for me you were born too soon / And I for you was born too late / God forgives him who has estranged / Me from you for the whole year / I am already sick of love / My very gentle Valentine.

Written from prison in 1415 by Charles, the Duke of Orléans, to his wife
(and considered the very first written Valentine)

Nothing so dramatic is imbued in the modern Valentine’s Day cards below as compared to the Valentine’s poem Charles, the Duke of Oléans, wrote after he was imprisoned during the Battle of Agincourt. Sadly, Charles spent 25 years in prison and his wife died while he was in there. He wrote hundreds of poems and love letters while he spent those decades in prison; much of that writing was compiled into The Poems of Charles of Orléans.

About 550 years after that first Valentine was written, I was a kid, and I used to look forward to Valentine’s Day with great anticipation. I’d bring my bag of Valentines to school, with one signed for each kid in the class. And although the nuns would try to enforce the one-kid-one-card rule, they couldn’t enforce the quality of the cards. Back then, each pack of Valentines (I think there must have been 50 in a pack) had one larger Valentine. If you were sweet on someone, they’d get the bigger card. It was a big deal. Alas, I never got a big Valentine.

Those nostalgic days are gone. But happily, Valentine’s cards aren’t. Here’s a selection of Valentine’s cards from the here and now. And as far as I know, no one sent one from prison. (Although that would be kinda cool.)

By the way, as I was writing this I was thinking about Valentine’s songs. And you know what’s one of the worst songs ever written? It’s Frank Sinatra singing My Funny Valentine. Who in the effing hell thought that was a good song? Or that negging some nice person on Valentine’s Day would be charming? Not me.

A classic from Albert & Magda (I think Maggie wrote it)
Sheryl and I were a lot younger when we met
IndySuz made a very nice handmade Valentine with this Pantone postcard
A nice LouPaper card from Louise. Now I want some of those candy hearts.
Bean sent Bluebirds of Happiness. Did you know the origins of Valentine’s goes back to the observation this is breeding season for birds?
Kirsten & Lucy sent happy cats. Purr.
Nikita sent this a while ago about Rocky Horror Picture Show. But now I say, Happy VD.
When I got this sawtooth Rifle Paper postcard from Tracy in Michigan, I thought I hadn’t seen one like that.
But then, voila! This one came from Melissa in Italy. Double sawtooth Valentine’s Day.
Janet asks, “What is Cupid’s favorite band?” She answers, “KISS. Duh.” Haha.
Heres the spirit of the day from Katrinka at Sugar & Kiki. It’s about connections.
And this lagniappe from Sugar & Kiki is an extra postcard!
This is a special Matthew Kirscht (2022) limited edition of 36 that melds two holidays

Happy Valentine’s Day to you. I hope you find connections every day of the year.

Postcards from Africa

In Africa a thing is true at first light and a lie by noon; and you have no more respect for it than for the lovely, perfect wood-fringed lake you see across the sun-baked salt plain. You have walked across that plain in the morning and you know that no such lake is there. But now it is there absolutely true, beautiful and believable.

Ernest Hemingway, True at First Light

It’s funny how it works with postcards — one day getting a postcard from Africa is true at first light and no longer a lie by noon. It was no mirage that these four postcards arrived in my mailbox on the same day. And they’re all absolutely true, beautiful and believable.

Melissa’s husband travels all over the world. And I’m the lucky recipient of this card from Uganda.
When I interviewed Nikki Banz for E117 of The Postcardist Podcast, she described this scene she see from her windows.
Stamp from South Africa featuring the largest diamond in the world — the Cullinan stone.
The Kabaka’s Palce at Mengo, Kampala, Uganda
I need to experience standing on the equator. Check out this video about how water flows with the Coriolis Effect.

Words Endure

Colors fade, temples crumble,
empires fall, but wise words endure.

Edward Thorndike

Although we often think about postcards having an image on one side and a message side, there is a type of postcard I like very much: the word card. Here’s a set of seven recent incoming cards to demonstrate what I’m talking about. Each of these postcards has a particular message that was commented about from the sender.

Betsy offers some sound advice. I’ll keep this in mind in case I try to pull off a caper.
Simple and nice — a card from Dave that says everything in two words.
Jennie made me laugh with this one. The podcast is listened to in 55 countries. Ha!
Nikita sent this one as I was recovering from a surgery. Words can uplift.
Take a deep breath season. I love this one from Beck.
You’re free to interpret this as you like — good amazed or bad amazed. I think Nikita meant good.
IndySuz boiled it down to a single word. Ahoy! (My dad had a boatswain’s whistle, so quite a memory.)

Jeepneys in Manila

That’s a Jeepney in the Philippines. They’re a very popular form of transportation around the country, says Jens Meiners in Car and Driver:

Jeepneys are the Philippines’ most popular form of public transportation, and they are a pure anachronism. They got their start as Willys Jeeps left behind when American GIs departed the Philippines at the end of World War II. Filipinos then began recycling them as buses with bodies made from galvanized or stainless steel, fabric covers instead of side windows, and longitudinally mounted benches with room for 20 (or more) passengers. Those beginnings are still apparent, despite the cheeky Mercedes-Benz stars affixed to the front of many modern Jeepneys.

This postcard took almost two months to arrive in the U.S. from Manila. I wonder if it was delivered on a Jeepney.