Friday, August 06, 2010

Meet Me On The Other Side

The moment of truth!

You remember my adventures in tracking down Mrs. E. Longbotham?

To recap quickly: When I've got nothing better to do and Facebook has gotten boring, all my normal blogs have been surfed and message boards start irking me, I surf vintage correspondence/photos on Etsy, or I'll surf this site.

Aside from a small collection of stuff I've found in the used books I've purchased (my latest fave being 1/2 a five dollar bill I found in one of the Regeneration Trilogy books I purchased recently) I don't normally buy the things I surf.

But this postcard caught my eye because of the address.


This address is less than two miles from where we live and I drive past this house every other Friday to get to the bank.

What sealed the deal in purchasing this card (aside from the fact it was less than $5) was what was on the back.

A postcard of magical sugar coated ponies?

A postcard from Alaska?

A postcard from Cookietown, Oklahoma?


Not quite.

I think you'll like it since technically this is supposed to be a knitting blog.


It's a sock pattern!

Ok, maybe not that exciting as the buildup might have made it -- but I flippin' love it!

The handwriting is quite legible and knitting shorthand hasn't really changed in 71 years.

I think my favorite part is this:

"Using 4 kneedles k[nit] round and round until almost 2 in[ches] before desired length."

How come I find a 71 year old spelling error so quaint, but will actually leave a comment on a newspaper website pointing out that the subject of the article suffered a grand mal seizure, not a "grand maul" seizure?

Now I'm left wondering who sent this postcard to Elizabeth Longbotham? Why did they send it to her? Did she perhaps mail it to herself for some reason? The postcard is postmarked in the same town, and honestly if you've ever been to Glen Ridge, it's not that big (or maybe letters were postmarked at their destination not their departure post offices back then??). One could easily walk something to its destination in Glen Ridge. Although maybe not in March! Brr!

How did the postcard end up in Texas? (Actually I found quite a few Longbothams living in TX--they must be connected to the NJ ones).

Did she ever use it to knit socks? It's survived this long and is creased, so I would guess yes, she probably did. Or at least intended to.

I'd love to take a picture of Mrs. Longbotham's house for you, but I'd feel kinda weird doing that and posting it on the internets. Not to mention I'd look like a weirdo doing it.

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Anonymous marymac said...

That is SO COOL! :)

8:14 PM  
Blogger ccr in MA said...

Very neat!

I was actually born in Glen Ridge (though we lived in Montclair), so this feels "local" to me, too.

8:51 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:46 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Definitely very cool! I know what you mean about message boards irking you, ha, ha!

I have to stay away from comments section of articles on my local newspaper's website, because I'll get too pissed off over people's ignorant comments!

A judge here in Cleveland tried to put a reporter from the paper in jail, for refusing to revealing a confidential source that gave him information about a murder trial the judge was supposed to preside over.

The paper turned around and outed the judge as having posted dozens of comments (including some negative racial comments about a black lawyer who had appeared before her in court, although the judge is also black) about ongoing criminal cases on the newspaper website, under an alias.

She claimed her daughter who is a law student in Columbus posted the comments, but the comments all were posted from the judge's work computer. Now the judge is threatening to sue the newspaper.

I guess there's really no promise of anonymity when someone posts comments on those websites!

9:47 PM  
Anonymous NikBudnik said...

That is really cool. I collect vintage cookbooks, and a big part of the joy I get is finding what people write and put inside them. Just tonight, I found a bunch of mcCalls magazine pages inside my latest find from 1957! When I shelve them, after looking thru them, I leave what I find inbetween the pages. I think it is cool that there are people like us!

10:36 PM  
Blogger Zonda said...

Wild!! Do you think you can use the pattern?

10:36 PM  
Blogger Tactless Wonder said...

Hmmm, it's only half a sock pattern...I wonder if this is one of those "mystery sock" patterns that only gave you one section at a time? You know, BEFORE the magic of the internets :).

You must find the other half of the pattern! :)

11:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So are socks going to be my Christmas present?
That is really cool! I am glad that you said what it was cause I had NO idea!!!

Love, Mom

12:20 AM  
Anonymous Beth said...

You know, real estate brokers do estimates/appraisals for the banks all the time. When I see someone taking a picture of a building I always assume it's a broker working - so you wouldn't stand out if you wanted to do so. Great story - thanks for the update!

12:35 AM  
Blogger SBJ said...

I thought this was a cool story back when you first posted about the post card and now it seems you've come full circle - any plans to knit the sock??

5:03 AM  
Blogger Crafty Christina said...

That is really cool!

There's a local mom here who goes around snapping pics of the houses and posting them on her blog. She's only gotten caught once.

5:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very cool.

I would go take a picture...say it's for some historical project.

Love, Aunt Susan

7:26 AM  
Blogger Jo said...

Very cool - do you think you would be able to knit it up?

9:42 AM  
Blogger janna said...

That is so cool! And as for mailing it across town -- I remember when I was a little kid (1960s), people used to mail stuff in town all the time. You didn't even have to put the town name, just "City." There was a special mailbox at the p.o. for local mail And my home town was only about a mile wide with a population of 800! Back in 1939, there were lots of people without phones, but the mailman came to your house daily. So it's not really odd that it would be mailed in the same town at all.

11:40 AM  
Blogger Kathy Kathy Kathy said...

Agree with Janna.

What do I win for guessing that it is a knitting pattern?

5:14 PM  

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