Snail's Postcard Post

The Beach

I visited the beach yesterday, and thought I would devote today’s post to that ultimate summer destination.

This photograph of Monterey Bay is one of my most beautiful postcards. Grandma and Grandpa Snail sent it to me from Carmel in Central California when I was nine years old. 

A year later, Grandpa Snail sent me these two:

And here are two Papa Snail mailed from Brazil:















May 26, 2006 Sao Luis, MA, Brasil The town has grown in just the 9 months since I was here. Still see 1/2 dozen donkey carts a day on the roads but they are building like crazy. Winter time means 2 degrees cooler + occassional [sic.] thunderstorm [sic.]  but otherwise it is summertime year round.”

Mailed a few days after the one above, I did not receive this postcard until six months later! I can only imagine all the places it went in the interim.

May 30, 2006 Jericoacoara sand dunes, CE, Brasil “Am now in Fortaleza, 2 million people, looks and feels like a little Rio, children and criples [sic.] begging but some peoplespeak English unlike Sao Luis…Rent a car tomorrow–mercy”

And Mama Snail sent me these two:

Point Arena Lightstation, California
Caption: “Established in 1870, destroyed in the 1906 earthquake. The new steel reinforced concrete tower constructed in 1908 stands 115 feet tall and is one of the tallest lighthouses on the West Coast. 

July 23, 2002 “We went up in this. Whew!…have begun our drive up the coast. We’re sitting on the porch of our little cottage listening to the sealions barking out on the rocks…arg arg arg arg. Amazing. Saw a deer + little spotted faun [sic.] in the meadow. Hope you’re having fun. Thinking of you. The people we stayed with in Utah had a flock of ducks–so cute.”

July 29, 2002 Cannon Beach, Oregon “We spent the weekend here at Cannon Beach…so quiet + pretty. Went up in a helicopter! They were giving rides down the coast. Now heading back down to California. Had a huge crab dinner”

Two from Northern California:

From a friend in Washington D.C. raised in Arcata in California’s Humboldt County. May 19, 2012
this is one of my favorite photos of my hometown in California. I think I like it so much because it so accurately captures the beauties of places in the world that tourist postcards often overlook. To many, the fog may not be ideal, but growing up with that fog–it was always something I could count on. It wrapped me up in familiarity just for a moment.”

Meanwhile, in Southern California:

Buffalo arrived on Catalina Island–the most developed (not very) of California’s Channel Islands–in 1924 when they were shipped from the mainland for a movie shoot! The human-accustomed bovines continue to thrive unconfined on Santa Catalina. In their evolutionarily short time on the island, they have gotten smaller– an adaptation of many animals known as island dwarfism–allowing them to live in balance with the island’s small-scale ecosystem. Since the 1960’s, the Catalina Island Conservancy ( has introduced bull calves from Wyoming to the herd to prevent inbreeding. These days, the Conservancy returns the favor by sending Catalina bison to strengthen herds in the Western states.

Streaming at a swingin’ ’60s bachelor pad near you!
The shows and DJ names listed on the back of this postcard are pretty groovy:
Beatnik Beach
Come to the Sunshine
Kitsch Niche
Splendor in the Grass
Easitaly! hosted by Il Facile Duo
Penthouse Party
Cocktails with Kennedy
Agent 69
Space Patrol
Psychedelic Beach Party

Half of a two-postcard letter from a former (unconventional) middle school teacher, sent in my first year of high school.

monday 25 october 2004
los angeles
[your lettercame on a day that brought an extraordinarily unpleasant little batch of  mail, four or five items each one more annoying, depressing, and scary than the one it followed. i’d saved opening them till before bed after a long day nearly deciding to wait until the next morning. i was miserable but since i always save the good mail–letters and packages–for desert, i opened yours last and went to sleep remembering what a happy and lucky fellow i am.

“…i’m sorry there are no sadistic nuns [at school] to add thrill and atmosphere to your studies. perhaps you could stir up some excitement with a radical press on campus.
“i did go back to maine and stayed in the family house (where we were) and was asphyxiated by cigarette smoke–the sisters and cousins–french nieces and nephews all smoked all the time and the sisters were tempermental 
[sic.] and the niece (crystal) was a domestic terrorist, and all their friends tromped through the house all night and i mean all night–till dawn’s early light. and the workmen never got out of my house in fact they are still there.”

This entry was published on July 5, 2012 at 6:05 pm. It’s filed under Americana, Site Specific, U.S.A. and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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