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Thursday, July 15, 2004

Wish You Were Here

The bathroom is done but for the finishing touches: Vintage Florida postcards to be displayed in framed wall groupings.

I hesitate to say I collect these, because I really don’t like the idea of obsessing over objects to the point of having to own every single last one of them, but I do have some somewhere in storage and since I’m unable to locate them in an acceptable amount of time to complete our bathroom renovation, I’ve been having a blast on eBay.

After culling and selling homeschool curricula online, my PayPal account has a nice balance which is facilitating the purchase of a number of new cards. My favorites are the linen finished cards from the 40s. They are drawn from actual photos, but so gaudily colored as to have a surreal quality about them. One of my other interests is in handcoloring photos, particularly infrared ones, and these old postcards are always an inspiration. I have a soft spot for the iconic alligators, flamingoes and palm trees, the wacky tourist attractions like the Weeki Wachee mermaids and the water skiing bathing beauties from Cypress Gardens, beach scenes, Everglades scenes, fish, and cards from our hometowns. There are so many available, it seems everybody and their brother has been here at one time or another, it’s easy to get carried away. Florida, the source for an unending supply of tacky postcards. Art imitates life, right?

S, tired of waiting for me as I tried to view all the cards available for auction, slunk off to her room, where I assumed she would get a little computer time in while I was so distracted. Was I ever surprised when she produced a brief essay on Lewis and Clark written in Latin. She has finished Of Courage Undaunted, and is now tearing through Streams to the River, River to the Sea, a book on the expedition from Sacajawea’s point of view. If her enthusiasm continues, I may press John Bakeless’s edition of The Journals of Lewis and Clark on her. Or at least leave it out in a conspicuous location for her to discover. Lately she has been trying to build a canoe for an expedition of her own.

G figured out the identity of The Scarlet Pimpernel before anyone else. She’s got a knack for that. This is as much an indication of her brilliance, as an indictment of my stupidity. This book has been such a fun read-aloud as it allows me to affect a very bad French accent a la Monty Python and the Holy Grail ("I fart in your general direction!")

G enjoyed Paris 1789: A Guide to Paris on the Eve of the Revolution. I’m looking to see what other topics they have available in the Sightseers series. She’ll be starting on How We Crossed the West next, and if she’s not tired of the subject, she might like Seaman's Journal: On the Trail With Lewis and Clark, the story of Meriwether Lewis’s dog.

Our next read-aloud: Captains Courageous. I had considered The Mutiny on Board H.M.S. Bounty, but in memory of Marlon Brando, god-rest-his-soul, we’ll watch Mutiny on the Bounty.

“I believe I did what honour dictated and that belief sustains me, except for a slight desire to be dead which I'm sure will pass.” – Fletcher Christian

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