Monday, November 27, 2006

Lives in Letters: Postcard to Nancy

Well I just had to find this one intriguing. After all, it was written to Nancy, and it's a pretty mysterious message.

"Market Square" at
Williamsport, Pa.
March 8, 1939

Addressed to
Miss Nancy G-
York, PA

Dear Nancy:
Watch those
finger nails
Mr. K


The front of the postcard has some items of interest -- the ad above the shop on the left is just a bit too small for me to make out. Same with the shop names on the right. I need a big magnifying glass to do this right. It would be cool to know what businesses were in Market Square in 1939.

What is the kiosk in the middle? Anyone?

Okay, now on to the intrigue.

Don't you want to know more about Mr. K's relationship to Nancy? What man would be in a position to send this kind of a note to a single woman in 1939? It's a pretty familiar (as in casual, personal) note, but then signed by "Mr. K" instead of "Bob" or "Joe" or some other more intimate name. The fact that he uses just his last initial makes it sound casual enough, but I'd still be inclined to peg him as Nancy's teacher, boss, or other elder, rather than a boyfriend or school chum.

And what about the fingernails? Was Nancy being catty? Did she literally have long fingernails that she had to be careful of for some reason? Or was she off to an all-girls school and was Mr. K warning her about other girls' fingernails? I'm going for the first -- Mr. K was giving Nancy a cute reminder to keep her claws from showing.

I wonder if Nancy thought it was cute too. Did she laugh? Was she offended? Embarrassed?

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