Magical Mystery Tour
I beg to differ.
Well sort of.
I agree, it's always out there.
But it's not any different from anything else. It's just easily more accessible, that's all.
Even still, the good old fashioned pen to paper word can still haunt you--via the internet!
I don't know why I've been into this lately, but I find myself cruising Etsy or Ebay for "vintage correspondence" -- letters that people have written to each other.
Most of what you find listed are mundane business letters, sappy love letters, or niche-war letters (from a soldier to a girl back home and vice versa).
However I stumbled upon this postcard today on Etsy being sold by someone in Texas.
Now, if you're familiar with northern New Jersey geography and the GSP Exit I live off of (I think maybe there's one, maybe two readers of this blog that will recognize the name of that town on the address), you'll know that Glen Ridge is right next door to where I live.
I pass by this house on my way to the bank every other Friday to deposit my paycheck.
So when I saw this postcard, I bought it. (It was $3 and a good way to use up the weird amounts I have left on giftcard credit cards my bosses always get me). When it arrives I'll reveal what originally drew me in to viewing this card. I'll keep you guessing as to what's on the other side for now!
Now I'm obsessed with finding out who this woman is/was.
At first I thought her name was Mrs. E. Longhatham.
But a Google search of that name comes up with NOTHING.
As someone with an extremely odd/rare last name (there's our branch of the family and another one in Wisconsin) I figure if our weird-ass last name makes it onto Google, than surely someone bearing the name Longhatham would.
I decided I was reading the handwriting wrong.
I googled Longbotham and hit paydirt.
I found a preview of a census record for a Longbotham family living in Essex County New Jersey (the county I live in) showing a little boy named Edward Longbotham in that family who was 5 years old in 1910. That would make Eddie 34 years old when this postcard was mailed.
Perfect age to have a little Mrs. E. Longbotham keeping house with you.
More Googling of Edward Longbotham unearthed this letter from the Montclair Dramatic Club to Edward Longbotham.
Picture snagged from this expired Ebay listing.
The time frame fits. Montclair is close to Glenridge. But the address for Edward is wrong.
Being the legal secretary that I am and having to had look up the assessed values of people's homes for divorce settlement reasons in the past (and to track down MIA deponents in other matters), I hopped onto the New Jersey assessor's website and tried to figure out who currently owned the property at the address that Ed received mail at.
Nothing popped up.
Which is odd.
But not so much because currently that address appears to be a business address, upon even further Googling. So maybe it was a business back in 1932? "Probably" would be my guess.
And the distance between the two addresses is about 2 miles.
If I really cared, I could probably further cement the connection between these two items and figure out who Mrs. E. Longhatham/Longbotham was/is.
But I'll pretend she's named Betty, lived with Edward and they lived on Hillside Avenue in Glen Ridge.
Actually, in five minutes after I typed that last sentence, I did confirm this. Ancestry.com shows snippets of city directories showing Edward and Elizabeth Longbotham living at Hillside Ave. (Snippets of enough where I don't have to pay anything to view the document).
Moral of the story: Even your old mail you thought didn't exist can entertain someone for an hour and a half one particular evening. It's ALWAYS out there!
And of course stay tuned to see what's on the other side of the postcard!