Eleanor Keeps Running Around

Many of you know that I am a big fan of using “snail mail”.  I send plenty of postcards, letters, and larger, miscellaneous package-type things.  I love the idea that something that was just in my hands, or was created or written by me, can be in your hands and your possession just a few days later.

I’m an especially big fan of the postcard, with its picture on the front that you can either choose to write about or ignore completely, and the very limited space for writing on the back, forcing you to be very judicious with your words.

So yesterday, when my mother and I were out browsing at the local antique stores, I was naturally curious when I saw a bin full of old postcards.  I was even more delighted—and then moved beyond almost all measure–when I started reading the messages written on the backs of some of these postcards.  I bought the ones that moved me the most, and knew I’d have to share them with you on here.

I don’t think you need me to over-explain what is so moving about these.  I’d love to see some comments on here about your feelings and interpretations and what these mean to you.  What I’ve done is scanned the front and back of each, and then typed the text underneath, including the date it was sent, either from the postmark or something written on the postcard.  Let me know how these make you feel.



Sent from Ocean City, NJ, to Bridgeton, NJ.  Not sure of date, but possibly 1975.

Mother dear,

Your letter here when we arrived at 6.  Will write you tomorrow.  Do not bother with sending flowers, we now expect to go Elmer’s Fri and wouldn’t be here and its too much bother for you.  Lidie is at Elmers now.  Saw them last night.




Sent from Disney World, Florida, to Bridgeton, NJ, 1972


Well we got hear today. It sure is great! I bet you’d like it hear. I never seen anything like it.


Aunt Ida, Uncle Dan



No date or location information; appears to maybe not have been sent. Seems to be pretty damn old, though. I’m open to various interpretations of the third sentence, either in its meaning or my reading of the handwriting.

Dear cousins.  I gathered some violets today.  Paul can walk when he holds to something.  The clock don’t get tired now.  Tell Robert I saw some jack rabbits coming from town.  Baby has 5 teeth.  from Keith.



Sent from Chicago to Ephrata, PA, 1932

Johnnie and I “did” Chicago yesterday–both day & night. We’re making good time and should be in Yellowstone by the end of the week.  We’re spending the night in a log cabin with a creek at our back door.  –Dot R



Sent from Springfield, Missouri, to Ephrata, PA, 1944.  It is of note that the recipient of this postcard is almost certainly the author of the previous one, a miss Dorothy “Dot” Schmeck, who signed the previous postcard (from 12 years before this one) as “Dot R”.

Dear Dot,

Your letter was swell and you need never apologize about it.  I was happy to get it and hope you keep up the good work.  Don’t get a paper and Eleanor keeps running around so you may keep me up on the hometown news.  Keep Eleanor toned down to her level now that I’m not there to do it.
Too bad about the men that must go into the service.  Wish it would end soon, don’t you?  Didn’t know you were worried about the male situation?  Guess it is serious, isn’t it?
Kids are OK the way I feel now.  So don’t be too sorry.  This is interesting work, tho.
How about writing me back to make up for the months you didn’t know?


5 Responses to “Eleanor Keeps Running Around”

  1. Kyle Sundgren Says:

    Mim is brimming with passive agression! Aunt Ida’s a dummy. The first one from “e” has an unsettling feeling about it with the whole don’t send flowers line. Elmer’s does not sound like a pleasant place to be.

    Pretty cool finds!

    • sethdellinger Says:

      Yeah I love how Mim is obviously very mad at Dot. I actually have a few more to or from Dot…she was an interesting lady.

      Oh, and Kelly Jo, if you’re wondering where your comment is…it’s a quirk of WordPress that it lets you comment on pictures while you’re viewing the large version of them and then the comment doesn’t appear on the main post…so I didn’t delete your comment, I replied to it, but it’s on the picture!

  2. This makes me think that postcards are just “old timey” text messaging

    • sethdellinger Says:

      haha I see what you’re saying, as far as the actual content of them goes…but I think the differences outweigh the similarities.

      • As different as shoes are to cars, but both were developed to create an ease in transportation. The pathways to advancement are often quite divergent from where they begin

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