Friday, April 27, 2012

Sepia Saturday 123 : To Brighten Things Up A Bit



The theme image over on Sepia Saturday this week features a maypole which immediately makes me think of a postcard to May, not from Poland but from Germany. I have several postcards to May Chambers in my collection - I bought them as a job lot in a second hand shop in Rotherham thirty years ago - and they all are in the same wonderful handwriting and from various cities in Europe. As you can see, this particular card was sent in September 1900 and the message reads (as far as I can make out) :

Dear May, You really must visit this beautiful city. There is only one thing wanting. That is some sun to brighten things up a bit. Yours LKH.

Here I sit in my room. It is almost May. There is only one thing wanting. That is some sun to brighten things up a bit. But even without sun, there is plenty to occupy my mind with. My great-nephew is visiting this weekend and on Sunday I plan to take him back to Sheffield where he is at University. I am tempted, awfully tempted, to call in at 99 Burngreave Road and see if May Chambers is at home. I will let you know what happens.

If you are in want of some sun to brighten things up a bit this weekend, you could do worse than visit the Sepia Saturday Blog and follow some of the fascinating links.

39 comments:

  1. Hello Alan:
    We love your old postcard of Berlin. It captures the monumental scale of much of the architecture so well. We so very much wish to visit Berlin, especially to see the reconstructions of East Berlin, and with daily trains from Budapest we have nothing really to stop us.

    The handwriting on the postcard is so beautifully done. A lost art!

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    1. I agree with you, I too would love to visit Berlin again. The only time I have been there was back in the mid-1980s, before the wall came down. It would be fascinating to see it again in its new, re-united form.

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  2. The handwriting is indeed beautiful!

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    1. How I wish I could write like that.

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  3. The National Kaiser Wilhelm Monument was a monument to the first German Emperor Wilhelm I. It was unveiled in 1897. The monument was heavily criticized; it was called a zoo because of the numerous lions, eagles, horses and other animals. It survived WWII without damages, but in 1950 the communists decided to tear it down since it reminded them of the monarchy. Only the base remains, and two lions are relocated to a Berlin zoo.

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    1. This is what I love about blogging - you throw a subject out into the blogosphere and it gathers fascinating information like iron filings around a magnet.

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  4. I wonder if May Chambers would supply that bit of sunshine. The only thing wanting here in Virginia is a little warmth - we're in the midst of a cold snap.

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  5. No need for any brightening here - brief shower this morning, now it’s lovely and sunny. This is not to say that our spirits aren’t always lifted by your posts Alan. Just seeing that beautiful handwriting cheered me up. I’d love to go back to Berlin, having visited in before the wall was brought down.

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    1. You should, it is a fascinating city nowadays. A mix of Emperial-Nazi-Communist-Western influences. I had a good time when I visited Berlin 3 years ago. The only negative aspect was the drizzly weather...

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  6. I hope May is at home when you stop by. I bet you are the only one with a human May tie in to the theme.

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  7. Excellent Post, handwriting, image, I expect May will be about 90 now. Must have been written by a German because the person has no idea of English word order on the address. But then again, the English writer above ends his sentence with a preposition, which used to be in the very old days, incorrect word order! Never mind, you brightened our day!

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  8. Oh you must call in and post what you find! It is wonderful handwriting, I would have been thrilled to get postcards like this. One of the nice things about written ephemera is in wondering about the lives of the people whose names appear. Have a nice weekend, Alan.

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  9. It is indeed beautiful handwriting. I wonder if the address still exists? Sheffield has had so much redevelopment. it would be very interesting to investigate. No sun here either, but your blogpost provided some warmth and sparkle.

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  10. What a great take on may Day. I hope you stop by and take a picture of the house anyway. I imagine Miss Chambers has married by now, so her name may have changed...

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  11. I find the handwriting of those times rather interesting. It's neat but in a different style and hard to read.

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  12. sending love and sunny thoughts your way, Alan! xo

    did that help? :)

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  13. That card must have brought a smile to May's day, knowing that where ever LKH was, s/he was thinking of her.

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  14. What a treasure you found - May's postcards. I'll bet you'll find many more ways to tie in these cards with future themes.
    Wish I could write like that.
    Nancy

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  15. Such beautiful handwriting, Alan. When did that stop happening?

    I was in Berlin - east and west - back in 1971. It would be interesting to take another look at the city since reunification.

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  16. I love old postcards- and I often wonder what it would be like to find the owner and return it. You just never know what the outcome would be. Have a great weekend!

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  17. I had a grandmother who was always called May (her full name was Mary Louise).

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  18. Well, I certainly hope May made it there!

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  19. Some things never seem to change and in this case the weather (in spite of what they say).

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  20. Oh, Alan, you should try and give May a call! I see a whole series here, "Postcards to May". I love how you thought out of the box and went with a person instead of a holiday or disaster.

    Kathy M.

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  21. For some reason, Alan, the postcard image shows a black rectangle with a white triangle in the middle. In the middle of the triangle is an exclamation point. I don't know what's going on with that. Anyway, I like your twist on May Day with a postcard to May. Perhaps May's great-granddaughter still lives there....

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    1. Not sure what is going on - some can see it some can't.

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  22. Hi Alan, this is a wonderful postcard, a life, feelings, hope; thank you for your kind comment. Yes, there have been many English customs transported and adapted to the other sides of the world; and we are in a way better off for them.

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  23. I need brightening up as well, Alan. I have the same black image as Nancy. Or am I just dim?

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    1. Bob + Nancy : Still not sure what happened but I have re-edited the post and hopefully you will be able to see the image now.

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  24. We were hitchhiking through Europe in 1989 and must have been some of the last sets of visitors to pass through into East Berlin before the wall came down. I remember feeling very detached and isolated there and the strange thing was there was no atmosphere of something about to change, yet only a few days after we had left Berlin and moved on to Hannover did we find that the wall had come down. I have been back to Berlin once since then, on a business trip, but am keen to return again with more time on my hands.

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  25. The sun finally showed up this weekend, but not much warmth to boast about as we remain a little too close to freezing point, still...

    Wouldn't it be lovely if someone at that address knew of her and what happened to her since.
    :)~
    HUGZ

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  26. What wonderful handwriting -- almost a lost art, except for calligraphers.

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  27. When I read that there was only one thing missing, the romantic in me was expecting some declaration of longing for the company of May Chambers. Oh well, I suppose the sun will have to do!

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  28. So great that May was a saver and kept these lovely cards. I didn't realize people wrote on the front of the card where the picture was...it looks very modern, mixing photography and graphics. Can you imagine a card being delivered to such an address now, although I did hear a disk jockey in L. A. recently say that he received a letter which had nothing more than his picture pasted to the envelope.

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  29. Exquisite handwriting--a lost art for sure. And we are all anxious to learn if anyone at the address knows of May. Knock on the doors and let us know.

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  30. A city I'd like to visit one day. I agree with the others about penmanship being a lost art. Ah, those flourishes!

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  31. I'd be happy to share the sun we have here today in North Carolina. It is perhaps the basic root of all celebrations of May - the joyful feeling of warm sunshine.

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  32. The postcard is wonderful. I really like the personal writing on the card. We don't teach penmanship except one year at second grade. It doesn't stick in what they are to learn about it. Students complain today when I write in script on the board saying it is too hard to read.

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  33. I hope that May will be in her chambers when you get there.
    Tell us what happens.
    Barbara

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