Postcards

Greetings from the “Land Down Under” [1971 – Australia]

1971 Travel Postcard Image - Sydney, Australia lg

A description of jet-lag, the superb inflight service, and the quirks of Australian plumbing & electrical fixtures fill up this traveler’s early 1970s message back to the states.

1971 Travel Postcard Message - Sydney, Australia lg

Sydney, Aust. 7-14-71 2:45 A.M.

Hi Neighbors,

Greetings to you from the “Land Down Under.” I hope this reaches you before you leave. Here it is early morning & I’m wide awake (it is about 11:45 A.M. there on 7-13. It was an 18 hour flight down here on Qantas with excellent service – 1 stewardess & 5 men stewards to serve us. The weather here is sunny & bright even tho it is the dead of winter. Where we have the yellow pages in the phone book – there are pink & the hot & cold faucets are opposite ours & the light switches work upside down. The people are friendly. Have a good trip.

Sincerely, Walt Neiman

Sent to: Kalama, Washington

Postmark: Potts Point, Australia – July 14, 1971

Image: Sydney Harbor Bridge, view of Express Way and North Shore


Postcard Context

Qantas introduce the “Jumbo Jet” into their fleet in September 1971 (Qantas.com), just after the above postcard was sent. Take a look at this meal service.

Boeing : 747Image source: Flickr Commons https://flic.kr/p/7ZCzr7

Further Reading:

Daily Mail: The Golden Age of Australian Airline Travel

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Postcards

Mildred at SBTS [1946 – Louisville, Ky]

1946 Louisville, Kentucky postcard image lg

Mildred seems to be thriving as a seminary student and happy to be sending an update to her parents back in Georgia.

It was written in spurts, with her mentioning that plans changed before it went in the mail. I especially love the writing on the front, something I have done on postcards myself and most of us do digitally now, doodling on pictures that we can send to friends and family in an instant.

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY stands today, still educating those who are called to Christian ministry.

1946 Louisville, Kentucky postcard message lg

“The campus is really pretty now. Especially, as the leaves are beautiful.”

Fri. night —

Dearest Mother & Daddy,

It is colder here today & looks as though it may rain.

School today was full of duties, etc. Reports must go out next week, so I’ll really be busy doing that tonight, I know.

Sabin[?] is fine & and studying as well. There is no special news from here now. We’re both O.K. & hope you are.

Sat.– We’re going to another church to preach tomorrow – leaving this P.M. & will be back tomorrow P.M. – did not go after all.

Lots of love,

Mildred

Will write later.

To: Mr. & Mrs. J. E. Orren[?]

Postmark: Louisville, KY – October 22, 1946

Image: Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Louisville, Kentucky

Commentary

Following Buddy Marress, WWII G.I.

I was excited to find Buddy’s postcards because of the longer story they reveal.

Buddy was born in 1918. His enlistment record indicates that he worked in the education field and had completed 3 years of college. (I don’t often try to look up the names on my postcards, but since I had so much information, in this case I gave it a shot.)

Postcard Timeline

Enlisted: May 23, 1942 – Fort Oglethorpe, GA (age 23, unmarried at time of enlistment)

Source: National Archives Enlistment Record

Date Sent from Current Unit/Base Rank Recipient Name Recipient location
26-Aug-42 Salt Lake City, Utah Army Air Base, Salt Lake Pvt Gladys Bell Lobelville, Tn
5-Apr-43 St Louis, Missouri 21st Sqd. Topeka, Ks ? Mrs. E Bell Lobelville, Tn
29-Aug-43 Topeka, Kansas 21st Sqd. Topeka, Ks Sgt Mrs. L. H. Marress Lobelville, Tn
13-Sep-43 Topeka, Kansas 21st Sqd. Topeka, Ks ? Mrs. L. H. Marress Lobelville, Tn
9-Apr-44 Topeka, Kansas 25th Adr’m Sq. (S) Cpl. Gladys Marress Linden, Tn

It seems that Miss Gladys Bell became Mrs. Marress during the summer of 1943.

Buddy Marress’s wife is buried in Perry County Tennessee: Marress, Gladys Bell, Apr. 1916-Dec. 9, 1989, “Wife of Loyd Marress”

bonds-topeka-army-airfield
Topeka Army Airfield http://9thbombgroup.org/99th-BS-files/war-bonds/they-bought-bonds.html

 

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Postcards

Darling [1943 – Topeka, Ks.]

Marress - Sept 1943 Topeka Image lg

Lloyd Marress WWII Postcard Series (#4 of 5)

Sept 1943

This postcard matches a previous one, from Buddy sent in August. It seems he jotted a note just to send a little something back to his wife in Tennessee. He was working hard doing his part for the war effort. I wonder what her days were like at home in his absence.

Marress - Sept 1943 Topeka message lg

Monday morning

Darling,

No. I haven’t forgotten you, just been awfully busy. Will write tonite. I promise. Hope you’re feeling good as usual. My cold is lots better.

I’ve been to the fair 2 nites. Bye for now.

Love, Buddy

To:

  • Mrs. L. H. Marress
  • Lobelville, Tennessee

From:

  • L. H. Marress
  • 21st Sq. (S)
  • Topeka, Kansas

Postmark: Sep 13, 1943 – Topeka, Kansas

Image: “Topeka Kansas U.S.O.” Promotional postcard produced by John Morrell & Co.


Other postcards from Lloyd “Buddy” Marress

 

 

Postcards

You’uns Are Hot- We’uns Are not [1939 – North Carolina]

1939 Hendersonville NC image lg

“Having a big time.”

Billy’s sarcasm towards Annemarie is what makes 1930s postcard charming, and I think I’m going to bring that phraseology back as an alternative to “great” time. I bet it really was nice in the Blue Ridge Mountains just South of Asheville, NC in July.

In my eyes, the main quality of a great postcard is leaving the reader wanting to know more! This one certainly poses so many more questions than it answers. I want to know what’s happening off stage!

1939 Hendersonville NC message lg

Dear Annemarie-

Haven’t got enough to say to write a letter– hence the card. I’m visiting Chick now and having a big time. Guess I’ll go back to S.C. and cruise around before I come home. In the meantime try to bear up under the strain of my absence.

Billy

To:

  • Miss Annemarie Dünzelmann
  • 1118 Madison St.
  • Clarksville, Tennessee

Postmark: Hendersonville, N. C. – July 19, 1939

Postcards

Sgt. Marress [1943 – Topeka, Kansas]

Marress - Aug 1943 Topeka Image lg

Lloyd Marress WWII Postcard Series (#3 of 5)

August 1943

This time we find Buddy, a Sergeant now, writing to his wife in Tennessee. He most likely was serving with the 21st Bombardment Wing which was located in Topeka, Kansas as of May 1943 (Wikipedia). The primary function of Buddy’s unit was “processing heavy bombardment crews and aircraft for overseas movement, and then processing men returning from overseas, from 1942–1946.” He seems to be staying stateside for the war, so perhaps he was an aircraft mechanic or other tradesman prepping bombers for overseas deployment.

I wonder if this postcard was provided for free by the United Service Organization (USO). I’m not sure what else “U.S.O.” could possibly stand for in this context.

Link: History of the Topeka Airport (aka Topeka Army Airfield in 1943).

Marress - Aug 1943 Topeka message lg

Saturday Evening

Darling,

I’m staying on the base tonite, as I said I will. I didn’t work this aft. got caught up on my work, at last.

I hope you’re feeling alright, s–[?] the old medicine made you sick.

I’ll go now, but[?] will be back tomorrow.

Forever yours, Buddy

To:

  • Mrs. L. H. Marress
  • Lobelville, Tennessee

From:

  • Sgt. L.H. Marress
  • 21st Sq. (S)
  • Topeka, Kansas

Postmark: Aug 29, 1943 – Topeka, Kansas

Image: “From Topeka Kansas U.S.O” John Morrell & Co. Meat packing Promo Postcard featuring Kansas Jayhawk


Other postcards from Buddy Marress

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Postcards

Too much English in Paris [1950 – Paris, France]

1950 Paris Notre Dame Image lg

It’s so much fun to imagine Rilla’s trip across the pond and stay in Paris (minus being surrounded by seasick passengers). I’m not sure whether I admire her desire to integrate herself into French culture, or if she’s instead a little self-impressed with her own mastery of the local language.

Here’s a bit of historical context: The French Line in the 1950s.

1950 Paris Notre Dame message lg

Sept 30, 1950

Dear Margaret,

The ocean trip was wonderful. I love the French line. The food was out of this world. 6 courses for each meal. I was fortunate enough not to be seasick in spite of a storm the first three days which got most everybody.

I love Paris, but haven’t seen many of the sights yet. I’ve been room-hunting for a place in a private home. There’s too much English spoken at the Maison Américaine, a dormitory where I am now. It’s very cold here. Write.

Love, Rilla

To:

  • Miss Margaret Paschall
  • Route 2
  • Clarksville, Tenn.
  • U.S.A

Postmark: Paris XIV Av du General Leclerc – Sept 30, 1950

Stamps: 5 franc & 10 franc

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Postcards

Sugar Cane Harvest [1956 – Cuba, via Miami]

1956 Cuba image lg

This one comes from a period of great upheaval in Cuba, but the sugar cane still needed to be harvested.

1956 Cuba message lg

Havana – Jan 20th

The sugar-cane harvest begins this week. We saw the carts being loaded as we drove from Matauzas this morning.

Love,

Grandmother

They cut with machetes. Gram

To:

  • David B. Stewart
  • 909 Woodmont Blvd.
  • Nashville, Tenn.

Postmark: Miami, Fla. – Jan 21, 1956 – Fight infant paralysis Join March of Dimes

Front image: Cutting sugar cane. Habana. Corte de Caña

Commentary, Postal History

Is National Air Mail Week still a thing?

It seems that the “National –insert cause here– Week” concept has been around for much longer than I thought.

At its introduction, one had to pay a premium for air mail service (24 cents) compared to regular first-class mail (3 cents). With the serious occupational hazards the first air mail pilots endured, I think the price was justified.

According to Edward A. Keogh, 1927, the earliest Air Mail service in the United States carried many more postcards than other type of mail, by a landslide, though the dates over which this tally was amassed is unclear.

Postcards 32,415 87%
Letters 3,993 11%
Circulars 1,062 3%
Total 37470

Though postcards are becoming rarer, we are now more dependent on air transport of mail than ever. How could we get our online purchases “over-nighted” without our packages continuing to take to the sky?


 

Side note: Philately is far too competitive for my taste, but I recently learned more about the famous “Inverted Jenny” stamp, the holy grail of stamp collectors valued at about $1 million. The stamp came about because of the rush to produce the 24 cent air mail postage. I much prefer the humanity that is revealed on vintage send postcards, but it’s also a hobby that’s much easier on the wallet than stamp collecting.

Postcards

Dead or Alive. [1910 – Vermont]

1910 Vermont Image lg

Wow, Gladys seems pushy.

Oh, and Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

1910 Vermont message lg

“Greetings Most True”

Jonny are you dead or alive. Why don’t you answer my letter. I wont probably get it unless you put it care of A. J. Macie. hope you will write a good long letter.

From Gladys

Postmark: North Sheldon, VT. April 18 1910

To:

  • Mr. Jonny Cabarra
  • Windsor, VT [?]

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