Saturday, December 21, 2019

Christmas postcard #5:
"Dear Girlie"

This postcard was published by the Golden Rule Printing Company of Albion, Michigan, and it features a hefty block of prose by Henry van Dyke Jr. (1852-1933). Van Dyke was born in Pennsylvania and served simultaneously as the U.S. ambassador to both the Netherlands and Luxembourg for a stint in the 1910s. He was also an author, minister and educator and has been remembered for his Christmas-themed writings.

This card was postmarked on December 30, 1920, and was mailed to Miss Winnifred Stewart of Cresson, Pennsylvania1, in care of the Mountain Merchantile Company. A few words are lost because of the postcard's missing corner, but here's the message, as best I can reckon:
Dear Girlie,
— I want to thank you for the beautiful gift & the beautiful love back of it. Conditions were such this year that I could not prepare for Xmas without over work and worry, so left my friends under ... impression (perhaps) that I did [not?] care for them. But I did. [Missing words] Your god mother.
This is added across the top of the card:
Tell me all about your children. What are they like, and what do you do for them?

1. Cresson is located in Cambria County and is not to be confused with Cressona, in Schuylkill County, eastern Pennsylvania. About a decade ago, in the midst of a side business selling used books on Amazon and at a local antiques mall, Joan and I traveled to Cressona and filled most of a U-Haul with used books that another online seller was selling for a super-cheap price. All those books sat in boxes in our garage for months, as we methodically worked through posting them for sale. I think the folks in Cressona probably knew what was coming better than we did, because the online book-selling business was crashing to a halt, in terms of profitability, thanks to the flood of penny books from bulk sellers. It was an interesting time. Joan details some of it in this 2013 post on Man vs. Debt.

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