Sunday, May 24, 2020

Sunday's postcard: Maude Adams' summer home in the Catskills

In the sort-of shelfie #37, I mentioned in passing a biography of American stage actress Maude Adams: 2004's Maude Adams: Idol of American Theater, 1872-1953 by Armond Fields.

Adams had a fascinating life that is worthy of far more than just this paragraph. She was the first actress to play Peter Pan on Broadway, survived the 1918 influenza epidemic despite falling seriously ill, worked on technical innovations in stage lighting and color photography, taught drama in college and spent her quiet retirement in the Catskills region of New York.

And that brings us to today's postcard. On the front, the sepia-toned card is labeled:

Maud Adams Summer Home.
Onteora Park, Catskill Mts. N.Y.

It's regrettable that Maude's name is misspelled. Onteora Park is, according to Wikipedia, a residential area in Greene County, New York: "The district is characterized by woodlands and open space and features breathtaking panoramic mountainous landscape views." A peaceful place to retire after the hustle-bustle of New York City, for sure.

The postcard was mailed with a one-cent stamp from Tannersville, New York. The year on the postmark is obscured, so I can't say for sure when it was. (It cost one-cent to mail a U.S. postcard from 1898 to late 1917 and then again from mid-1919 until the end of 1951.) The card is a "GENUINE PHOTO made by EAGLE POST CARD CO., N.Y." for J. Frank Lackey of Tannersville. Lackey was a postmaster, pharmacy owner and member of the Democratic Party in Tannersville and Greene County. He died in 1943.

The postcard is addressed to someone named Basta at 777 Madison Avenue in New York City. The cursive note on the postcard states:
My dear Theresa!
How are you getting along? Are you feeling better?
I presume you are as busy as ever.
Give my best love to all.

* * *

Bonus earworm lyrics
Lady Godiva was a freedom rider,
She didn't care if the whole world looked,
Joan of Arc with the Lord to guide her,
She was a sister who really cooked,
Isadora was the first bra-burner,
Ain't ya glad she showed up? (Oh yeah!)
And when the country was fallin' apart,
Betsy Ross got it all sewed up.

(And then there's Maude),
And then there's Maude,
(And then there's Maude),
And then there's Maude...

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