The Traveling Postcard, a True Story




About a week ago, a friend of mine gave me a postcard — the postcard pictured here. She had been to a coin show in Charlotte, NC and she told me there was a guy selling old letters and postcards. She saw this card with “Bush’s mansion” on it and knowing it’s my maiden name, she bought it for me.
I was glad to have it. I love old cards and letters especially postcards. I collect postcards! Yes, really. I have collected them from all over the country and some from a few overseas trips.
This postcard was intriguing because it was sent to a person living on the street where my Dad and Uncle grew up in western North Carolina. It was also interesting because of the picture on the front where someone had written “Bush’s mansion.”
I couldn’t imagine where this picture on the front of the postcard was taken as the text indicating its location was marked out. I looked it over and showed it to a few people. No one recognized anything about it. No one identified it. No one claimed its history.
My Uncle used to keep up with the history of our family genealogy, and knows quite a few people. About a week ago, I decided to mail the card to him where he now lives in Washington, DC.
With work and everything in-between, I forgot about mailing the old card. I did take a picture of it, though, front and back so I could look at it later.
Yesterday, he called me to thank me for sending him this old postcard. And guess what? He recognized the building on the front of the card, as well as the card’s recipient.
How? Why? What? When?
My Uncle said _he_ was the one who had originally written and mailed the card! He wrote the card when he was 19 maybe 20 years. He was out of town in Raleigh for the summer. Upon writing the card, he crossed out the text identifying the location on the front putting “Bush’s mansion” in its place — he told me it had actually been the old NC Governor’s mansion.
He wrote and mailed the card to their neighbor across the street at the time. He didn’t know the house number, so he put their name and the street name and city, state and zip only on it. Still, the card wound up in their mailbox — a benefit of living in a small town. He signed the card “Col. Bush” — he said that was due to his aspirations to be a Colonel. He didn’t quite make Colonel, but he actually is a retired Captain in the Navy.
Today, my Uncle was amazed at my having sent this old postcard to him last week. He thought I’d found it cleaning up at my Mom’s house as I’d mailed the card to him along with some other old books and things.
I told him I hadn’t found the card while cleaning. I relayed to him that the card was given to me by a friend about a week ago!
I’m always joking with my friends about how everyone needs that New Age everything happens for a reason friend and how I’m that friend for them. And yes I do meditate, do a little yoga, use essential oils, go see Tibetan monks (well I’m going for the first time to see them this weekend,) and I am a vegetarian. In this case, though, yes real life, reasons, coincidences here ya go!
The friend who got the postcard for me at the coin show has been my friend for about 10 years. We’ve stayed friends all this time occasionally hanging out together or with our families.
I have always believed that yes you do meet people for a reason. I also believe you have to constantly be open to possibilities, and that things happen for a reason.
Two days after my Uncle called me and solved the mystery, a cousin in an online family group I belong to identified the picture of the Governor’s mansion. So far, besides my Uncle, that’s the only other person I came across with an inkling as to the card’s history.
The next time I send a postcard, though, I will remember this one sole card won’t be traveling alone. I will remember that this postcard my Uncle labeled as his home away from home for the summer aka “Bush’s mansion” traveled in 1949 from him to his neighbor to present day at a coin show in 2019 to my friend, to me and then finally circling back to him. This card brought with it a circle of life, a message in a bottle, a postcard from one friend to another.
Some people you are simply meant to be friends with. Some people are meant to be in your life.
And that my friends is the way to travel through life. As I learned this week, even the simplest things such as a postcard bring with them a reason!

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