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The "Ugly" Postcards tour
by the PHantom


The Virtual Postcard Tour continues...as most of you know by now, I've been a postcard collector for years. Just recently I went thru my collection and tossed out about half of them, but no worries, I still have hundreds and hundreds left. Recently I purchased a postcard book that I've been coveting for several years. It's called Boring Postcards USA. It's a picture book of postcards that are by far some of the ugliest cards I've ever seen. It's very amusing. So I decided to go through my collection and pull out my ugly ducklings, too bad I had already culled most of the ugliest ones in the earlier purge. However, I was able to find a few gems. I limited my search to older cards, the 3x5 size, produced in the 1950s or before. So here, for your amusement, are the winners.
SJ hospital
We'll begin with my home town, San Jose, CA.
This is an architectural mock-up of the recently vacated
San Jose Hospital, a definite contender. This isn't even the real building.
I feel a snore coming on.

Calistoga, CA
Before we leave California, let me share this ugly photo of
Calistoga, which is a charming small town in the Napa Valley.
Honestly, it really is prettier than this card indicates.
If a person didn't know better, you might think the photographer was
more interested in photographing yellow lines than beauty or composition.

Hoover Dam
This is Hoover Dam, located somewhere between Nevada and Arizona,
depending on how you figure things. Mostly, this is a photo of cement
with an American flag in the foreground.  IMHO, dams are necessary, but ugly.

cave
This card is titled: Canopy Hall, Cave of the Winds, Manitou, Colo.
Apparently, it's a tourist attraction. I've been in a few caves, they are creepy
places that are not terribly attractive. This one illustrates my point.
This very old postcard is just weird, right?

highway
This is a postcard the Pike's Peak Auto Highway. It's a very old postcard
that was created specifically to marvel at road construction. If you could see
the cars, you might be able to tell just how old -- maybe 1920s, when people
first started making serious road trips.
Unfortunately, in 2007 I'm having a hard time appreciating the
beautify of highways in general. Again, to me they are necessary, but ugly.
And of course, we could argue whether Pike's Peak Highway is even necessary.
Maybe over half of my Boring Postcards book features highways, overpasses
and those motels you'll find along highway exits. All fairly ugly, right?

Hugenot House
This card is titled Hugenot House, New London, Conn. Maybe this is a pretty little
cottage in a lovely old New England town, but the photographer sure didn't
do it justice. The house is overgrown by what looks like dying ivy, and is surrounded by a very unattractive amount of pavement. What is there to love about this postcard?


Maybe I have a thing against pavement, but good grief this is ugly. It's an
aerial view of the Grant Park Concourse, in Chicago. There is a fountain
in the background. Too bad the photographer didn't get a little closer to the water.
They might call it a concourse, but it looks like an empty parking lot to me, and
let's face it, parking lots are simply UGLY.

bang, bang
BANG! This card might have been created to promote Illinois, but as far as
I'm concerned, it's a real turn-off. I don't think guns and rifles
are all that friendly. And lucky for those Canada Geese in the background, this
particular hunter's rifle is pointed into the sky while they tip-toe right past him.
Tee-hee.


Please join the Phantom  as our virtual tour of the US continues. So far, our tour includes the following states:

California, Oregon, Washington,
Alaska, Hawaii
, Montana, Idaho, & Arizona, Canyon Country, Texas, and Massachusetts.

Stay with us as we visit all of the United States, 
and who knows where next...

American Black Bear Postcards
Backs of the postcards
Cruising, 1970s style

Couples: rules to live by
Dangerous postcard animals
Dear Diary: Italy again
Driving the I-95  (text by Johnna Kaplan)
Not sure I'd want to see this
Old Hawaii
Old Motels

Other People's Vacations
Places I'd like to Visit

Postcard recipes
Side trip to Europe!
Spring in the Desert
Ugly Postcard Tour
Where My Friends Went, part 2
World Tour
The 50 State Quick Tour




Diannek, clevermag's editor, 
is affectionately known as
the Phantom to friends and family.

 

 
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