Friday, April 04, 2014

Endangered species?

My friend and former classmate Gayle thought of a fun way to celebrate her father's birthday: a card bombing.

"Hey...I know a lot of you know or remember my Dad. Well, he's turning 85 on April 6. We are having a family party in Madison, WI. But I would like to 'card bomb' him for his birthday! He was a pastor, city commissioner and major sports fan in Benton Harbor (the guy with the cow bell at all the BHHS basketball and football games). He is also the best Dad a person could have.. If you'd like to join in the fun, just send me a message and I'll give you his address."

Sounded like fun so I said I'd be happy to participate. Besides, what better cards to receive than the tacky postcards that come out of Florida? No problem!
Except there was a problem: apparently, tacky Florida postcards are no longer as available as they used to be. I would have sworn that most retail stores and more than a few restaurants have a spinning wire rack filled with 6" x 4.25" works of tacky "art", often with illustrations and/or jokes from the 1950s but that is not the case, at least anymore. I don't think my memory is faulty in this regard. I'm positive that was the case not that long ago but at some point, they disappeared. I went to two different drug store chains and neither one had them. Denny's doesn't have them. The gift shop at the arena where I work, a magnet for tourists, doesn't have them. I eventually found some at a WalMart. They occupied about 1/4 of a rack that had refigerator magnets and key chains. This is all that's left of Florida's tacky trinket industry, one single display rack at a major retailer? Was it that long ago that entire shops existed, stocked from floor to ceiling with tee-shirts, rubber alligators, sequin-bedazzled seashells and about a million postcards? Where did they go and what's responsible for their demise? I'm sure the ability to take high-quality photos with most cell phones is partially responsible. The fact that people don't mail things very much is probably a factor too. But is that it? Is it possible that we have evolved to the point where our tastes are so much more refined that cheap, shoddy novelties with virtually no real value have been rendered obsolete?
Yeah, that's probably it.


Tom said...

You were looking in the wrong spot. Go to Tarpon Springs.

Clark Brooks said...

I'm going to take your advice and visit Tarpon Springs very soon, but not for postcards.