100 County Road 642 National Park, NJ 08063
MORE: I think I mentioned in a blog some time ago that when I was a child, my Uncle Yock (Joseph Frederick Young) worked at the Ocean City Post Office as a mail sorter. Whenever he had postals with no addresses, he would put our family's address which was on Warnock Street, in South Philadelphia at that time (the late 1940's and early 1950's). That began my life-long interest in postcards and in mail related things such as stamps. I sold my stamp collection in the 1980's in one of my 19 moves. You will let go of a lot of treasure when you move often. Like an over burdened pack mule, you just can't carry one more thing up the mountain.
Anyhow, a coincident event was that I learned you could send a letter to a Chamber of Commerce at almost any city in the USA and you'd get a response, usually a large manila envelope with maps, brochuresand other interesting things, including once, a pen pal. To a child between the ages of 5 and 12, this was incredible power. You could travel the country by brochure, and that's just what I did. My parents were kind enough to allow me to tack up a huge map of the USA above my 'vanity' and they supplied me with stamps and I wrote to states as far away as Alaska and Texas.
Recently, I wrote an essay on that for my writers' club, Riverton Writers, and as an experiment, I wrote to St. Louis, Missouri Chamber of Commerce, to see if they were still there and still sent stuff, sixty years after my original experiement in this age of the internet. Today, in the mail, I got another large manila envelope with a glossy tour magazine, map and brochures to that city. I chose that city because I had just finished reading Undaunted Courage, about the Lewis and Clark expedition. In fact, Merriweather Lewis had just committed suicide at the end of the book, a day or two after I sent off to the Chamber of Commerce.
If you, too, have been a Lewis and Clark fan, and if you have wondered if he had been murdered or killed himself, and I have wavered between those two possibilities many times over the years when each new decade another essay came along purporting to prove one theory or another. I am convinced it was suicide and let that be a lesson to us all to maintain balanced lives and not overextend ourselves, especially if we have a family history of depression. My family history, fortunately is more riddled by enthusiasm that depression. We go up but rarely come down.
Write to a Chamber of Commerce of your choice and let me know what happens:
I love to get stuff in the mail, don't you?
Happy Trails and Happy Mails, Jo Ann