There was an article in the New York Times on Monday about how Donna Reed saved all her fan mail from G.I.’s during World War 2. Her daughter found the shoebox of letters in Reed’s garage and just made them public. I liked that this was published on Memorial Day and got me thinking about saved letters and postcards as a remembrance of the people and events that are important to us, as a way to memorialize.
Dear Donna: A Pinup So Swell She Kept G.I. Mail
When my dad handed me this sheet of stamps from Grandpa Sidney’s collection, I immediately remembered them. They are from 1981 so I must have been 10 years old when they came out. I absolutely remember pouring over each state’s bird and flower and carefully tearing off the stamps on their perforation so as not to mess up the images. Nothing like the taste of that stamp glue on your tongue either.
What’s up with 7 states claiming the cardinal as their state bird?
For those of you in the New York City area, there are only a few days left of the “Walker Evans and the Picture Postcard” show at the Met. It closes on Monday the 25th and is definitely worth checking out to see Evans’ vast collection of American landscape postcards and to note how these images informed his work as a photographer.
Main Street Postcards as Muse, a review of the show in the New York Times.
I watched Brokeback Mountain on TV the other night. It was the first time I had seen it since Heath Ledger died and that parallel text made the movie even more tragic. In fact, Brokeback might be the saddest movie in cinematic history, but I am prone to superlatives, so take that statement with a grain of salt.
This time around I was very moved by Jack and Ennis’ postcard correspondence. Their brief missives did not betray their true feelings for each other and would easily pass as buddy cards to the postman. But they were love letters, nonetheless. When Ennis stood in that one room post office and wrote, “You bet” in response to Jack’s first post-Brokeback postcard, his heart was full.
For most of us we don’t have to hide how we feel. But do we take advantage of our freedom or do we take it for granted? I see love letters as a gift. Diamonds are forever? Whatever. A love letter is forever. My man wrote me a very sweet mother’s day card and I think I am going to write him a love letter in response. I propose that you write a love letter and send it by post. If you don’t have a partner, than maybe write to the person that you want to manifest into your life and drop it in a mailbox. If you include a return address, your next suitor just might work for the post office.
If you need help with this snail mail challenge there is a book called “How to Write a Love Letter, Putting What’s in your Heart on Paper” that could jump start the process.
Get to it!
Postage stamps are both one of the joys and hindrances of postal mail. They are beautiful but who wants to wait in line at the post office to buy them? May I suggest usps.com to buy stamps? They (usually) have a better selection than your local post office and the stamps conveniently arrive in your mailbox within a few days.
Now for the caveat- with the postal increase on May 11th, the selection of 44 cent stamps for sale online is pretty lame. Besides stamps featuring the Simpsons, this is the best looking 44 cent stamp that is out right now.
I will post again when there is a wider selection of stamps available that reflect the new postal rates. Til then, buy some stamps! Send some mail!