Sheets of rain draped my house as I set about sorting a stack of old books. The family treasures frequently double as time capsules, their margin scribbles hinting at ancestors’ personalities and thoughts. Every so often a careful gleaning reveals tucked newspaper clippings, forgotten photographs and hidden notes. A Spanish American Life, my mother’s college reader, rewarded my page flipping with a postcard!
My grandfather, Donald Minor, mailed this note in mid-May, 1951, to arrange for my mother’s return from Houghton College at month’s end. The family schedule sounds remarkably similar to plans I made with my own college kids. And his observations of the weather could have been made on just this day:
“My how it rains — We don’t have thing in the garden and no corn ground plowed.”
In December of 1910 my grandfather, Donald C. Minor of Greene County, Pennsylvania received another Christmas postcard from Genevia in Morgantown, West Virginia. She wrote:
“I hope Santa will bring you lots of pretty things and that you will have a Merry Xmas and Happy New year. Your friend, Genevia”
As a genealogist the card provides no clues about family threads; as a family historian I can find no details that shed light on a family story. Nor are there clues and details regarding the publisher or printer, other than this Santa message was printed in Germany, as were most cards of the era.
However, the painting is remarkable in a couple of details – Santa is dressed in a purple robe trimmed in brown fur, as opposed to the red suit trimmed in white fur seen in my other cards. This Santa also bears gifts which are wrapped and carried, not stuffed in a sack, and a decorated, potted tree.
I wonder what traditional tales this Santa is drawn from? If you know, dear Reader, I hope you will leave a comment below! Merry Christmas!
- Easter Greetings from Mama
What a fascinating card! This study in early 20th century greetings was among the postcard collection of my grandfather, Donald C. Minor, of Carmichaels, Pennsylvania. The print assembles several Easter symbols into a Victorian tableau. The young girl leads a Paschal lamb to a garden terrace. There a Victorian lady sits on a balustrade, holding a basket of eggs and a (very subdued) rabbit–both symbols of new life. The space is framed by an urn which depicts spring as a young child happily reclining and as a youthful face surrounded by the season’s bounty. Donald’s mother, May Laura Stephenson Minor, sent him the German card around 1910.