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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Main Street - And Taking Care of Grandpa's FACE

Posted By on Tue, Mar 16, 2010 at 10:55 PM

Main Street at Night
  • Main Street at Night
I like this old postcard view of Main Street, showing how it looked at night in the early 1900s. There's no date on the card (the postmark is smeared), but no automobiles are visible in the image — just empty streetcar tracks and some horse-drawn buggies.

The caption at the top of the card says it was taken from the roof of the Randolph Building, which stood at the corner of Main and Beale. The postcard artists took some license, I think, when they painted in some of the signs, but certain landmarks stand out. The cluster of buildings in the left foreground is the old Gayoso Hotel. Illuminated signs for many long-gone businesses are dimly visible, especially the one for Brennan's Stag Hotel, which would have stood just a few doors down (if not right next door) to the Gayoso, and Goodman's, its huge sign mounted on the rooftop at the right. I'm not sure what Goodman's was, and yeah, sure I suppose I could look it up, but I don't feel like it.

Because ...

I'm mainly intrigued by the penciled notation scrawled across the front of the card (this was before you were allowed to write messages on the back, which was reserved for the address). Somebody has written, "Della, Grandma says for you to take good care of Grandpa's face."

Oh gosh, what was wrong with poor Grandpa's face? And why couldn't Grandma take care of it herself? Has she gone off on a vacation, and left the poor man in the care of Della, who might have forgotten to "take care" of his face if not for this postal reminder? And who was this Della, anyway? She sounds very unreliable, if you ask me.

I'll never get to sleep now ...

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