Saratoga Springs, NY

Chauncy Olcott was a superstar in his day, but since that day was over a century ago he is no longer a household name. He wrote and performed songs like “My Wild Irish Rose” and “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” that are still heard every March 17. This was his summer home; the postcard was published after his death in 1932 and he actually moved to Monte Carlo full-time for health reasons in 1925. When someone is publishing postcards of your house years after you stayed there, that’s a pretty big deal.

Photo note: The card had just enough of a curl in it that I could not get a good photo. Yes, I could have put it in a press or taped it down, but as long as I’m still unpacking such fine touches will have to wait.

Albany, NY

This is still a dormitory building, but I don’t know what gender. The college is now known as the University at Albany (at, not of, which took some getting used to). When it was known as the New York State College for Teachers the team nickname was the Pedagogues, which is a lot more memorable than its replacement, the Great Danes.

Bemus Point, NY

I had to pause the blog for a bit because I was moving, from Great Diamond Island to Camden, Maine. It seems I’ve accumulated a lot of stuff over the years, so this became an all-consuming endeavor. Now that I’m settled into my new home, posts here should resume their regularity. In three weeks I still haven’t located the box containing my postcards, though.

Don’t worry, we’ll learn more about Bemus Point in the weeks and months ahead.

Port Jervis, NY

Just above the bend in the river is where three states meet (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York), which has always given this place outsized importance, with each state building lookouts from which to view the other two. I can’t say I’ve come across the surname Brox anywhere but here. I wonder if it is related to Bronx, which itself is an alteration of Bronck’s, as in “the land belonging to Bronck”.

New York, NY

I had the pleasure of visiting Grant’s Tomb on President’s Day, 2019, one of a few days each year where they bring in a Ulysses S. Grant impersonator. Or maybe I should say the Ulysses S. Grant impersonator – how many can there be? Also notable is that the small trees shown here are now so tall that I don’t recall being able to see the GW Bridge, or even the river, for that matter.

Great Falls, MT

Great Falls takes its name from a series of five falls on the Missouri River, and there is a hydroelectric dam on every single one of them. It is also the home of the Roe River, known as the world’s shortest, though this claim is contested. It flows from a spring for a few hundred feet before reaching the Missouri.

New York, NY

A mere two winters ago I was running in Central Park almost daily. My wife had a short-term assignment at Lenox Hill Hospital and we lived in a tiny studio on the Upper West Side. At 5:30 we would meet near the John Lennon memorial, each day a little less dark than the one before.

Schenectady, NY

This was called the Great Western Gateway because it’s the most level route to the interior of the U.S. anywhere between Maine and Georgia. The “Great” part of the name fell out of use somewhere along the way.