Saturday, March 25, 2023

Saturday's postcards: Postcrossing arrivals from around Earth

I've received some cool postcards through Postcrossing in recent days. First up is the above card, which features artwork by French artist Jean-Jacques Waltz (1873-1951), who was also known as Oncle Hansi and Hansi. It was sent to me by a pair of secondary school teachers who live in a small village in Catalonia. They write about their postcards on this blog (which you may need to translate to English using Google).

Here are the handwritten notes from the other recent arrivals:

Nadia from Italy writes: "In life I teach art history! I love reading (thriller), painting and traveling!"

Marie, a kindergarten teacher in Hamburg, Germany, who likes to read novels about paintings, sent a card that features this quote: "Cats love people much more than they want to admit, but they have so much wisdom that they keep it to themselves!" 

Karin, a nurse in Germany who is interested in Hildegard of Bingen and loves The Lord of the Rings movies, writes: "Once a year, go someplace you've never been before." That's fun advice. Two places I've been mulling in Arizona are Lake Havasu City (to see London Bridge) and the ghost town of Santa Claus. They're both quite a hike, though. I may need something closer.

Daniel, who lives in Israel and misses attending ice hockey games, writes: "Greetings from Israel! Incidentally, I was born and raised in Arizona. I hope this finds you well."

Sandra, who lives in Germany and likes watching handball matches and knitting socks for homeless people, writes: "Today you find a postcard from Germany in your mailbox. My name is Sandra and I live in Frankfurt. One of my favorite fairy tales is The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Stay safe, happy and healthy."

And Bernadette, who lives in Germany and likes postcards of painted snow globes, writes: "I live alone in a small flat in a small village not so far away from Heidelberg. I have a boyfriend. He visits me often. I have no pets because of the small flat and that I work fulltime." Bernadette's postcard is pictured below, with the help of Toffee (aka Toffmeister T).

Friday, March 24, 2023

Friday fanzine excerpt:
Anita B. Kimble's poem

Here's a lost poem from the past. Fifty-five years ago, in summer 1968, the short poem "Hindsight" was published in the 22-page one-shot fanzine "Moonshot" (FAPA 124).

The eight-line poem, which begins "When love has come and died away," was penned by Anita B. Kimble. There are some folks with that name who come up on Google searches, but none that I can 100% tie to being the author of this short piece, so it's a mystery. Perhaps some readers can help out, so that we can more properly credit the author.

Here are some of the other names of creators, many well-known with that era's fanzine community, tied to "Moonshot." I think they can serve as our best possible leads to learn more about Anita: Rick Sneary (The Hermit of South Gate), Len Moffatt, June M. Moffatt, Gail Van Achtoven, Jeremy Konigsberg, Don Fitch, Stan Woolston (J. Stanley Woolston), Ed Cox, Lois Lavender, Ethel Lindsay, Dean A. Grennell, Scott Kimble, Deedee Lavender, Roy Lavender, and Cathy Konigsberg.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

1913 postcard: A melon field in Montoursville (plus ginseng farming)

Here's an old Montoursville, Pennsylvania, postcard that's new to me. As you can see, it's labeled "W.J. Artley's Melon Field." And those are, indeed, a lot of watermelons. Alan Mays posted another one of these cards on his Flickr page recently and states that W.J. Artley is Walter J. Artley (1860-1927), who was born in Tioga County and is buried in the sprawling, hilltop Montoursville Cemetery that isn't too far from the house on Willow Street where I once lived. 

Did Artley later move on from watermelons, or did he try to diversify his farm? I found a couple of Artley references in an old issue of Special Crops, a journal focused on farming of ginseng. Both references are from 1923. 

There's a small advertisement (pictured) and a published letter in which Artley seeks advice to limit crop blight: "Is lime or sulphur, or lime, sulphur and bluestone in a powdered form of a benefit to scatter on ginseng beds in spring before it comes up as a preventative of blight? Or is there anything else that can be used as an advantage to overcome blight? We had a great deal of blight on our ginseng last year and got but very few seed. We sprayed with Pyrox but it did not seem to control the blight. The stem of ginseng would get a brown spot on it and keep this up till the plant would drop down. Is this caused from blight, and what can be used as a remedy?"

The reply directs Artley not to use lime and recommends Pyrox, but states that the best way to fight blight is to have ginseng planted in high shade areas with good drainage and plenty of air. Too much heat and/or moisture will doom the ginseng.

Getting back to the postcard, it was mailed in June 1913 to Mrs. Edmund Shollenberger in Montgomery, Pennsylvania (previously known as Black Hole and Clinton Mills). Montoursville and Montgomery are only about six miles apart (as the crow flies) in Lycoming County. The note states:
Dear Clara: —
Maude, Lottie, and I will be down Sunday if nothing prevents. Thanks for the invitation.