As a kid, a rainy summer day in Gloucester in the 1960s meant a movie at the theater on Main Street, Candle Pin Bowling by the dreaded rotary, a museum, or arts and crafts at home with WSBK on the TV as background noise. When it came to arts and crafts, it was a mix of writing and addressing postcards my mother insisted my sister and I send to friends and relatives before school started in the fall, and my weird, creative, warped mind screwing with those postcards. My mother blamed it on MAD Magazine, which is why I read it. Years later I would work for MAD, so there you go, mom!
Decades before the computer, email or Photoshop, I would sit and cut out pictures from magazines and newspapers, then using gobs of Elmer’s Glue to paste them onto the postcards. Each one a piece of art. No longer would I hear how anyone got the same postcard, and considering there were only six different postcards available at Mal’s (then Ame’s, now a giant Stop& Shop), it was quite an accomplishment.
During the 1980s I was able to make color copies of postcards I was still defacing. I now have folders full of them, from cities around the country, but Gloucester will always be my favorite place to make the recipients wonder if the town is a little too weird.
“Kaboom” J. Schneider