Announcing a Valentine’s Day installment of the Vermin on the Mount reading series. (The name reflects its frequent home at The Mountain bar in LA’s Chinatown). Drawing by punk illustrator Ben Snakepit.
1942. Photographer unknown.
Helen Hunt Jackson’s popular novel Ramona, the story of romanticized Californio life, was published in 1885 and the author died a year later, leaving fans yearning to see locations referenced in Ramona but at a loss of where exactly to go. Flocking to Southern California on the new Southern Pacific and Santa Fe Railway lines (a cheap trip because of the price war between the two railways), tourists were ready to pounce on anything alleged to be related to the novel. So in 1887, when the San Diego Union newspaper reported that the local Estudillo house, an original Californio adobe, was the location of Ramona’s wedding, the caretaker welcomed the tourists in. Helen Hunt Jackson had never been to La Casa de Estudillo, but the house matched her fictional description. Even before the newspaper article, a tourist had scratched the name of Ramona’s husband, Alessandro, in the wall.
Perhaps it’s too much of a stretch to include an Easter item on Valentine’s Day, but the Romanov’s Faberge eggs were, if materialistic baubles, none the less tokens of love. With its rose motifs and onyx-carved Madonna lilies, this egg–one of Nicholas’ Easter presents to Alexandra–symbolizes love and purity. The surprise is sadly missing–a ruby pendant with rose-cut diamonds.
To see more Faberge eggs and learn about their history, check out this post.
Grandma Snail had two fellas in the armed forces who wrote to her during WWII. This postcard is from the exuberant Jay, who wrote frequently, often on the backs of pictures of himself. But this one’s a postcard of a field at Lake Como in Italy that looks out to Comacina Island.
You can send me a sweet postcard too! And if you include your return address, I’ll send you a postcard back. (As always, if your postcard is featured on Snail’s Postcard Post, your address will be kept private.) My human assistant’s address is:
3370 Glendale Blvd. Box 613
Los Angeles, CA 90039
Won’t you be my valentine?