Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Vintage postcard: Yellowstone bear wants to hitch a ride

On the heels of last week's Yellowstone bear, here's another one from my pile...

This is a Natural Color Card published by Eric J. Seaich Co. of Salt Lake City. It's tagged as ES-253. Eric Seaich himself snapped the photograph, and I hope he checked first to make sure this inquisitive cub's mother wasn't right behind him.

Eric John Seaich lived from 1910 to 1990, according to Find A Grave. He was born and died in Salt Lake City. He was father to three children, all of whom have now died. According to his obituary, he was "an active member of the LDS Church; he served a mission to England as a young man. (And) in 1929 he started his own printed business forms and gift shop business." I suppose it was his connection to the gift shop business that propelled Seaich into publishing postcards. Or maybe vice versa.

The printed caption for this postcard states:

Bear cubs begging for food along the highways are
a familiar sight in Yellowstone Park, Wyo."

Today, of course, you most definitely do not feed the bear cubs, or other animals for that matter, at national parks. But times were much different in the middle of the 20th century, as this "trip down memory lane" article by the wonderfully named Brodie Farquhar notes:
"Back then ... the American public fully expected to have picnic baskets stolen by Yogi's cousins, and bears were happy to oblige. ... Bears fed on marshmallows and Fig Newtons, slipped through narrow openings in car windows, as kids squealed and Mom worried aloud."
This card was mailed in the midst of that era. It was postmarked on July 21, 1964, at Yellowstone National Park and sent to the Minnich family on Hess Boulevard in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. This is the message:
"Hi!! These fellows will do anything to get a vote!! No really they are real beggers. It's great out here but tiring to drive 10-12 hrs. a day — see you with a slide party when we get back.
— Nancy & Lee"

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