There’s a new carnival in town – A Festival of Postcards. This carnival will be a bit more challenging than the others I participate in, because I do not have a large collection of postcards – and very few related to genealogy! But half the fun is the challenge itself, and I was delighted to find one for the inaugural edition of the festival. The theme is Wheels. Here’s a postcard I must have received with some photographs from my great-aunt:
This is a nice “vintage” shot of a gas station (was it called “filling station” back then?) called the Wallace Garage in Salem, IL. If you click on the photo for a close-up view, you will see that the garage is a Texaco station that does general repairs. They’re an official AAA station, they use Havoline engine oil, and – best of all – a sign in front advertises “modern sleeping rooms.” It may look a little different than today’s gas stations, especially the cars to the right in the photo. But, some things never change – just notice the woman trying to get the hose to reach to the other side of her car while the attendant seems to just be standing there watching her fumble with it.
The photographer is noted as “Benke” – apparently this was a Fred A. Benke. He was called “Salem’s well-known photographer” by this Salem historical site, but I wish he was just a bit more well-known so I could find out more about him!
The reverse of the postcard:
It is not postmarked in Salem, Illinois but in Odessa, Texas at 7 PM on August 24, 1932. It was mailed using a 1 cent stamp to Mr. J. Zawodny, 2512 E. Indiana Ave, Phila. Pa. (same address as the 1930 census). The note reads: “Well folks were making good time going to Mexico tomorrow. Stan.”
The recipients of the postcard are my great-grandparents, Joseph and Laura Zawodny (although it’s addressed to Joseph, the note does say “folks”). My logical assumption is that the sender is their son, Stanley, who would have been 23 years old at the time. My first thought was that perhaps this was a road-trip honeymoon; however, Stanley did not get married until 1934 (to Elizabeth Tiernan of Philadelphia, PA, the sister of his brother-in-law John). I have no idea why Stan was traveling to Mexico in 1923, but hopefully he had a good time! At least he was a thoughtful son to drop a line to his parents on the journey.
[Written for A Festival of Postcards: Wheels]