All is well after the road trip through eight Midwest U.S. states, endless rows of corn and soybeans waiting to be harvested, and heaping plates of American comfort food. We had almost forgotten what an open-faced hot turkey sandwich was, and somehow that is going to be hard to duplicate here in Hong Kong.
But this is a blog about postcards, so here’s the report: we really had to search. Chicago in particular seems embarrassed about itself, since it was almost impossible to find cards in the usual tourist areas. One mall in a far-out suburb had one insubstantial rack, and airports are always reliably going to have something, even at vastly inflated prices. All we really wanted was a postcard with a state map of Illinois — but no luck at all with that.
Moving right along, we detoured through tiny corners of northeastern Oklahoma and northwestern Arkansas (really, no more than a few miles in each state) to see if we could find any drugstores with racks. That bit of Oklahoma happens to be part of the original Route 66, and we found a few cards of that, though as you will see later, those tend to be generic and could be sold anywhere. We were very happily surprised to find a couple of places in Gravette, Arkansas that had a few Arkansas-specific cards. You’ll see those too, soon enough.
And the “antique barns”. The Midwest is full of them, all selling the same things our household had when we were kids. Once in awhile one of the stalls would have a shoebox with a few vintage cards, and it was mildly surprising to see how many were of churches in Germany or street scenes from Germany or flowers in Germany … you get the idea. These cards were often priced well beyond their true market value, but if you have been to these barns, you know the individual owners are not there, just a front desk having authority (or not) to offer discounts. All this is great for browsing but not so much if you need to get to the next town.
So, before too long, you’ll see the postcard results of our journey. We found some interesting specialty cards, some vintage and some not, and soon now we will have reached our quota goal for each of the American states. Then it will be on to new destinations. Watch this space!