“For email, the old postcard rule applies. Nobody else is supposed to read your postcards, but you’d be a fool if you wrote anything private on one.”–Judith Martin aka. Miss Manners
Miss Manners’ advice is germane and up to date; however email and postcards vary in important ways. Email is an electronic message and the postcard is a physical artifact that is delivered by terrestrial mail. Certainly we can add photographs or other images to email as attachments, but this is not the same as sending an actual, physical thing.
Email is so commonplace that we sort through it or have our devices filter it according to our preferences. Postcards arrive in a physical mailbox–if at all anymore. The only postcards I receive these days are appointment reminders from the dentist, advertisements promoting hearing aids, and my garbage collector’s bill. I cannot remember the last time a personal postcard arrived via the U.S. Postal Service.
Fortunately, I have a few hundred vintage postcards that people have sent in the past, or were given to me, or that I purchased as a boy. Of those, I selected four old cards in order to celebrate the unofficial holiday, “Postcard Day”.
The top card was printed in 1914 by J. Salmon of Sevenoaks, England. The second card was published by Petley Studios of Phoenix, Arizona, USA after the bridge had been moved from the UK to Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
The Grand Canyon card was sent to me by my paternal grandmother back in 1978.
The last card was shot by Tom Reed and printed by Phoenix Specialty Advertising in Arizona for the “Crest Motel” a mom and pop business in Sterling, Colorado. Our family stayed there once in the late 1960s.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes 20th century mountaineer and wilderness photographer, Galen Rowell. “I remember when an editor at the National Geographic promised to run about a dozen of my landscape pictures from a story on the John Muir trail as an essay, but when the group of editors got together, someone said that my pictures looked like postcards.”