I’ve been looking at postcards again.
Here’s one sent by Mrs. Gridley in 1912
and a lovely, delicate drawing of children listening to a Rally Day greeting over crystal radio headsets.
And then I found this invitation to a youth group outing with Peter Max-inspired fireworks.
A few traces of the Church’s imagination and practice that happened to catch my eye.
The last in my series of vintage postcards: Rally Day invitations from the early 1900s, when birth control was illegal, and apparently no one worried about putting guns on a Sunday school advertisement.
“Special Exercises, singing, speaking, marching, etc.” A Rousing Rally indeed!
Three more vintage postcards invite everyone to church: happy children, shy teens, and even those who fly in on Sunday mornings. (How convenient to have the runway so near the church!) Charming illustrations, full of light and affection.
I had some fun this week looking through vintage postcards. Wish I could read the shorthand on this one! I also wish I knew who the artist was. The composition and the use of color are terrific. Just look at the way the space is layered on a diagonal from the memo pad all the way back to the desk and typewriter. It’s a great example of commercial art reaching out to a specific audience, and it shows the Church pushing to stay current.
The printed message on the back reads:
Things seem not quite right when you are away. Hope to see you next Sunday. If there is any other reason that you cannot come, please let us hear from you.
Sincerely your friend
from Standard Bible Story Readers Book One by Lillie A. Faris, Illus by O.C. Stemler & Bess Bruce Cleveland. Standard Publishing Co.1925.
Thank God for all good things,
The birds and the flowers;
Thank Him for the daylight,
And for night’s quiet hours.
Thank Him for the bird-song,
The sun and the rain;
Thank Him for the fruit,
And the rich, golden grain.
Thank Him for our country,
Our dear homes so fair;
Thank Him for our loved ones,
And for kind, loving care.
This is my favorite Sunday School book of all time. I liked it so much, I took it home and read it over and over again. I’ve hung onto it for over 40 years. It begins like this:
Did you know that the Bible is one story–the story of God’s love for people like you and me?
The stories in this book are from the Bible and are a part of that wonderful story. They are about people of long ago who knew God’s love and answered his call to come into his family and belong to him.
I’m not sure why I loved this book so much. I had other Bible story books at home–and I read them too–but they did not occupy the same place in my affections as The Story of God’s Love.
When I read it again as an adult, I recognize Grace McSpadden Overholser’s talent for writing dramatic narrative and conversation which captured my imagination. I’m sure Polly Bolian’s illustrations were important too because they conveyed character and emotion. (Bolian is a well-known illustrator of Nancy Drew books which I was also reading about this time.) And I see from the brief author’s biography at book’s end that “Susan Hiett, a seven-year-old friend from Memphis, Tennessee, read all the stories in this book while they were being written.” Perhaps her efforts were the secret ingredient.
But honestly, I’m not sure that I can explain it, and I can’t be sure that you would have the same experience if you picked up a copy. All I know is that this book is part of the story of God’s love in my life. A curious thing.