Thursday, March 18, 2021



If you were on my Christmas list last year, you know how much I love postcards. If you were not, I used a lifetime of postcards I bought as Christmas cards. Recently I was cleaning out boxes in the basement and I found a box of stuff from my grandparent's apartment in NYC. My grandfather had a room affectionately called the "Junk Room". Ok, maybe my grandmother was not that affectionate about that room. But I was from as far back as I can remember. It was floor to ceiling filled with some junk like old television and radio parts. But it also had hundreds of old records, a huge collection of old stamps, every Peanuts book ever released and all kinds of baseball books, scorecards and programs. If I wasn't playing out on the streets with my friends, I was digging through a world of treasures in the Junk Room. After my Grandma died, my Grandfather moved into my Aunt & Uncle's house. He let me take whatever I wanted. I wanted it all but didn't have the room for that. So I took what I could. That was thirty years ago. Now I'm going through my version of a Junk Room (a basement full of boxes and plastic bins) and found a stack of old postcards. I thought I'd share them since it seems postcards are having a bit of a renascence lately. This Statue of Liberty postcard was never sent to anyone. My grandfather took us to Bedloe's Island to see Lady Liberty several times in my childhood. Maybe he bought it as a souvenir or meant to send it but never did. This style of postcard might be older than my childhood. That would make it really old.

Postmarked Sept 31, 1937 Gloucester, MA
"Dear George, We are up here for the ride. Will write to you tomorrow. I received your note. We will be home Saturday night. I love you as much as ever. Adios till Saturday Faithfully Yours, Dotty K." 

My Grandmother Dorothy sent this to my Grandfather George before they were married. The note on the front is to her brother Sonny who was my Grandfather's best friend. My Grandma had some Downeaster relatives in her family. Maybe she was visiting them. I looked this place up and found multi-million dollar homes on Shore Road nowadays. 
This one was also blank on the back. But I thought it was funny. You just check the boxes instead of writing a short note.

These three postcards were also blank. The description is "Pinecrest Salisbury Mills, N.Y..
I looked it up and it seems like it was some kind of camp or resort.

Postmakred June 23, 1941 Spartanburg SC
This was sent to my grandfather at his job at International News Service. It was sent by a coworker named Tommie from Spartenburg, SC on June 23, 1941. He was in the army but not assigned yet. 

Postmarked Jul 31, 1937 Brooklyn NY & Aug 2, 1937 Mastic NY
"Still thinking of you! Love, George
My grandfather sent this to my grandmother before they were married in July of 1937. This time she was out on Long Island in Mastic.

Postmarked Jul 22, 1942
"A view like this is better than any other you can get down here this year. Outside of swimming, there isn't much to do but sail around the island or fish. A."
This was sent to my grandfather where he worked in 1942 at Cox & Stevens in Manhattan. It was just signed A. Since the war had started after the Pearl Harbor attack last December this postcard had a different 1 cent stamp. This one showed the Statue of Liberty with Industry & Agriculture For Defense on it.

Postmarked Jul 7, 1949 Camden NJ
"Good Morning Hon! It finally rainedlast night. Did you get wet? I'll see you Friday night about nine o'clock! Tell Goodie my cuffs are still holding! Give the boys a big hug and kiss for me. Lots of love & kisses from George & Teddy"
My grandfather sent this to my grandmother in 1949. For some reason, he was staying in New Jersey at this hotel. I'm guessing it was for his job at the time. I believe Teddy was a teddy bear that my grandparents had.

Postmarked May 30, 1938 Maplecrest NY
"Nell, the weather turned out O.K. after all, didn't it? Having a grand time. Marion & Hal"
This was sent to my grandmother in 1938. I believe Marion & Hal are cousins of my grandmother. I'm not sure about the nickname Nell. This is a postcard from Rip Van Winkle Falls on the Rip Van Winkle Trail in the Catskill Mountains.

Postmarked March 18, 1946 Genoa, Italy
'Hello George, Yes I am still sailing. How's everything with you and your family? Are you still sailing? I'm going to quit soon. Pretty nice over here taking in the sights. Steve"
This was sent to my grandfather at home in Brooklyn in 1946. He was in the Merchant Marines during the war. I know he was in Italy during the war. I'm guessing Steve was also a Merchant Marine.

Postmarked Jul 10, 1943 Peekskill NY
"#1 My darling husband, I am sending these cards in place of a letter. I hope you receive them tomorrow. We are at Indian Point. It turned out to be a nice day after all. Love Dotty"
My grandmother sent this to my grandfather in July 1943. It was sent to Sea2/C 3rd Division U.S.M.S.J.S. Huntington, NY. He may have been station there for training. This one and the next three were all sent on July 10, 1943, from Peekskill, NY

Postmarked Jul 10, 1943 Peekskill NY
"#4 Well honey I am going to close now as the girls are waiting for me and I can't get as much as you do on a card. See you Saturday. Teddy Freddie Commander send their love to their dear Pops. Forever Yours your wife, Dotty"  

Postmarked Jul 10, 1943 Peekskill NY
"#3 Honey Freddie was so afraid coming up on the boat. We were on the top deck and when the whistle blew it was so loud that he nearly toss a fit. I really got scared. The poor kid wouldn't smile all the way up here. Love Dotty"
My Uncle Freddie was two years old on this scary Hudson River Day Line boat trip.

Postmarked Jul 10, 1943 Peekskill NY
"#2 Honey two more days and you will be home. Isn't it wonderful? How I wish you were with us. It seems strange to be on a trip like this without you, my darling husband. We have just finished lunch. Love Dotty"
These postcards from my grandmother to my grandfather seem like well-written text messages of today. 

Postmarked Aug 29, 1943 New York NY
This postcard was sent to my grandfather on August 29, 1943. He was in Platoon R-44 at the US Merchant Marine Training Station on Gallups Island in Massachusetts. It was sent by his friend Bert Cohen who just saw the play Rosalinda at the Imperial Theater. He describes the new leading cast and gives a review of the play. The interesting aspects of this WWII era postcard are the postmark that reads "Buy War Savings Bonds and Stamps and the stamped message "Please notify this party of your platoon number." then someone wrote R-44 on it.

I have no idea what year this postcard of Shea Stadium was issued. This was never sent so I guess my grandfather bought it and never sent it. He is the reason I grew up a baseball fan. We went to a lot of games together at Shea Stadium. I saw my first Major League Baseball game at Shea Stadium. My grandfather taught me how to keep score and I have done that at almost every game I have been to since then. 

Postmarked Jun 28, 1941 Spartanburg SC
This postcard was sent to my Grandfather at International News Service in June 1941 from his friend Tommie. He wrote that this is the outfit he is with. He missed the old gang and couldn't adjust to these early hours...5:30 A.M.

Postmarked Jul 19, 1937 Mastic NY
"Hello George Darling, How are the creases in Mr. Ely's trousers? Love & Kisses Ruthie".
This was sent to my Grandfather on Marion Street in Brooklyn. The only Ruthie I know was my Grandmother's cousin. So I'm guessing it is from her. The question might be an inside joke or possibly a line from a song. I googled it but nothing came up.
Postmarked Aug 20, 1940
"Having a good time. The weather up here is fine. Give my regards to all. From Hennie."
This was sent to Mrs. & Mr. George Ott. They lived at 37 Cooper Street in Brooklyn at that time.
I do not know if Hennie is family or a friend..

Postmarked July 17, 1942 Estes Park, Colo
"Dear Dottie & George: Walked 10 miles from village to find a cowboy lodge to stay at. Found a very nice one with trout stream right in front of door. Rented a cabin for a week., got a fishing license, owner will lend me a rod. Very cheap, tourist trade is very dead. Glad to get customers." Bert wrote more but it is hard to read. He was able to fit a short letter on this postcard. Bert Cohen was a friend of my grandfather.

Another postcard that was never sent. 
These buildings are part of the Rockefeller Center and were built during the depression. The Manhattan Post Card Company printed this postcard. They were in business from 1928-1974.

Postmarked Apr 25, 1946 New York, NY
Lake Mohonk Mountain House
"Dear Sis, George & Family, MiMi and I were married Mar 24 and we are spending our honeymoon here. See you soon Love from MiMi & Eddie."
Eddie is my grandmother's brother. I have him being married three times in my family tree. None of those wives were named Mimi. Also I only knew him as Sonny. Edward was his middle name.

Postmarked Jul 17, 1942
"Howdy Cowboy: Going tomorrow to a real cowboy lodge - trout fishing & horseback riding. Am now in village.Quitesnappy for a littleplce 2 blocks long.Has 2 movies, bowling alley, golf course, dancehall, swimming pool (heated snow water), museum, ranger station, amusement park. Will send you pictures of cowboy lodge. Bert."
This post card was sent to Mr. Walter Kaufman at 37A Cooper Street in Brooklyn. This is probably my Great Uncle or his father, my Great Grandfather.

Postmarked Nov 26, 1909 Fredricksburg, VA
"Hello Kid! Ella"
This one is probably addressed to my Great Grandfather, Fredrick. The only possible Ella might be his future wife who's middle name was Elizabeth. This is my best guess. 

Postmarked Aug 9 1916 Independece, WV
"Dear Fred, Thanks for your card sometime ago. Am still in the game whenever I can be. Regards to yourself & Jack if you ever see him. Fred Hammer Independence, WV"
This was also sent to my Great Grandfather. I know he was a baseball fan and played in his younger day. He also would umpire games in the neighborhood parks of NYC when my grandfather played baseball as a young man.

Postmarked Aug 7, 1968 Silver Spring, MD
"Dear Mama, Daddy & Mike, Hi! Miss us? I bet you do. Jeff is having a ball. Tell Mike to prepare himself the girls are coming back with us. Love xxx Bernie, Gregg & Jeff"
My mom sent this postcard to my grandparents and Uncle Mike who is my youngest uncle and lived with his parents back then.We were visiting my mom's mother in Maryland. The girls mentioned must have been my cousins Terry and DeDe on my mom's side of the family. This postcard stamp cost 5 cents. All the others were 1 cent except for the one from Italy. It was 3 lire.

Postmarked Nov 14, 1986 San Diego, Ca
"Dear Mama & Daddy, Here I am. The weather is beautiful! In the 80's. Spent yesterday at the beach with my mother. Went to San Diego today with my sister. My brother and Terry are coming down tonight to celebrate my mom's birthday. Anna got so tall & the new baby is adorable. Mary is fine. Love Bernadette"
My mom sent this one to my grandaprents. The stamp cost 14 cents in 1986. She was in California visiting family. This is something we have always done in my family. I've spent a lifetime visiting family thanks to my mom. Anna is my cousin Mary's daughter and the adorable new baby is my cousin Katt's oldest daughter Laura. 

Postmarked Jun 23, 1990 Santa Anna, CA
"Hi Grandpa! We're having a great time. We drove to San Francisco (9 hrs) then Carmel, Monterey, Pebble Beach Pismo & Morro Bay & finally to Santa Barbara. Now we're back with Bern & George. I'm going to the beach, to a club and all around with Georgie & Jeff. Love & Kisses Teri"
This was sent to my grandfather by my cousin Terri. She was in California with my Aunt Maryann and Uncle Freddie (my dad's brother). This stamp cost 25 cents.

Postmarked Aug 13,1950 Central Valley, NY
"Dear Mom & Dad, I got a lot of mail today. I got nine letters. I'm sorry I did not write yesterday. I went on a Gypsy Day hike. Love Fred"
My nine-year-old Uncle Freddie sent this postcard to his parents from Camp Orenda.

Here are a few things I learned going through some of the old postcards.
Postcard stamps were 1 cent from at least 1909-1950.
Postcards were used in the 1900's like text messages or Facebook posts are used now.
I now have a bunch of addresses for my family that I can use for my family tree. 
The Tommie who sent a couple of postcards to my Grandfather was his childhood friend. They played baseball together as kids according to my Aunt Maryann.
These postcards allowed me to see the younger years of my grandparents and other family members. 
Postcards really do take you back in time. They give you a chance to see what life was like in some cases long before I was born. 
Postcards take you to see places you know or visited and some places you might not even know if it wasn't for these postcards.
I hope you enjoyed this journey as much as I did.