Monday, March 6, 2017

Powerful Postcards

Let us be thankful for translators. I still don't know what to say in response to this. Thank you for a message that puts me on mute. Mute means there's more to say than I have words for. Everyone has a message.

The message on back is as touching as the one on front. "Greetings on the final day of Black History Month and LetterMo." It's from lovely Hannah. She wrote that it is from Orphans Teasure Box.  A book store! I hope there's some Dinah Washington on my iPod and in my iTunes. There should be if there isn't. And shame on me if there isn't. We still have her on LPs somewhere. Thank you, Hannah.

Postcards tell stories, or bring stories to mind. Liberty is getting more press than ever lately. Some misuse her imagined her-story to suit their agenda. And who doesn't associate her with the famous words, "Give me your tired, your poor . . . " from Emma Larazus' poem? 

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
MOTHER OF EXILES. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

We learned the song in school. The words made me feel so sorry for all those "huddled masses yearning to breathe free." Who was choking them? What was "wretched refuse" to a grade schooler? First impressions? Imagined garbage refuse barges backed up for miles on the high seas. All those books I read about poor white immigrants, especially the Irish during the potato famine, made me question why they grew only potatoes. Didn't they eat corn, green beans, tomatoes, bread . . . ? I wondered what drove our Armstrong ancestor to these shores. He wasn't so poor if he could afford to buy a slave. Right? I imagine he ate more oat meal than I ever will. See? I equate oaten meal with Scotland. *grin* I'll eat your oaten meal and your tatties but not haggis! Never haggis!

So. Wikipedia says, "Paul Auster wrote that "Bartholdi's gigantic effigy was originally intended as a monument to the principles of international republicanism, but 'The New Colossus' reinvented the statue's purpose, turning Liberty into a welcoming mother, a symbol of hope to the outcasts and downtrodden of the world."[8]
John T. Cunningham wrote that "The Statue of Liberty was not conceived and sculpted as a symbol of immigration, but it quickly became so as immigrant ships passed under the torch and the shining face, heading toward Ellis Island. However, it was [Lazarus's poem] that permanently stamped on Miss Liberty the role of unofficial greeter of incoming immigrants."[9]
The poem has entered the political realm. It was quoted in John F. Kennedy's book A Nation of Immigrants (1958)[10] as well as a 2010 political speech by President Obama advocating immigration policy reform.[11]"
"Shining faces," huh? Not green or pale from not being sea worthy, but clean shining faces, since only clean faces can shine. Oh. I forget. They had the upper crusts on the upper decks. 

Thank you, Rusty. I once dreamed of making art in SoHo. My best friend, Fannie Belle was gonna make it big on Broadway, and she was determined to be on The Tonight Show before Carson retired. I went to Colorado and she landed in California. I addressed her wedding invitations with my poor calligraphy. We saw the Mama Ninfa musical in the park (Theater Under the Stars aka TUTS) with her fiancĂ©. I made her wedding dress. She starred in the first off-off-off Broadway show I ever saw, "Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright." What a life. 

Such power a postcard holds within its silence. Yet, it speaks volumes. 

Dear Rusty,

How are you? I hope you are well.

That's some gold in you used! I'd recognize your lovely hand anywhere.

You made good memories come to life. Thanks for thinking of me. 


Sincerely sincere,



  1. Here is one opinion about what was behind the potato famine:

    1. Thank you. I've read so many accounts in y quest to better understand my fellow humans. What happened during the famine in Russia is just as heartbreaking. I still don't understand how humans can follow a single man into hell like . . . They're like zombies. Yes. Zombies. Frankenstein was the human monster of his era. History keeps repeating itself and art reflects the story of man through the ages.

      There's famine across the globe. To much of it is manmade.I when we'll wake up.

  2. I love Dinah Washington yes I do . Miles davis and John coltraine are jazz personified and if you my dear have never listened to miles davis or john coltraine do it , do it now !!! yes I know I could not help myself . Our younger generation will never know the likes of miles davis and john coltraine or Dinah Washington and that in and of itself is a true shame ...such talent gone to us forever .

    1. You're probably right. I feel I must confess. Miles Davis' music disturbed me. I felt better about not liking it after reading Helen Keller's similar feelings. JC has some of his albums and I've never listened to them since our courting stage way back when women felt they had to pretend to like jazz and beer. LOL. I'm kidding since I liked Miller High Life for awhile. Beer always made me burp and bloat and retain fluids. :)