Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Pennsylvania postcard post

One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.

A. A. Milne, supposedly
I am far from disorderly — I know exactly where things are, or at least most things. I don’t know where I came across the above observation, and then there’s this postcard I had lost track of, until I rediscovered it among — guess what? — other postcards and things of that nature.

[Click for a larger view.]

The postcard, a product of Pittsburgh’s Minsky Bros. & Co., is a two-fer: heading east through the overly large state of Pennsylvania, it depicts the Pennsylvania Turnpike’s Kittatinny and Blue Mountain Tunnels. The card reads:
Kittatinny and Blue Mountain Tunnels are called the "Twin Tunnels" as there is only 800 feet of daylight between them; then the mountains are behind you, and the Turnpike runs straight as a ribbon for long distances through the fertile Cumberland Valley.
And the message:
(Written Tues) April 26 [1949]

Hi! We're heading fast toward Wash. D.C. The country is really rugged. We travel way up high on hills — valley is way low beneath us. The high altitude makes my ears stop up. Mon. night stayed at Pittsburgh. Today went to Gettysburg. Tonight — Washington. This picture — went through these tunnels (mile long each.) Rosie

[Click for a larger view.]

The tunnels are not quite a mile long, but they are long, and the country is rugged, and must have felt more so in 1949, when people drove with far fewer amenities. We used to take the Turnpike when driving east from Illinois, and I remember the relief I felt when we made it through the last of the tunnels, the ones pictured on this postcard. My ears stopped up too, and I like the lack of self-consciousness with which Rosie acknowledges the effect of high altitude. Is she worried about looking unsophisticated? Not in the least. Am I?


In December 2013, Elaine and I did our best to recreate the scene on this postcard: The Pennsylvania Turnpike, then and now.

Related posts
From Lena to Rena (a 1907 postcard)
Re: “things of that nature” and “whatnot”

[For anyone who must drive through it, yes, Pennsylvania is overly large, ridiculously so.]

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