Thursday, February 25, 2010
A Touching Find
In addition to collecting antequarian books and magazines, I also love other paper ephemera, especially old postcards. I bought this one at a flea market because I liked the "Merry Christmas and Happy New year" calligraphy. Sometimes I'll scan that sort of thing in and use it in my digital collages.
The back was so closely written I didn't even bother to read it...at least, not until months afterward. What I read was deeply touching. It was written in 1918 during the terrible infuenza epidemic (and such a coincidence that I should buy this just as everyone was so worried about H1N1!) The author is writing to her cousins to tell them that her mother, father and their friends are all suffering from flu. She is afraid that school will not re-open, due to the epidemic. She also speaks of just receiving a telegram saying that her brother Charley had been wounded just before the Armistice in WWI.
How I wish I knew that the family had survived and recovered from their winter ordeal! Next time I go to our local museum I will donate this. Perhaps they can trace the descendants, which would be very interesting. And I did end up using the calligraphy in a design, which has been made into Christmas ornaments!