Friday, July 31, 2009

Postcard Friendship Friday - Cold in a Warm Place

Welcome to Postcard Friendship Friday! Thank you to our host, Marie of Voila! Vintage Postcards for continuing these fun and friendly Fridays.

Today's postcard pictures a residential Ft. Lauderdale street with Royal Poinciana's and Jacaranda's in full bloom. The Florida version of spring.
Royal Poinciana in Key West, Florida

Jacaranda blues

Both of these trees can be found in warm climates throughout the world. They are both valued for the intensely beautiful and showy blooms that attract hummingbirds and tourists.

The card is postmarked December 6, 1943, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The green 1 cent stamp shows Lady Liberty and includes the message: "Freedom of Speech and Religion, from want and fear." an appropriate message for 1943.

On December 6th, WWII was grinding on in Europe and the Pacific. President Roosevelt declared the end of the Great Depression. This was due to the increased employment during WWII.


Two days after the card was posted, Jim Morrison of The Doors was born.


The Nobel Peace Prize was not awarded in 1943.

The addressee was:

Lake Avenue at Circular St.
Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Saratoga Springs has many freshwater springs just as the name implies.

There are currently 17 public mineral springs in various locations throughout Saratoga. Each one is naturally carbonated. No two springs taste exactly alike - each one produces its own unique mineral content, imparting its own distinct flavor. The purported health benefits vary from spring to spring... some are said to help with skin ailments, assist in digestion, or even strengthen the blood!

A public freshwater spring.

The message on the card reads:

Dear Mrs. Luther,

This is a beautiful city. Climate is warm and pleasant.

Took cold on the train and had one of the worst colds I've ever had. coughed and naised. Mrs. Budd also has a very hard cold. We both are getting better of them, but have enough yet.

Are pleasantly located in a private home. Will not take an apartment.

Have you snow and cold weather?

With love,

Lelia M. B.


Mrs. Luther reads the latest post from Lelia on the way to the trash bin. It has always been Lelia's habit, since their primary school days, to go off on lovely vacations in the dead of winter. That's all well and good, but she insists on complaining about health problems - as a means of downplaying the Utopian vacation spots - then mentions her lovely and comfortable quarters and then innocuously ask about the weather in Saratoga Springs as if it would do anything else except snow it's brains out in December. Duh!


Cold remedies were then - as they are now - just a series of medications and warm drinks that will made the cold sufferer feel a little better for a few moments. Some Vicks Vapo-Rub perhaps. A pot of chicken soup. A mustard plaster. Smith Brother's Wild Cherry Cough Drops were soothing to the throat and a local product - manufactured in Poughkeepsie, New York.


An old remedy: 1 medium onion chopped very finely, sprinkled heavily with brown sugar. Let sit for 3 hours. Give to patient (including children) to eat as much as they feel like. (How about if I don't feel like having any?) The thought is that there is a "cure" ingredient in onions that will come out only if the onion is cut and allowed to sit for a while.


My family's remedy - passed down through generations is a mixture of honey, lemon and whiskey. Yummy! Good for a sore throat and a cough.


You'll be especially relieved to know this:


In 1924 facial tissue as it is known today was first introduced by Kimberly-Clark as Kleenex. It was invented as a means to remove cold cream. Early advertisements linked Kleenex to Hollywood makeup departments and sometimes included endorsements from movie stars (Helen Hayes and Jean Harlow) who used Kleenex to remove their theatrical makeup with cold cream. It was the customers that started to use Kleenex as a disposable handkerchief, and a reader review in 1926 by a newspaper in Peoria, Illinois found that 60 % of the users used it for blowing their nose.

Saratoga Race Course is a famous horse-racing track in Saratoga Springs, New York. It opened on August 3, 1863, and is the oldest organized sporting venue of any kind in the United States. I can just hear you Brits and Europeans snickering whenever we Yankee's refer to any of our architecture as "old".

Supposedly the club sandwich was invented in Saratoga Springs in 1899 and Saratoga Springs was also the site where the first potato chips were made. I've got no proof - just some hearsay found in various articles about Saratoga. So don't hold me to it. In fact, I don't believe it either.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Postcard Frienship Friday - A Salty Sea Captain

Welcome to another Postcard Friendship Friday sponsored by Marie at Voila! Vintage Postcards!

Today's' scenic Florida card shows royal palms and bougainvillea. The description on the back of the card reads:

Bougainvillea not only comes in a purple color, but in yellow, orange, white, pink and crimson. Florida is the land of gorgeous flowers and she leads all other states in the variety of soils, crops, fishes, trees, flowers, herbs and birds.

So there you have it. It must be true because it says so on the postcard!

Many varieties of palm trees grow in Florida including the showy royal palms pictured on the card. The only palm that is native to Florida, however, is the sabal palm. It is called by several names including cabbage palm and palmetto and is designated as the official state tree. This is the tree that gives us heart of palm salads. It grows wild across the state, and is such a slow grower that mature trees are transplanted from wild areas to landscaped areas.

The salt tolerant Sabal palm graces our beaches.

A closeup of the papery and very showy flowers of the bougainvillea.

The postcard was posted on June 11, 1956 in St. Petersburg Florida and mailed to Marion, Iowa ( near Cedar Rapids). It reads:
Dear Friend.
It was some surprise for me to hear from you. I haven't spent much time in Galveston for I have been going to sea for 35 years. Have just quit and living here in Florida. 2946 Pinellas Pt. Dr. So. St. Petersburg.
Yours truly
Charles L. Lorer
Charles' lived in south St. Petersburg, just a few blocks from the (then) brand new two lane Sunshine Skyway bridge.
Hopefully, after 35 years at sea, Charles relaxed and enjoyed his retirement in the Sunshine State. Perhaps he met up with Gladys "Red" Mullroney - recently bereaved of her 3rd husband - who at age 60 was still very sprightly and looked rather fetching in her bobbley flamingo earrings, toreador pants and halter tops. She hooked on to Chaz, as she insisted on calling him, for mid-morning shuffleboard and also made sure he sat next to her (and NOT that Clara Sommer person) at the Egg N' I during late breakfasts.
His somewhat salty language was a nice change from the tea and bridge ladies. Red was quite sure that his cherry blend pipe tobacco kept the mosquitoes away better than her patio collection of citronella candles. He still swaggered a bit when he walked, as though he had just stepped off a ship - perhaps it was because he was within hearing distance of the waves lapping at the edge of St. Petersburg's shore.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Postcard Friendship Friday - A Sgt in St. Pete

We have another WWII postcard for today's Postcard Friendship Friday. The picture is of the Pennsylvania Hotel at 300 4th St. North in downtown St Petersburg, Florida. The hotel was built in 1925 and is still in use today.

Modern view

The Courtyard Marriott recently refurbished the hotel and it now has 124 rooms and 4 suites

The lobby still retains some of the charm of the roaring 20's
The description reads: Pennsylvania Hotel - European Plan - St. Petersburg, Florida. 150 Modern Outside Rooms in One of Florida's Finest Hostelries. Located in Center of All Tourist Activities Martin C. McNiel, Manager.
The card, which was mailed to Mt. Clemens, Michigan, is postmarked November 15, 1942 and was written by Sgt. Wes Hellner who was in the Army Air Force and stationed at Albert Whitted Airfield in St. Petersburg. He was assigned to the A.A.F Technical Training School.
The city airport on Tampa Bay, is recognized as the birthplace of scheduled airline flight. On January 1, 1914, a small air boat took off near this airport, on the first regularly scheduled aircraft flight in history.
During the first years of World War II, aircraft at the Coast Guard Air Station on the airport grounds were part of a valiant but inadequate deterrent to the German submarine campaign in the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. As the submarine threat in the Gulf slowly abated, the air station concentrated on search and rescue activities. In addition to Coast Guard flight operations, during World War II, Albert Whitted Airport was converted to military use as a primary flight training base for student Naval Aviators for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps. Hundreds of Naval Aviation cadets under the U.S. Navy's V-5 pre-commissioning program received initial flight training here.

Sgt. Wes writes about a postcard he received from his friend Ray, he talks about his bowling scores and looks forward to an upcoming furlough.
I found a Wes Hellner listed on a website in Mt. Clemens, Michigan. Mt. Clemens is a quiet city of about 17,000 on Lake St. Clair and just north east of Detroit. The major industry there, until the early 1970's was mineral bath houses, spas and sanitoriums.
One (probably the only) advantage people from Michigan have over the rest of the US is we can use our hand as a map. To find Mt. Clemens, hold your right hand up, palm facing you. Mt. Clemens is at the outside base of your thumb. Did you find it? Good job!
Thank you to Marie of Voila! Vintage Postcards for another Friendship Friday!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Postcard Friendship Friday - A Trip To Trilby

The postcard chosen for today's Postcard Friendship Friday was written 100 years ago this week! It was made in Germany and is a photograph of Ft. Marion in St. Augustine Florida.
The caption reads:

St. Augustine, Florida. Courtyard and stairway, Fort Marion. A relic of the Spanish occupancy of Florida, old fort San Marco, now Fort Marion, finished in 1756. It is in the form of a trapezium and covers about four acres. Like most of the Spanish buildings it is constructed of coquina, a curious shelly conglomerate of coral origin which is easily quarried but becomes extremely hard on long exposure to the air.
The fort was called Fort Marion until 1942 and is now called by the Spanish name, Castillo de San Marcos
The card is postmarked Trilby, Florida, July 8, 1909.

It reads:

Dear Prof. I certainly was very sorry indeed to learn that we or perhaps "they" won't be bothered (?) with you at CC. I sure would love to be "bothered" with you if that is what you name it. Would lie to step in on you sometime and look at the "skies"

Kindest and sweetest regards to "Big Four"

As always, R.C.K.
It appears there was a bit of an undercurrent of drama going on amongst the friends or students of Professor Davis. We can only imagine what that might have been. The common surname and initials made it impossible to find out anything about the sender or recipient.

Rail Station at Trilby
The sender was either living in or visiting Trilby, Florida in west central Florida. Trilby was named in 1896 after the heroine in George du Maurier's novel of the same name. It was incorporated as a town in the late 19th century and due to the loss of its railroad industry, has declined into a residential community for Dade City, and also for the Tampa Bay region. Legend has it that the wife of railroad magnate, Henry Plant, suggested the name because the previous name, Macon, was confused with Macon, Georgia. Mail addressed to Macon Florida often was routed to Georgia instead.

Du Maurier's novel is the story of Trilby O'Ferrall, a Scotch-Irish *grisette adored by three British art students living and working in Paris. Nobly rethinking her engagement to one of them, she flees and falls into the hands of Svengali, the evil musician. Trilby turns into a great singer under Svengali's hypnotic influence, only to lose her voice when his death releases his grip on her. The combination of the sprightly Left Bank setting, then a surefire attraction, and a plot turning on the manipulation of a beautiful young woman by the usurpation of her will took the public by storm.
* A grisette is defined as a young French working class woman or a young part time prostitute with another occupation

Trilby residents
Arthur Fleece Crenshaw (1890-1922) and his wife Lessie.
Arthur Crenshaw was an elected constable in the Dade City area and worked as a lamplighter, lighting lamps for switches at Trilby, for the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad. Crenshaw and a U. S. prohibition agent were murdered in 1922. Photo courtesy of Mike Schreck.
This TB sanitarium was built in Trilby in 1912. At the same time, the Trilby Ice and Power Company was incorporated and provided electrical power to Trilby.
Did you know that many power companies - including Progress Energy of Florida began as ice houses that supplied an area with ice for refrigeration? The ice houses were generally the only buildings in town that had and used electricity. Nearby homes and businesses negotiated wiring a light bulb or two in their buildings and from these lowly beginnings, giant power companies were born.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Did Sarah See Something Shiny?

Ooooooh! Shiny!

Did Sarah Palen see something shiny? Is that what made her forget to explain why she doesn't want to be governor anymore? Could that be why she forgot to remember that her constituents had enough confidence in her to vote her in for a full term as opposed to an optional time period of her choosing?

What if all of our elected officials just decided one day to wander off - say to Argentina or something.

But back to Sarah. Three theories hover about:

a. Sarah is tired of having her family beat up by the press

2. Some incredible mess is about to surface

III. Sarah doesn't wanna be governor. Sarah wants to be president.

Let's look at number a. first:

Sarah - we don't even watch the news anymore. What we think is news and what the news media thinks is news are so far removed from each other that we pay more attention to the commercials. (McFadden, Who did you say is going to pay for Michael Jackson's service?) This is what we know: We know you have some kids; you might have paid lots of money for your VP candidacy wardrobe and your hairdresser suggested you bunch your hair up on your head so you look taller. That's about it.

As for letter 2:

The FBI came right out and said they are not investigating you for anything, so whatever it is that you've done is still your little secret. On one hand, we haven't heard from the CIA, INTERPOL or the Daughters of the American Revolution, so things could still surface. On the other hand, you're in Alaska. Who cares?

And that leaves III:

Sooo, you want to be president? for how long? A year? Year and a half? Don't even try it. If you're going to just wander off from your job, which I would say is just a tad more important than say the dedicated fry cook at my Wendy's, why would anyone (other than biased news media - but that goes without saying) think you're going to stick around to do the job? If your thought is to start campaigning early, get this: I am still in therapy from being subjected to 10 years of non-stop campaigning for the last election. Not to mention Hillary's now you see 'em, now you don't crocodile tears. I'm leaving my TV unplugged until the last 3 months of the next one. So find something else to do until until July 2012.

Sarah, what's the difference between a pit bull and me? I 'm allowed in the polling booth without a leash. Oh, and I wear lipstick.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Postcard Friendship Friday -Pvt. Burns, Part VI

This is the final post of the Pvt. Burns postcards. As I mentioned last week, the Mister and I made another trip to the antique shop in Tarpon Springs and looked once more through every Florida postcard. The Mister also looked through every NY postcard in our attempt to find more cards to Mrs Burns. We found three and I will share all of them with you today.

The first card shown was written December 7, 1943. This was the first anniversary of Pearl Harborand is the earliest date of all the Pvt. Burns cards

The scene is identified as "Exclusive Hotels on Collins Avenue, Miami Beach Florida.
Pvt Burns wrote on the picture " I live around here somewhere (Arnold Hotel) Just like these"

On the back of the card he wrote:
Dear Mrs. Burns
Well I just finished knocking off cards to everyone so I thought I would send one to my Wife even if I just sent a letter a few hours ago.
Tell your family I didn't send them any because I don't know their addresses.
Boy it's like August here except there are more flowers, etc. I went swimming today. Water perfect.
Don't forget to write.
PS how is Stinky?
My guess is "Stinky" is their son, Robert Jr. The Arnold Hotel still exists, and was one of many Miami hotels that housed soldiers during WWII. As you will see in a moment, this is the only other card I could find from Pvt. Burns. We can only guess how he fared during the war and whether he made it back home to his Mrs. Burns and Robert Jr.. I'd like to think he did, that they had several more children including 2 girls who liked to dress alike, that they found a small post war bungalow with a fenced yard and a nearby park with a sledding hill . I'd like to imagine that they turned the basement into a rumpus room, added a dormer to the house when the kids were in their teens and enjoyed a good long life together.
Surprisingly, we found two more cards addressed to Mrs. Burns although neither is from her husband.
All of Pvt. Burns' cards were written during December 1942 and January, 1943. The card shown above was postmarked December 9, 1944 The "Lumitone Photoprint" picture is of the Roger Smith hotel in White Plains, NY. The caption reads:
The Roger Smith, White Plains, N.Y.
Home of (radio)Station WFAS
Is one of the modern fireproof hotels of the Roger Smith Group, which also operates hotels in New York City, Washington, D.C., Stamford, Conn., New Brunswick, N.J. and Holyoke, Mass.

This card gives us Mrs. Burns name! Anna! It is also addressed to San Raphael California. The residential street address still exists.
It reads:
Dear Anna,
Billy got home late last night. Coming over here tomorrow.
Love Bubba
No cigarettes here either
Isn't it nice to know her given name? Bubba may be her brother. Who is Billy? Another brother or cousin, perhaps? Maybe home from the service, or school? The "no cigarettes" remark is very telling. Quite a shortage, I'm sure, due to the war and most likely due to cigarettes being made very available to the soldiers. Cigarettes were included in ration kits. It was perfectly okay to smoke back then. Ads read things like "9 out of 10 Doctors who smoke buy Chesterfields!"
Why is Anna in California? Visiting school chums?, in-laws? Perhaps Pvt. Burns was on R&R and she was visiting with him. I'll go with that idea.

The Roger Smith Hotel in White Plains NY still exists. This picture is circa 1969 and shows that the hotel was enlarged considerably after the war. The name was changed to The Roger Smith Motor Hotel because with the addition of a new portico guests could motor up right to the lobby door.

This last postcard to Anna shows the Underpass at Port Jervis, N.Y. The underpass leads from NY to Pennsylvania. Port Jervis NY boarders PA and NJ and is on the North bank of the Delaware River. Stephan Crane wrote the Red Badge of Courage at his brother's home in Port Jervis.
The card was mailed to the Rochester New York address and was postmarked in Port Jervis on June 4, 1945. This was just a month after VE Day when Germany surrendered, and 2 months before Japan surrendered on VJ Day in August 1945.

The card reads:
Arrived here at 3 o'clock
Raining all the way and cold
Will write later.
Love to you and Bobby
Perhaps Anna's mom visited with her and Bobby Jr. in Rochester for a time. It was summer, and there was hope that the war would end. Perhaps they were canning tomatos from her victory garden.
Pvt. Burns is not mentioned, but these are so brief and so lacking of any information that I do not see this as an ominous sign. Perhaps he was fortunate enough to spend the entire war in Florida working or teaching, or doing any of a thousand jobs and returned home safely. I'm going to make one more trip to the antique store and look through the California cards. Perhaps Anna sent a card from San Rafael! I'll let you know how that goes.
A modern view of the Underpass at Port Jervis. This view is from the Pennsylvania side.

Thank you, Marie at Voila! Vintage Postcards for hosting another Postcard Friendship Friday. See you again next week.