Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Four Days of Filler & Thanks

Not only am I gaining ground on my backlog of correspondence,  I read the way I used to. I read with fervor. I finished two books in two days. I've only thumbed through The Beauty of Different five times and never fail to wonder if the contents have anything to do with comparing apples to oranges. Time will tell, but I know for sure there's a letter waiting to be written soon. The author lives in Houston. See? Even reading can lead to writing. Letters. Reading can lead to writing letters. 

A picture is still worth a thousand words, however, I wonder how many words I'll need to explain why I've written a letter to the Hallmark Channel. Finding the address was no easy task. Every entity has a Facebook page, a Twitter account, an e-mail address, but they hide physical addresses as if they're top secret. I want to know what that prop is. It keeps me awake now with all the wondering and inaginating. So, that's two down and more to go.

This arrived the other day. I was happy. Then I was distracted and forgot to finish telling you about it. I wrote with a question and someone wrote back. The old question about note cards costing less than a letter would not lie still, so I asked someone who should know the answer. See, back in Business Records Keeping class, we had to write a business letter. Part of the pre-letter-writing exercise was a lecture about the different prices for postage. I never wrote a note card until after the price increase! I used air mail a lot because my father was over seas. I loved that tissue thin paper, and envelopes with the red and blue decoration. I did not understand why Daddy got to write home for free and I had to ask Mama for an air mail stamp. Americans would have written more foreign mail if it didn't cost so much. 

I'd always meant to write to the Queen of England just to ask what she kept in her pocket book. I loved the smells in my mama's. She kept it in the crook of her elbow when she went someplace that required dress-up, and the sound the clasp made when she shut it spoke volumes. One thing it meant for sure was no one else was allowed to open it! Mmm. I can almost taste the smells right now! There were several all mixed together, yet separate. Juicy Fruit gum, pressed powder, lipstick, and coins. Juicy Fruit was always first since it was the strongest, and it had an indescribable scent that made my mouth water and my stomach growl. Especially in church! Do they still make Juicy Fruit? Why did they call it Juicy Fruit? There wasn't anything fruity about it. Oh, Lord! I just had another memory! Since it might be embarrassing I'll ask before I tell. Did you ever see a boy take his gum from his mouth and stick it behind his ear??? To save it for later?

Okay, here's a look at the letterhead from the other day.  Government Relations? Hmm. I suppose they're saving money by not using color on their envelopes, but it sure would look nicer if they did. No matter. It's the response that counts. Right? And I must say, it is a lovely response. The reason for the difference in postage rates is so simple. Perhaps too simple, or maybe I got it wrong in class. The official reason is this:

"Prior to 1968 unsealed greeting cards -- with no personal messages written on them -- could be mailed as third-class mail at a cheaper postage rate than the First-Class (letter) rate. . . . If any personal messages were written on them the cards had to be mailed at the more expensive First-Class rate."

FOI (for our information) Mr. Zip's appearance was unrelated to the elimination of the third-class rate for greeting cards. I didn't think the two were related. Hmm. I must work harder at making myself understood. 

Enclosed is a link to "some 19th century examples of greeting cards mailed at third-class rates:" 

http://www.philamercury.com/board.php. Search for "unsealed." 

"I hope this information is helpful. Thank you for all you do to encourage letter writing and use of the US Mail."

Signed _____________________________
Sr. Research Analyst in Postal History.

Now. Would you prefer open mail or paying a little more for privacy? I seriously doubt postal employees have nothing better to do than read unsealed mail. Right? So, mystery solved. A thank-you note makes three in the out box. See? There's always a reason for a letter.

Wow. Let me back up the Pony Express. There's more:

"The third-class single piece rate (at which unsealed greeting cards could be sent) was created in 1863. However, such greeting cards probably weren't being sent under this cheaper rate until the early 1900s. It was apparently a fairly common practice by the 1930s.

The third-class rate was raised to the same as First Class on January 7, 1968, thus ending the discount."

All this for a penny? The first-class rate back then was 6 cents. 

Moving on . . . I wrote a few posts ago that I had no love letters. Well, guess what. I found one yesterday. For real! It's so old the stamp fell off. It started off so sweet that I blushed. I mean really sweet. He wrote how he'd just talked to me but had to write, just because he loved me/missed me. Aww. Right? 

I found a stack of old letters. Plucked from here and there, they piece together a lovely history: Parts of my past. There are even letters I wrote yet never mailed. One never made it off the mountain because the recipient passed on before I got the chance. I wish she could have read it though; it's a letter to my cousin. She and I used to be like sisters. Then she tried to sleep with my boyfriend. I dumped them both. Wow. Do you ever wand back in written time? It's a trip, huh? Have you ever written letters you wish you could un-write? Or take back? Some have murdered for the right to take back written confessions. Agatha Christie can tell us a thing or two about all that! See? I refuse to become famous because of some letters I've written! Oh, dearie me. *wringing my rings*

Write on! Just be careful of what you write. And wouldn't it be great to get paid for doing mail research? Or analysis? Analysis? Does that mean someone gets paid to figure out if the mail sent to the USPS is safe or crank or . . . Hmm. 


  1. Wow you were all over the place with this one sista !!! I love it ...you remind me so much fo me LOL is that why we get a kick out of the same things ? yep I do remember how pressed powder used to smell and lipstick and juicy fruit ... also I remember the smell of Shalimar and I cannot tell you how happy I was to see that Shalimar was around since ww 2 . My grandmother would spray it on a hankie a real cotton hankerchief and then put it in her pocketbook yes a clasp pocketbook like you spoke of in your post .I have found myself spraying my fave scent on a hankie as well and sticking it in my purse . My fave perfume or scent Is Romance by ralph Lauren .Oh well it seems I am all over the place with my response as well , like I said a sistah from another mistah . LOL .

    1. LOL! I don't know how Shalimar smells but it was big in its day, according to books I've read and movies I've seen. Shalimar and White Shoulders.

      I don't have a favorite perfume because I'm allergic to man-made scents and most perfumes. My bag probably smells like mint dental floss, leaked fountain pen ink, and Carmex! No memory-making smells at all. Not even peppermint. What about yours? Times do change, huh? :)

  2. I would certainly love to be paid to be a Senior Research Analyst in Postal History. Sounds like a dream job, anyway, though I can certainly see that the actual job might not match my thoughts.

    1. I know. It's probably not even close to job description we've imagined.