Sifting through a stack of postcards I am easily distracted by the notes written on the back. The time and date always make me wonder what was happening in the world at that time? Really, its just the wonder of thinking a hundred years ago, someone wrote this and sent it off to a person they cared for…..the postcard I’m sharing today was one that struck me as so romantic, so sweet..I’m happy to have it in my collection and excited to do a little research.
The linen postcard had a long run,1930’s to 1950’s, probably because they hold up so well, the striking color array and the updates in printing making them cheaper as well as easier to create. One of the nicest aspects of Linen postcards is the attention to details, many nature images will include the landscape as well as people, animals and an explosion of color. Cityscapes in the linen era also include great attention to detail, note how the presence of cars and signage help appoint the scale and the time period for the viewer.
In this particular card to include the other buildings, the flags and the awnings create a visual understanding of the size and scope of the building. The vintage (to us) automobiles give an indication of the era it was printed and then of course the nice thing about postmarks is when they confirm the date. On this card we are not given a postmark but other clues to figure out the approximate date its been sent.
While the picture is lovely and its details are interesting, its the note written to “Darling Do Do” on Wed. 10/3 at 10:00 pm that gives such rich important information
There are a few distinct segments that spoke to me personally, one being the opening, “Darling” and the closing “Loving Hubby”, then with the notation, “Did you know you are now a grass widow?”, and also the twist that the postcard and its hotel are not where the husband ends up living. So I am keeping an excited eye out for a similar postcard for the hotel Hamilton.
The phrase,”Grass Widow” was something I had heard but didn’t really know what it meant. According to the website World Wide Words the phrase is from British linguistics, a woman who’s husband is temporarily away but in more Americanized version is a woman who is separated or more permanently lives apart from her husband. There are more interesting notations on its history if you are inclined to know more follow the link above. Certainly from this note we glean that this couple is temporarily separated for work (?) and very much married.
Later the same week after reading this postcard I found a book in at a rummage sale named, “The Grass Widow” by Ralph McInerny (1983), a Father Dowling mystery. You might recall Father Dowling from the short lived television series (1989-1991) starring Tom Bosley (Happy Days) and Tracy Nelson (daughter of Ricky Nelson and star of “Square Pegs”), sorry, I digress….Naturally, I snapped the book up with great interest;
I found the finding of both the postcard and the book in the same week incredibly intriguing. So here I am with two indications of Grass Widowhood….are they the same? The cover of the book makes me think not. How strange and compelling. Since it is really a nice reader copy, I’m sure no one will mind if I read it while its listed for sale. I’ll let you know next week if the grass widow in the book is the same idea as indicated on the postcard.
and before I close, can you imagine $65 per mo for a private room and bath?? I’m wondering if we can find out what year exactly the hotel Hamilton charged that amount? and just for your p.s. here is a nice photograph and some details about the Hotel Hamilton at the Nebraska Memories webpage and a terrific article by historian Jim McKee about the Fontenelle Hotel.
and remember, treasure those paper cuts…..