Postcards, Past and Present

My dad had two cousins who traveled a lot. And they always sent my brother and I plenty of postcards from all over the world. Then, when I was a sophomore in college, one of them died. Postcards started up after a while, but the gap prompted me to start sending postcards of the kids in my life.

I recently received the Mammoth Site postcard, and the Cinderella card has not been sent yet..

It’s been fun, if occasionally difficult, to send postcards. I say difficult, because a lot of places that I remember having entire racks of postcards when I was a kid (like the zoo), now have one style at the cash register. If that. Art museums seem to be the only venue that have not reduced their inventory of postcards. But as I don’t go very many places, I’ve fallen onto collections of Disney postcards. They’re actually quite useful. My little cousins love them, and I once sent the Speaker of the House a Dumbo card (tee hee).

And that, finally, brings me to the point. Postcards have a fun, nostalgic history, but seem to have largely become purely utilitarian in recent months. Probably the last postcard most people received was the reminder from their dentist that it’s time to schedule their six-month checkup, or something of that nature. My dad is apparently one of only a few private citizens who still actually buys postcard stamps at his local post office (I use forever stamps on mine).

It’s true that in the Internet age, less actual mail is being sent (and no, I the Internet blogger will not rail against Facebook, Twitter, or email), but why not send more postcards, at least? They can’t be much longer than a text, given how small the allotted space is, and they cost less than $0.40 to send! The recipient can even use them for decoration if the picture is particularly appealing.

Then there are the memories and the appeal of having something tactile when looking back on the good times of previous years. I love scrolling through photos, but having something other than a mouse or touch pad is nice, too.

Or you could just take my Dumbo example and run with it, and annoy your least favorite politician, if nostalgia and vacation pics aren’t your cup of tea.


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