Panorama of Crater Lake

Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

Postcard Friendship Friday (PFF)For Postcard Friendship Friday, here’s a postcard mailed to a Friend.  Postmarked Santa Monica, California, 13 December 1938, this real photo postcard was dispatched to Mr. Friend P. Williams of Albany, New York.

Let’s talk about our friend Friend; I was able to learn a great deal about him from a variety of sources.  Originally from Olean, New York, Friend graduated from Cornell University in 1899 with a degree in civil engineering.  He spent most (if not all) of his career working as an engineer for the State of New York.

In 1906, he became engaged to a Miss Alma Horton, the daughter of Mr. F. M. Horton of 97 Gates Avenue in Brooklyn.  (I can’t help but wonder how they met; I can’t find any evidence that he spent any significant amount of time anywhere near NYC.)

He worked on the “Barge Canal” Project, which was a series of major improvements to New York’s canal system, which began around 1903 and lasted for decades.  By 1914, he was the division engineer for the project’s Western Division and, from 1919-1921, he served as a Special Deputy State Engineer, still with the project.

Ultimately, his career progressed until, by 1935, he was the Engineer-Secretary of New York’s Division of Water Power and Control.  When he received this card in 1938, I imagine he would have been about 62 years old and close to retirement.  His work certainly explains his residence in Albany, the state capital.

So friend Friend is no mystery.  The message, however, has resisted analysis:

A postcard from California to "cold old Albany", New York

Our writer uses a postcard featuring one of Oregon’s natural wonders to extol the virtues of California. “Californians are very proud of their state (justly so) and have shown us every square inch, or so it seems. We have been from San Diego to Portland, Oregon, and Dororty has done her duty, lecturing and signing books. We love California, but cold old Albany will look pretty good to us. We shall have a lot to tell you!  Just today we visited the Kellogg Arabian Horse Farm, and you know how much I enjoyed that. There were some beautiful horses there — pure white stallions. Our love to you and the girls. T. H.(?) Santiago.”

You would think that a woman with a name like Dororty and who is obviously an author and lecturer would be easy to find; I found a few, but none of them seemed to fit in with this message. Nor was I able to find Mr. Santiago.

Be sure to check out the other blogs celebrating Postcard Friendship Friday.

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11 Responses

  1. Terry says:

    Happy PFF
    This was a great postcard.
    I really enjoyed all the information you were able to gather .
    I don’t know how you manage to always have such a great post .
    I suppose it is because it is a (Re) collection so you are not only the proud recipent of the postcard and its information but able to continue on adding your own research to each postcard which is
    as it should be :)
    Thank you so much for sharing .
    I really do enjoy the informaiton you post.
    Have a great weekend.
    Happy Trails

  2. imajica says:

    yay, a postcard for Mr Friend!
    oh… he must be everyone’s friend then!! :D:D

    Happy PFF!

  3. Hi Chris,

    Terry is right. I loved the postcard and your comments too. Well done.
    I now want to know who Dorortry – of just Dorothy? – was. The postcard made me dream. It was probably the clouds reflected in the water, and the idea that beneath there may be lava.


  4. postcardy says:

    Your blog has a great zoom feature. There definitely isn’t an “h” in the author’s name. Like the name “Friend” too–never saw that used as a name before.

  5. Ana says:

    mmmm, the view on the card is breathtaking, and i love the story a lot…i also wonder how they had met :)
    And i dont know if its just me, or the majority of the older cards have a similar handwriting on them…i have a number of postcards dating back from the 60’s sent to my family or a friend of my mum..and they all, absolutely all resemble the handwriting as its on this particular card too…interesting….

    Happy PFF :)

  6. Sheila says:

    How intriguing! There’s no evidence that he was just a bad speller, so it’s unlikely to be Dorothy, I suppose, unless he mis-heard the name, but if she was signing things I suspect that’s unlikely too. A lovely card as well as an interesting message.

  7. Daryl says:

    Is this where Judge Crater resides? Kidding!

    Happy PFF!

  8. Marie says:

    You need a career change my friend! You’re quite the private detective! Pd’s always get to wear cool hats and seem to always get a Jessica Rabbit like secretary too!

  9. Beth says:

    Wonderful postcard! Just fabulous! Happy PFF!

  10. A lovely place. I really enjoyed the history behind the card and all that you learned about our “Friend”. Thank you for the PFF submission. I look forward to reading more from you.

  11. Kristin says:

    Just last year I met some people with the last name of Friend. I’d never heard of the first name of Friend before. What an interesting bit of history you gave. I have to say that Crater Lake was one of my favorite places to visit. Love the post card.

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