Post cards seem to be on the edge of going the way of livery stables, adding machines and cathode tubes. They are becoming extinct; they are not needed. Today, one can be any place in the world, pull out a smart phone, snap a picture and send it whirling through several time zones to reach a friend thousands of miles away. With that little bit of effort on one’s part, a friend or a family member can have instant access to one’s latest discovery. Why take all of the trouble of tracking down a post card with the perfect picture of that castle, garden or vista, purchase the thing, write, with a pen, the address and a brief message, often resembling something like, “Having a wonderful time. Wish you were here?”
Yes, I have used my phone to take a picture and sent it to persons miles away. But, the post card will always have a place in my method of communicating with friends and family. Actually, a few of my friends do not have the electronic devises needed to receive messages and pictures. For their own reasons, they refuse to acknowledge the need for cell phones or computers. I always send them post cards.
Then, there’s me. I like looking at post cards. They always capture an image in the best light and from the most advantages angle. I like to try to match the best image with the person to whom I intend to send it. Sometimes, I like the challenge of finding a post office where I can purchase stamps. The search for stamps puts me into contact with people I might never encounter. Trying to communicate my need for the right kind of stamps forces me to use the few words of that country’s language that I might possess. In addition, communication abroad often forces me to use creative sign language, which invariably leads to a few laughs. Everyone in the world likes to laugh. I never laugh when I press a button on my smart phone, nor do the people around me.
This morning, therefore, I am going to put together a list of friends and family to whom I intend to send post cards. The cards will go to those who no longer can travel abroad, to those who never traveled abroad and to those who will read the card, smile and put the card in a place from which it can be seen by all entering the house, at least for a week or two. Long live the post card!