Friday, February 19, 2010

We was out in a machine

Consider a postcard:




Dear Father, We arrived here O.K. We was out in a machine all morning say talk about your times. From your Daughter Mabel

* * *

Well, Mabel, I've been out on a machine on Goat Island myself, but it wasn't near the Falls. Talk about your times, indeed.

I am a bit envious that you were able, Mabel, to enjoy the Falls before we ol' humans figgered out how to turn 'em on and off like a spigot. On the two occasions I visited the Falls, I only saw about half or one quarter as much water going over the Falls as you saw on your honeymoon (I'm assuming by the nearly intoxicated tone of your correspondence to dear old Dad that you were on your honeymoon).

Now think of this, had you and the new Mr. Mabel been able to keep your pants on until winter, you might not have been out in a machine, but walking around those frozen falls yourself!

I've read that back then, all manner of vendors would set up shop on the "ice bridge" and sell booze and baubles and general junk. All that stuff is still available nearby. They've got wax museums to boot.

As indicated by the adjacent photo, I am good at being stupid in the wax museums of Niagara Falls. That's me and a wax dummy in 2005. I am the one with the pinker skin and the hair in the bun.

So you and I have a few things in common. In addition to having both been on a machine on Goat Island and having vacationed in Niagara Falls, I also have really bad penmanship.

Nice meeting you, Mabel. If I'm ever near Ewington down there in Gallia County, I'll look you up. In the meantime, you and the mister have a real nice 100th anniversary.

Love, Erin

9 comments:

LimesNow said...

Nice vintage card, Erin. Love the Mabel story you cobbled around it!

Lickety Splitter said...

pure genius ...

Harry Finch said...

You wouldn't catch me out on that ice.

Erin O'Brien said...

Smart move, Finch:

Until 1912, visitors were allowed to actually walk out on the ice bridge and view the Falls from below. February 24th of 1888 the local newspaper reported that at least 20,000 people watched or tobogganed on the ice. Shanties selling liquor, photographs and curiosities abounded. On February 4th 1912 the ice bridge broke up and three tourists lives were lost.

That's from this site. No idea how credible it is, but I love to read about the Falls and see pix.

The Three Sisters Islands stunned me. I cannot imagine standing on those tiny bits of land so close to the edge of the Falls. And when the Falls were at full capacity, it must have been unbelievable!

Colleen said...

It's a shame no one names their children "Mabel" and "Elias" anymore...

Bill said...

this is really fascinating. wouldn't it be great, if you were in her old neighborhood, if you could find elias scott's grave? maybe mabel and the other family menbers too.

lord basil said...

mabel sounds like she was a marxist. she was obviously on something.

DogsDontPurr said...

Love love love that post card! Goat Island...how perfect is that?! Talk about your times!

Anonymous said...

lord basil, you rock, Sir.


Linda