I need a Valentine like you,
To help me paddle my canoe!
Gosh, a whole day dedicated to love! So spend the day doing the things you love, or being with those you love, or just finding something new to love. And then feel free to share it. I’ll go first:
Enjoy this first day of a new year!
Thanks to Poppy’s Vintage Clothing for the great postcard!
I hope each of you has a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday. Thanks so much for reading The Vintage Traveler, and for making this such a fun experience for me.
It’s time to relax, put your feet up and just enjoy the season!
Vintage card by Hallmark
Before I’m accused of not knowing the words to the famous poem, I’d like to say this is the Tammis Keefe version – a version for a more mature audience.
You may remember a post from several years ago, where I found one of these Keefe designs that was ripped off and used without crediting her. I had seen the cocktail napkins on one of my favorite etsy stores, CallMeJasper, and was wanting them badly, but could not manage the justifiably high price tag. I did eventually break down, return to the thrift store and buy the plate, but I’ve been looking for a set of the napkins ever since.
You might imagine me, walking through the antique mall on Tuesday, hoping something would catch my eye, and then I look down and there they were, a complete set of eight tiny slight tipsy reindeer. I snatched the set up and hoped for the best as I turned the price tag over so I could read it. $12. I felt like a bandit as I ran to the counter to buy them before someone realized that just one of them was worth more than that.
And so it is in the collectibles business. Sometimes you have to over-pay to get a marvelous thing, and other times you find a bargain of the very best kind.
Merry Christmas to me!
I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year, and what better way to do it than with a vintage card. This one is from the early 1960s, when a modern service station was a thing of pride in a community – a sign of progress – rather than a sign of urban blight. Still, it looks completely out of place, which might have been a sign to this quaint little community to say no to any more development. Picture this same village today, and make sure you picture in the McDonald’s, Family Dollar, Rite-Aid Drugs and Napa Auto Parts store.
I just want to add a reminder that all around our country, small businesses are struggling to survive. One thing I’ve learned from traveling the US is how very different our individual communities are, and how much fun it is to explore new communities that really aren’t that far away from home. When you travel, you want to eat at local restaurants and shop in stores that feature local products. That’s a good idea for your home town as well. I mean, you don’t go to Charleston, SC to eat at Long John Silvers, do you?
The hugeness of major corporations overwhelms me, so I remind myself that there are options for the consumer. Here’s some food for thought.
I’m not saying you should not shop at Wal-mart. You have to buy light bulbs somewhere. I’m just wanting to make the point that if there is a local option, you should consider it. I personally would not want a world in which every town and city have the exact same stores and restaurants, but in order for independent businesses to survive, we have to patronize them.
I bought this box of ribbon candy for my husband after he spotted it in a catalog and recalled how his grandparents always had a box at Christmas. Ribbon candy seems to have made a bit of a comeback lately, probably more for its lovely design than for its taste. I’ve seen it featured this year dangling from the Christmas trees in several style and how-to blogs. And that’s great, because I hate to think of this traditional 20th century treat as passing into obscurity. And because this is mainly a holiday candy, I’m sure many families have stories associated with it. And here is ours:
My mother was 13 in December, 1944. My grandmother was in the new hospital of our little town, having given birth to my Uncle Neil. Every day after school my mom would walk from her school to downtown Canton to see her mother and the new baby. For some odd reason, after centuries of women giving birth at home, it was somehow determined that a week-long hospital stay was now necessary.
One day in mid December, when Mama arrived at her mother’s room, Mamaw was waiting for her with a dollar. She handed to her daughter in a hurry, with instructions to run to the Company Store, as a rumor was going around town that there was candy to be had.
I can just picture my 13 year old mother running the three blocks to the store, as she (and no body else in the country!) had had any real candy in several years. To her delight, there were boxes of ribbon candy, and though people were mobbing the counter, she was able to get her hands on a couple of boxes. It was a happy day for the Bumgarner children, and for my grandparents as well.
My mother had a life-long sweet tooth, and I can’t help but wonder if the absence of it in her late childhood somehow stuck with her – that even after candy was plentiful again she never lost sight of how very special it was. I just hope that in our lives of plenty, that we all take the time to appreciate the specialness of the gifts we’ve received.
I wrote a very short guest blog for one of my favorite sites, Collectors Weekly. It features a few 1930s Christmas cards, all with a fashionable theme.
A lot has been written about how Hollywood in the 1930s was a “Dream Machine,” that people could go to the local movie house and forget the cares of the day. It seems to me that much of the print media of the time – everything from greeting cards to advertising – served the same purpose.
Vintage card by Amity