Thursday, August 12, 2004

Northward ho! Blog.

To continue with the theme of the Far North, Ed H. recently returned from destinations that perk the imagination just at the sound of their names: the Yukon, the Northwest Territories. He writes electronically: “I do want you to know that finding NWT post cards was not at all easy. There were a grand total of five to choose from, and I had to go four or five different places to find them. There ain't a whole lot in Inuvik -- it's exactly what you'd expect of a government town dropped in a gorgeous location.”

While away, he sent me about a half-dozen postcards, some from those Canadian locales, others from Alaska. The two mailed from Dawson City have the best postmarks. One of them almost screams in blue ink next to the 80¢ Canadian stamp: HEART OF THE KLONDIKE. Jul 20 2004 720062 Dawson City, YT Y0B 1G0. Off to the side of the postmark there’s a little picture of a dancehall girl, circa 1898, leg way up. The other Yukon-mailed card has a more sober image of a dogsled, with the words “Percy DeWolf Memorial Mail Race.”

I wrote back electronically that I did indeed appreciate his cards. I like receiving post cards from just about anywhere, from anyone I know, but especially from such interesting places. I also send them. I couldn’t say how many in any given year, maybe about 100-150. Broadly, they far into two classes: cards I send from home, and those I send from the road. The cards I send from home can be any old thing, really. Recent examples include images of the Titanic, Mexican movie posters, Van Gogh reproductions. I also send leftover cards from places I’ve been. At the moment I have in stock cards from New York, Holland (Michigan), St. Louis, and so on.

But when I’m on the road, I send – with very few exceptions – only cards of places I’ve been. Either towns that I set foot in, or sites that I actually visited. I can’t say how long I’ve been doing this, but for years I’ve felt that sending a card of a place you haven’t been – again, with a few exceptions -- is cheating.


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