In the Southern California mountain town of Idyllwild roams a mysterious hominid called the Idyllbeast (or Idyll-Beast) which seems to be southerly relative of Sasquatch. Specialists at the Idyllbeast Research Center Museum and Gift Shoppe (where these postcards come from) have installed Idyllbeast-crossing road signs to help ensure the creature’s survival and opportunities for further study. There’s so much we don’t know about the Bigfoot genus. For instance, artist Aaron Eliah Terry raises the question:Nuclear meltdown might not be as weighty a subject as you’d think for yet(t)is (spelling may include one ‘t’ or two) to consider. Many humans have not taken atomic disasters very seriously either: Postmarked 1995
Historically, postcards have often served as snapshots of grave events. To quote Leonard A. Lauder in The Postcard Age: “The postcard bears witness to events, such as one series that chronicled the last moments of the life of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, before he was shot in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914. The last card of the series in my collection has a cross inked above the head of one of the assailants, conjuring up the card’s original owner, who might have marked it as if to say, “That’s him–I saw him do it,” before he sent it along to a friend.”
“The bomb-thrower Cabrinovic” 1914. Photographed from the book.
Another example from The Postcard Age:Even so, it’s hard to explain the deluge of postcards of nuclear plants, bomb test sites, and actual explosions that circulated throughout the Cold War. The Snail Family’s friend photographer Barry Schwartz recently sent me an article on precisely this. The examples in Wish You Were Vaporized: Charming Postcards from the Atomic Age were drawn from a whole book on the subject, “Atomic Postcards: Radioactive Messages from the Cold War” by John O’Brian and Jeremy Borsos. Despite all these postcards, it’s still hard to believe that people held such gung-ho attitudes about nuclear power and destruction. I find it easier to believe in the Idyllbeast.