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Friday, December 9, 2011


When Grandma died and we were moving Grandpa out of their house, I kept a lot of things that were meant for the curb. I didn’t want to let go of Grandma or the house. Keeping things that mattered to her helped me feel like I had something to keep her close. I was studying genealogy at the time and especially kept things I thought might help me verify family connections. Hence, postcards. Too bad the most interesting postcards didn’t have a thing to do with my DNA since they were written to my Great Grandpa (and his family) who was my Great Grandmother’s third husband, and not Grandma’s biological father. Even so, I knew Grandpa Winters, and it’s interesting to see that he was alive at the same time of steamboats (b. January 19, 1884). Time is a funny thing. Through Grandpa, I’m only separated by steamboats by 1 degree. The log cabin was from a relative of my Great Grandmother’s second husband, so not a direct relation either. I just find it fascinating. I’m not sure who Jerome Brown was, but I find that photo of Tokyo pretty fascinating too. Tragic, but interesting.

I’ve copied the messages as written, including misspellings…

To Master George Winters, Kokomo, Ind.
Jan. 20, 1913
Hello George
How are you by this time? Mabel got her ring last night (Sat.) and she said it was a daisy. She wears it all the time. George - Grandma and I are sending you a big box so write and tell me if you get it. Tell Mamma to send her pillow cases and I will stamp them. Time was out hunting last night with Pa. Be a good boy. Aunt Mary

Oct. 10, 1912
To Mr. Wilson Winters, Kokomo, Ind.
Dear Wils
You can now rest at ease for everything is alright at home. I am really telling you the truth about George. Mary W.
(This was written after a series of increasingly dire postcards predicting George’s likely death. He apparently fully recovered, grew up, moved to California, and made a million dollars. Good for him, but drat, why wasn’t he a direct relation?!)

Decorating Room of Crooksville China Co. Pottery
April 25, 1916
To Mrs. Rhoda Winters, Kokomo, Ind.
Dear Sister: Why on earth don’t you write? Are you sick or what is the matter? Mamma will be crazy if you don’t write soon. Papa said last night he thought it was strange you hadn’t wrote. We are all well and busy as bees. Susie worked Sat. night until 12 oclock and was all in Monday but is rested up now. Mabel thot easter was great. Did George get his box? I was going to make him candy but didn’t have time. I think he might write us once in a while. Now for goodness sake do write a card if nothing else. Love to all. Mary

(Mary nagged a lot about writing :) Grandpa worked at a lot of the different pottery factories in Ohio. He hated it, and would’ve rather been a full-time farmer. I grew up with a lot of Hall Pottery like this cup and teapot, and like to think of Grandpa making them.)

May 23, 1913
To Mr. S. W. Crawford, Fredricksburg, Ohio
Banditti (?)
Dear Bro: will send you a card (on no?) Bordetta (?) now so address (?? this Ohio (?) This is the N. W. corner of cabin inside. Everybody (will?) & hope you act the same (m?) roof. Your bro Hugh C. Wayne Co.

Destruction caused by aerial bombardment, Tokyo, Japan
ST(?) Sgt. Jerome B. Brown

*Note for posterity – Mom says Grandpa’s last name was Winter. Mom ought to know, but I always called him Winters with an ‘s’ at the end. Some of the postcards are one way, some another, but most have an ‘s’ and the card for his funeral had an ‘s’ on the end, so I’m going to continue with the ‘s’ until I find proof positive of the true spelling.

The envelope at the top is part of a set of boxes I did for 1800 Flowers.


  1. Very nice. I enjoyed the trip down
    memory lane. Your pink envelope is very sweet.

  2. Love the pink envelope! Absolutely fascinating post. Try checking old census records--might shed some light on Winter(s) question.

  3. Excellent suggestion Elizabeth! It's an S! I really didn't like the idea of not getting my grandpa's name right and checked a few censuses just to make sure. Thanks for the comment Mary Lou!

  4. Well, well I admire your sense of history and how you realise that you are part of a long line. I see a lot of people in my job and I often ask the history of their surname - and most don't know or haven't bothered to ask their folks. That kills me.

    You are very lucky and very smart to have all that information at your fingertips. Things like this give us a sense of our place in the universe. Nothing like stepping out of ourselves to gain a different perspective.

    It scares me :)

    Oh, the envelope is Loveley, with capital "L"!

    avagoodweegend Linda :) (I am at work ugh)

  5. This is a lovely tribute. Well done.

  6. Indeed a lovely tribute and very nice photo's. Funny text about not having a direct relation to the millions :-)

  7. We're all a part of a long line if we take the time to sort out the clues they left behind. Elizabeth's census suggestion got me inspired to spend quite a bit of time looking up more people in the census records. BTW, George was my great grandpa's son from a previous marriage. Grandpa didn't get any of the millions either :) I suppose he had everything he wanted anyway when he was old. Thanks for the comments!

  8. You always make the most interesting and entertaining posts Linda. I grew up with a lot of pottery, pitchers mostly, because my grandmother collected them. When we were stationed in Europe I use to send them to her from where ever we went. I didn't know until she developed Alzheimer's and ended up with some of the collection that apparently a family member made them. She had fallen and a good many of them are broken, but her family name is stamped into most of them. Its too bad that there is no one to tell me the story :( Bummer

  9. What an interesting take on the prompt. I love the old letters too!

    Similarly, apparently there's a lot of money on my dad's side somewhere - but of course none of it flows to me.

  10. Wow, what great history! I haven't saved too many letters from my college days, and now I try to delete as many emails as I can. It's kind of sad to think that the current generations won't have as many treasured bits of letters and postcards to leave behind. Those photos are wonderful, and so is your envelope.

    Last year, a kind gentleman showed us some very old postcards he had been collecting. It was very interesting to note that 100 years ago, all you needed was a name and a town and your postcard would get delivered.

  11. Great to hear about your family history Linda...the postcards are so interesting. I find family history fascinating...a cousin of my Dad's took our family on his side back to the 1750s! Love the SWALK pink envelope!
    Jane x

  12. Heisann!

    I know what you mean telling us how hard it is to separate from this that have belong to your family.
    In November I could not stand selling the house where grandma, father and I lived in, so I offered my sister to buy her out of the inheritance. Could I say so? Now I have both this house and the house where I am living in.
    My sister call me crazy collecting all old things that would have been destroyed if I had not cared for them!

    Postcards are great cultural history, the photos and the text are worth sharing like you do!
    Thanks a lot.
    Have a nice week, Linda ;:OD)

  13. Thanks everybody! I have more postcards. Maybe I'll post more sometime. Maybe I'll write some to people sometime too because Bella's right and our generation isn't leaving many written things behind like this.

  14. "Why on earth don't your write?" Too funny. And right to the point. Very clever post!

  15. Like your post linking past posts to this present one. Agree with Sharon, very clever indeed!

  16. It's wonderful that you have all of those postcards and letters. I love looking at special family things like this.

  17. Love this post. I too save things from the past. When my grandmother died, I got a box full of papers that told the story of WWI PTSD and how her family (my mother and aunt) lived in poverty until my grandmother sued the government for granddaddy's pension. I'm working on starting a website to post the material - I figure someday the kids who are oblivious now will want to know about their history. Like k.h.whitaker said, that's a bummer!

  18. I'd be fascinated to read your site about the WWI PTSD Lacy. I guess that kind of shows that we are leaving things behind for future generations, even if it's just in electrons instead of ink. Thanks for the comments everybody!

  19. It is utterly fascinating to me to read old communications.... There is so much going on in the ambiance of the past that we are only slightly aware of, but is often tipped at in the writing. It brings home how we are subtle strangers to eras not of our own.

    very cool.

  20. Thanks Richard! You're right, we are missing a lot of what life was like in the past. Fun to imagine through the postcards though :)