Saratoga Springs, NY

I spent a lot of time here over the years as this was the start/finish area for a lot of the large cross-country meets in New York’s Capital District, and my son ran for six years. All that time I wondered why the buildings, while well-maintained, were left vacant and functionless, there for decoration only. Do public baths cost too much to operate? I don’t see why, given that they operated all through the Depression, as evidenced by this postcard.

Wilmington, DE

I’m afraid Bob was a better bowler than a geographer. His annotation confused me until I consulted a map. The DuPont Hotel, featured in yesterday’s post, looks onto the east side of Rodney Square. Here we are looking south toward the library. Why he labeled the Delaware Trust building as his hotel is anyone’s guess.

Wilmington, DE

This card was sent by Bob to his mother in 1950. The message reads simply “having a lovely time”. A year later, he sent a nearly identical one. This time: “having an ace time on Dupont bowling trip”. Note the penthouse that was added to the building. On the one hand, it is possible that it was added during 1950. On the other hand, it is possible that the first card just airbrushed it away.

1950 would have been a prosperous year for the company, I think. Some combination of Mylar, Dacron, Orlon and Lycra would have been in the pipeline. Hosting a company-wide bowling tournament would have been no big deal, especially when you own the hotel and it’s in the same building as your corporate headquarters.

Given that one of these cards is postmarked from Pennsylvania and Bob elsewhere refers to driving here, I think he was based at the one of the satellite offices. And although there is no direct evidence for this, I suspect he was a pretty good bowler.

New Castle, DE

I seem to have acquired the postcard collection of Bob Millspaugh, formerly of Newburgh, New York. What is curious is that far more of the postcards were sent from Bob than to Bob. How did they end up back in the same place, I do not know. Quite a few were sent by Bob to his mother, Fannie Millspaugh, so it makes sense that these would have gone back to Bob, perhaps after her death.

Bob’s writing is very perfunctory, perhaps hardly worth mentioning, but taken together they tell a bit of a story. I have two copies of this card, one from 1952 and one from 1954. Both make reference to the annual Dupont company bowling tournament held in late March. In 1952 the weather was almost like summer, but in 1954 there was heavy rain all the way.

Ocean Grove, NJ

Ocean Grove is a very small place to have the world’s largest organ. Sometimes postcards are known to exaggerate details, but this one checks out. In the 1990s and early 2000s when I had family in the area, my wife and I used to love to go to Ocean Grove and walk around, but I never went into the auditorium. It’s a Methodist camp meeting site that has preserved a lot of its 19th century details, and cars are prohibited throughout much of the town.

Albuquerque, NM

This church from the 1700s is at the center of what is now Albuquerque’s most popular tourist area. When I visited in 2017, I heard the most wonderful traditional Spanish-language street music here. I could have stayed all afternoon, but the group I was with needed to move along.

Duluth, MN

Faithful followers of this blog may have noticed by now how typical it was to build a wooden footbridge across the top of a falls. Since the postcard views are always taken from the bottom, we can reasonably conclude that this is the preferred viewpoint for most. Indeed, I have stood at the tops of falls where all you can see is the lip of water before it makes the plunge. It would seem, then, to make more sense to build footbridges across the bottoms of the falls. Unless, of course, the bridge was an important part of the shot. I think this is consistent with the taming and conquering of nature that reveals itself in so many of these vintage postcards.