Sunday, January 1, 2023

First postcard of 2023: A card written while drunk in 1975

Happy New Year! This is the 950th Papergreat post that falls under the "Postcards" label. That's a lot of postcards. Featured on the front of the card is the lobby of the Memphis East Ramada Inn in Tennessee. The hotel was located at 5225 Summer Avenue and that location later became a Welcome Inn and then an Extended Stay Memphis, which is now listed on Google as "Permanently Closed." But perhaps permanent isn't exactly permanent. The Google reviews from the past few months seem to tell a sad story of a badly struggling hotel whose owners may be trying to get it back on its feet.

This is what it looked like a half-century ago, anyway. I don't think the photograph does it any favors. While that carpeting may be gold, it comes off as vaguely pea-green in the image. I have plenty of misplaced nostalgia for the 1970s, but even I know it wasn't the prettiest period in history.

The preprinted back of the postcard pitches the Memphis East Ramada Inn as having a friendly atmosphere for weary travelers, vacationers and "the casual party-giver." 

"Casual party-giver" is not a phrase you see very often, especially on postcards, but it feels very much like 1970s code.

This card was mailed in August 1975 with a Skylab stamp that was first issued in May 1974. It was mailed to Rick, (aka "Z") in Sharon, Pennsylvania, and the message — from someone who appears to be nicknamed "No-Bake" — is a hoot. The writer has added marginalia all over the card, including "I'm drunk" on the right-hand side. There's a line stating, "Why are you holding this card upside down?" And "P.S. — Ah — skip it!" 

The primary portion of the message to "Z" states:
Greetings geek,
Having a wonderful time, glad your not here! But seriously, this place is great, huge rooms, party every night, school — well 3 out of 4.5 ain't bad — wait — 2 out of 3 ain't bad (same thing). Well, rember above all BOOGIE

Guess Who? (Natchez?) No-Bake.  

"Rember," indeed.

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