Postcards and Notes
Volkswagen buses meet on Old Route 66

Postcards and Notes

Summer and fall are excellent times for vacation, and there is no better way to share those experiences than by sending postcards and notes by mail. It’s quick, it’s easy, and there are beautiful options to represent those good times. But more to the point, postcards and notes are a great way to communicate, anytime and any place. “Having a great time in (fill in the blank). Wish you were here.” This is a standard cliché about messages on postcards, that they are rote and say very little. But nothing could be further from the truth.…

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Royal Mail Delivers Your Letters – and Packages, Too!
Letterbox pillar, St. Ives

Royal Mail Delivers Your Letters – and Packages, Too!

My recent visit to the United Kingdom would not have been complete without checking out the Royal Mail. Picturesque letterboxes led me to believe that a sweet, old-fashioned post office would be just around the corner, but that turned out not to be the case. The post office in St. Ives (Cambridgeshire) is co-located in the back of WHSmith, which is, in this location, a news and sundry store. One can purchase any one of three daily newspapers, a bottle of water, an umbrella, a Cadbury’s (now owned by Hershey) chocolate bar and various other snacks…

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A Visit to St. Ives
Rowers from St. Ives Rowing Club cross under Chapel Bridge

A Visit to St. Ives

For a brief four days, I have been visiting the lovely village of St. Ives, in Cambridgeshire, UK (not to be confused with that other St. Ives in Cornwall).  While the main purpose of the visit is to spend a bit of time with my daughter, I also am very much taken by this picturesque old English town, which originates in the 9th century. St. Ives is located on the Great River Ouse, just thirty minutes away from the university town of Cambridge.   Flocks of snowy white swans gather in the water on the quay, near…

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Banner Year for Stamps
Protect Pollinators stamps

Banner Year for Stamps

If you like to put something pretty, creative or unique on your envelopes, this has been a banner year for stamps. From the transformative Total Solar Eclipse stamp to the newly released Protect Pollinators or Sharks Forever stamps, the U.S. Postal Service has a Forever stamp for you. My personal preferences for stamps include nature, animals, art, and literature. Fortunately, many of stamps issued this year, or yet to be issued in 2017, fit in at least one of these categories, and often more than one. Following four years of drought in California, our yard was…

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A SPECIAL LETTER FROM MY GRANDDAUGHTER AT Y CAMP
A special letter from camp

A SPECIAL LETTER FROM MY GRANDDAUGHTER AT Y CAMP

  Guest post by Kay Roberts I received a special letter from my only granddaughter and namesake, Catherine, which she sent me from Y Camp.  What was so special about it? Catherine is ten and was spending two whole weeks away from home at Y Camp.  How would she handle this big new event?  Could she eat and sleep in a strange new place with kids she didn’t know? I remembered back decades ago when her father went to Y Camp.  It was a day camp and he only had one night when the kids camped…

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Profile: Bud Bresnahan, Postal Inspector
Rincon Center July 2017 photo by Murray Schneider

Profile: Bud Bresnahan, Postal Inspector

Francis Gerald (“Bud”) Bresnahan grew up in Pacifica, California, son of a postal inspector.  His father, also Bud (Francis X.) Bresnahan, started work for the U.S. Postal Service shortly after he returned from his wartime service in the Marine Corps in 1946. Working for the post office was an excellent post-war job.  As a high school graduate, Bud (Francis X.) worked in the shipyards until he enlisted in 1942, after the attack on Pearl Harbor.  He was stationed near Quanico Marine base, Virginia, and later, Tientsin, China.  In 1943 he married his sweetheart, Charlotte, in Washington,…

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UPS Tragedy Strikes Close to Home

(Three United Parcel Service (UPS) drivers were shot and killed on June 14 at the UPS distribution center in San Francisco, CA, a tragedy perpetrated by a disgruntled driver, who then turned the gun on himself). by Murray Schneider Mike Lefiti was a bear of a man and a cub of a boy. Tragically killed on June 14, a victim of a senseless and inexplicable shooting at the UPS Distribution Center on Potrero Hill, Big Mike, as I called him when he was a 46-year old-adult and a16-year-old teenager, was my UPS driver and my American…

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A Trip to the National Postal Museum
Historic postal rail car, National Postal Museum

A Trip to the National Postal Museum

A recent trip to Washington D.C. provided me with the opportunity to revisit the National Postal Museum.   One of the Smithsonian’s treasured institutions, the National Postal Museum, conveniently located next to Union Station, is free and open daily to the public. It is a treasure for children and families, philatelists, and anyone who is interested in U.S. history and the role of the post office in the development of the country. It is through the National Postal Museum that I learned the story of Owney, the scruffy dog from Albany, New York who became infatuated with…

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The Epistolary Novel

Epistolary adj epis·to·lary \i-ˈpi-stə-ˌler-ē, ˌe-pi-ˈstȯ-lə-rē\  1 :  of, relating to, or suitable to a letter 2 :  contained in or carried on by letters 3 :  written in the form of a series of letters an epistolary novel – Merriam-Webster Dictionary What exactly is an epistolary novel? As Jenny Baum of the New York Public Library notes in a blog post, the word epistolary “is one of those words that are just fun to say or think about.” But not everyone knows what the term means. Readers, however, are familiar with the epistolary novel, even if…

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The Art of the Handwritten Letter
Box of memories includes handwritten letters from a Great Aunt in the 1980s

The Art of the Handwritten Letter

A handwritten letter, while far from extinct, is nonetheless becoming increasingly rare. Three years ago I launched Social Correspondence with the goal of encouraging people to write more letters.  Postings on the site may often be off-topic, but communicating with one another remains of top importance. This post is dedicated to the art of the handwritten letter. Recently my mailbox held a surprise, a handwritten note from my older daughter, who currently lives in the UK. “A mother like no other,” the big cat and little cat on the cover illustration told me. The surprise was…

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