Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Preface: I wrote this yesterday and then thought, "My writing has become too breezy. This is filled with memories that could be delved into with more insight and humor. Rewrite it!" Well, to heck with that! Another time, perhaps.
I mentioned in an earlier post that I collected cats-dressed-as-people postcards when I was a kid. I don't know what happened to that collection, which was quite large. Too bad, both because I'd like to look at the postcards in person, and because they are worth something.
It took very little time to find information about these cards, information that I never knew. You can read about them here, if you are interested. There's no reason for me to regurgitate this fine website's information. And I did not copy the image above from them (as they expressively asked not to!)
Oddly, even though the publishing company was in New York, I remember buying these cards in Gloucester, Massachusetts, when I was ten years old. I only visited there once, so I must have gotten them elsewhere, but I have no memory of where specifically. They were not easy to find and I do remember the joy of discovering a new place to purchase them!
I liked to collect things when I was a kid. My first collection was of "nice" rocks, which is a pretty common thing for kids to collect. I still do collect what I consider to be nice rocks. The other things that I collected when I was quite young were old portrait postcards and silver spoons. I would go to antiques fairs and play up my being a cute little girl. I used to marvel at my ability to dicker with people, for in every other situation, I was completely shy. I must have wanted these things badly to transcend my normal self, or perhaps I thought it was an interesting game. It's not like I'd ever see these people again, and, they were adults, which is an important distinction. I had very little idea of how to act like a child. It was not "natural" for me.
I loved these cat postcards so much way back when. They had all the qualities that hooked me: lots of detail, no people (very important), not modern. I still remember how much I did not like picture books that had people in them when I was still young enough to read picture books. But I didn't like my animals au naturelle - they had to be wearing clothing! I recall a favorite book, one where there was an apartment building of squirrels inside a tree.
I was a weird kid, of course. And now, to one of the children next door to me, I am a weird adult.