Saturday, June 6, 2020

Saturday's postcard: In Chattanooga

On this EKC real photo postcard, which dates to between 1930 and 1950 based on the stamp box, this is the only thing penned on the back, in cursive:
To Friddie
From Sherley Ann
(It could also be SherleyAnn, as those two words are written closely together.) We can also see that this lovely family was on the Chattanooga Choo Choo at Lookout Mountain, a natural and historic attraction at the corners of Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee. We don't know anything else about them. So I'm just going to dream up how their lives went:
The mother (presumably Sherley Ann) taught high school mathematics for 34 years and was beloved by her students. Many of them wrote her letters, years later, thanking her for the inspiration she provided; one of them even helped to put a man on the moon. Sherley Ann loved classical music and jazz. Her hobbies included pottery, researching ancient number systems and serving as taste-tester for her husband's fine cooking. Later in life, she served two terms on city council to give back to the community she loved.

The older child loved making lists of birds in the backyard and walking through the neighborhood, telling all the porch-sitting folks interesting facts about the trees and animals in their own yards; these visits were greatly anticipated. In high school, there was a passion for theatrical arts and high praise given in the local newspaper for a lead performance. After community college, there was a long career as a park ranger, promoting conservation and educating groups that came from far and wide to hear the passionate and charismatic talks. Over the years, there was also a published book of poetry and an interview with Dave Garroway on "Today" that left all those folks on their porches beaming with pride.

The younger child was a bookworm. Every volume in the house provided fascination — even father's brittle copy of "Modern Cookery for Private Families." Friends pleaded for books to be put down and a basketball to be picked up, but the school library was home away from home. A business degree from Amherst provided the necessary background for launching, with a best friend, a hometown community center that offered art, fitness, literacy, and day care programs. A later run for the state Legislature fell short, but was followed by a successful campaign to build a new town library, four times the size of the previous one. Years later, the library was renamed to honor its beloved champion.
That's the way I think it should have been, anyway...

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