Good Health and Happy Days
For Postcard Friendship Friday, let me present something unique to my collection: a postcard sent by my great-great-great-grandmother. It was among the original collection of postcards belonging to my great-grandfather, Philip Nelson Smith. While I can’t say for certain which of his grandmothers sent this card, I’m going to guess (based on what I know of family history, and on the postmark) that it was sent by Charlotte Chalfant, the lovely lady pictured at right. The image of Grandma Charlotte is a pencil sketch, given to me by my own grandmother a few years before she died.
The postcard was published in 1905; it was sent from Dawson, Pennsylvania, seemingly in November 1908. The date is not very legible, and I’ve noticed that many of Phil’s postcards from Dawson were postmarked rather haphazardly. Damn that lazy postman!
While the card wishes Phil “Good health and happy days be yours, today, tomorrow and always”, the news that Grandma Charlotte sends is somewhat ironic:
“All well,” she writes, “excepting all have bad colds.” So much for good health. Some tragic news: “Mr. Bert Newcomer had a son killed at Elsworth (sic; she means Ellsworth, Pennsylvania) Mon will be burried (sic) Wed afternoon.” But, at last, she reports a little sunshine on the horizon: “My hand is well. Come over. From Grand Mother.” Her home in Dawson was about 10 miles from Phil’s home in Upper Middletown.
There are a few of my relatives who bear more than a passing resemblance to Charlotte; I am happy to report that I am not one of them. Many people, however, have commented on the resemblance between me and my great-great-great-grandfather, James Chalfant. I’ve never been able to grow a decent beard but, if this is a look at my future otherwise, it suits me just fine.
For more looks at postcard past, present and yet-to-come, be sure to check out Postcard Friendship Friday.