Friday, September 7, 2012

Go postal day!

No, wait, that's not right. Most of the Usual Suspects call today National Neither Rain Nor Snow Day, although Holidays for Everyday comes right out and calls today Postal Workers Day.

American postal workers get a lot of grief from their customers (such as the snide headline on this post), but they're getting even more grief from cutbacks and layoffs and the threatened bankruptcy of the U.S. Postal Service. (If Miracle on 34th Street were remade today, the ending would have to be rewritten.)

Hoist one tonight, then, for the endangered letter carrier, and greet yours civilly today, even though he or she is just bringing you more bills and catalogs.

1969 commemorative stamp
obtained from Wikipedia
As an alternative, consider Grandma Moses Day. Grandma Moses was a farmer's widow, in her 70s, when she took up painting. She gave away early efforts, then offered others for sale. The linked Wikipedia article picks up the tale:
In 1938 a New York engineer and art collector, Louis J. Caldor, who was driving through Hoosick Falls, [New York], saw some of her paintings displayed in a drug store window. They were priced from $3 to $5, depending on size. He bought them all, drove to the artist's home at Eagle Bridge and bought ten others she had there. The next year, three Grandma Moses paintings were included in "Contemporary Unknown American Painters" at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. She did not remain unknown for long. Her first solo exhibition, "What a Farm Wife Painted", opened October 1940 at Otto Kallir's New York City gallery Galerie St. Etienne, followed by a meet-and-greet with the artist and an exhibition of 50 paintings at Gimbel's Department Store November 15, followed by a third solo show in as many months, at the Whyte Gallery, Washington, D.C.
On her 100th birthday, September 7, 1960, then-New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller proclaimed it Grandma Moses Day in her honor. Grandma Moses died in 1961, aged 101 but, thanks to the proliferation of sites like this one, Grandma Moses Day lives on.

And what better way to tie these two observances together than to reproduce the Grandma Moses commemorative stamp issued by the U.S. Post Office in 1969?

But wait a minute? Was first class postage really only six cents in 1969? You betcha.

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