My sister sent me these photos with this caption:
In 1913 it was legal to mail children. With stamps attached to their clothing, children rode trains to their destinations, accompanied by letter carriers. One newspaper reported it cost fifty-three cents for parents to mail their daughter to her grandparents for a family visit. As news stories and photos popped up around the country, it didn’t take long to get a law on the books making it illegal to send children through the mail.
That may be true but according to Snopes.com these photos are staged. However there is a great children’s book called Mailing May that is apparently based on a true story. Set in 1914, A little girl travels by postal train to visit her grandmother. Much cheaper than buying a regular train ticket!
Not only is this Sunday Father’s Day, it is also the first day of summer. I love my dad and I love summer- two reasons to send mail. I also love these summer harvest stamps but be patient. Their issue date is July 11, 2015. Until then, might I suggest the ferns?
There was an essay in the New York Times Sunday Review last week by Ethan Hauser called I Love the Post Office that I want to pass on to you. Hauser articulated something I have written about before, the harshness of NYC post offices. They can be frustratingly inefficient, even for a snail mail loyalist like myself. Especially for a snail mail loyalist like myself! In fact, when I travel I love to visit post offices. They’re consistently much nicer than the ones here.
After I read the essay I realized that I went to high school with Ethan Hauser.
Well done, Ethan!
VSM approves of this marketing strategy by Showtime to promote their new television series, HAPPYish. Postcards! I have not seen the show but Kathryn Hahn is one of the leads and she is my all time favorite. Loved her in Afternoon Delight and Transparent. And Steve Coogan is pretty great too.
Sunday is Mother’s Day y’all. Make some cards and send them to the moms in your life- you know that they will be appreciated. Get them in the mail pronto!
Look at these adorable hand sewn mom cards by Memory Threads that I saw at a Brooklyn fair this weekend. Jenna, the creative force behind Memory Threads, provided sharpies for kids to customize the cloth cards for their moms. Such a sweet idea!
Last chance to see On Kawara’s impressive show at the Guggenheim, including hundreds of postcards from his I Got Up series. On Silence closes on May 3, 2015.
Last week my family received live caterpillars in the mail as a spring gift from my mom! That was a first. Two plastic cups with lids arrived in a small cardboard box. Inside were tiny little black caterpillars and some brown food that we decided to call “pudding”. We designed an environment for our new pets to inspire them to grow.
And grow they did! They ate a lot of pudding and within a week were huge and starting to transition into their chrysalides.
This guy actually transitioned before our very eyes! It was fascinating and also a little gross- from black and fuzzy to smooth and brown in a matter of minutes. I loved every second of it.
Now we wait. In a few days we’ll transfer the chrysalides to a net habitat and a week after that, butterflies will emerge! When their wings are strong, we’ll release them in our garden.
We have loved this experience. If you want to give it a try visit Insect Lore; The Original Butterflies by Mail Company.
This week the USPS released its Maya Angelou stamp! Our petitioning worked! But in the words of my dad, there is a “kerfufel” over the text used on the stamp. Apparently its a verbal quote from Angelou but she was paraphrasing the text of a poem by Joan Walsh Anglund, published 2 years prior to Angelou’s autobiography, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. Oops. Just what the USPS needs, negative media attention…
To be honest, the mis-quote bothers me less than the artwork. I don’t love it. But I do love the idea of a Maya Angelou stamp so I will be buying some right now to honor that Phenomenal Woman.
Viva Maya Mail!
Ok its a stretch to post a link to the Three Miles episode of This American Life on VSM but it explores an issue very close to my heart, educational inequality. And there IS a reference to letters! Students from two very different high schools in the Bronx, just three miles apart, exchanged letters to learn about each other’s lives. But that’s just the beginning of the story.
Its really worth a listen.
I found the book, A Letter for Bear, by David Lucas at our local library. The VSM aligned title and the cute illustration style caught my eye. It reminded me of A Letter For Leo, as it is another children’s book about an animal postal worker who diligently delivers the mail yet does not receive mail himself. The two books end differently (sorry for the spoiler!) but clearly Bear and Leo need to find each other in a sequel. They were meant to be best friends and life long correspondents!