Panorama of Crater Lake
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:
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.