Monday, May 21, 2007

Lives in Letters: Postcard from a Bride-to-be

I spent an hour sorting through my postcards tonight, trying to get organized to present the long-promised family postcards of the attorney from a few weeks ago. I'm now organized, and I realize that getting these postcards all photographed and ready to post is going to take an afternoon. Maybe the coming holiday weekend will afford me the time. I promise it will be worth it when all is said and done.

Meantime, here's a cute one that I've been hanging onto for a while. See what you think....

La Gare des Invalides
et le Pont Alexandre III
Paris, France
December 10, 1908

Addressed to
Mr. & Mrs. James D.
Sidney, New York
U. S. America

So pleasant to hear from
H. that you have
arrived home safely --
Am very happy to tell you
that I am engaged to our
English friend. Altho' no
doubt you have heard it. Am
only at No. 30 for half time now.
My very best wishes to you both.
Billie M.

The postmark is from the Grand Hotel in Paris, which was built sometime around 1870, and like its counterparts in other parts of Europe, is still today a truly impressive hotel structure.

In case you're in the mood for a quick summary of all things Paris, here's a link for you. I found nothing in particular about the hotel, which was a disappointment.

I like that Billie addressed the card to U. S. America.

I also like that her name was "Billie." You may be able to see from the photo that she signed the front of the card too.

La Gare des Invalids - history of the original design and construction at Wikipedia. Napoleon Bonaparte is buried there. Many other military leaders are buried there as well, though some have just their hearts buried there, which I find a little disturbing. A large esplanade in the front makes the surrounding structures seem like a palace.

Pont Alexandre III - brief history of the bridge at Wikipedia. Also, here are some great pictures from other postcards. These will give you a better sense of how pretty the bridge is, and there's a bit of history at the bottom there too.

I liked this message, especially the part about being engaged to "our English friend," because something about the language makes me believe that Billie is truly happy about it. I think it's the use of "our English friend" and the shortened version of "although" that make me believe that, though I can't put my finger on why.
I'm not sure what "Am only at No. 30 for half time now" means. Well, I understand it in a generic sense, in that Billie must have been lodging at #30 X street, and now she is only there half the time. But why? Where does she go the other half of the time?


Andres Carl Sena said...

spending the other half time at the fiances, eh? perhaps a simple way of understating and implying such scandolous behavior- spe dning the night when not married? how gauche, a faux-pas, ou simplement de classe.

Nancy said...

Yes, I was thinking the same!