Postcard Collection: Brazil & Mexico

by Derrick Bostrom

I'm surprised how many people are driven to this site via searches on Ron Kaczor. He's either an inspiration, or he owes a lot of people money. (Or, perhaps he shares the name with a popular high school teacher who died last spring.) I don't even offer any Ron-specific content, except to recount how I visited a museum he'd curated out of an abandoned mine about an hour north of Phoenix. I snapped some cool photos and bought a few decorative rocks, which I threw out into my front yard. I also bought a box of postcards from him, which he'd collected during trips to Mexico and Brazil.

What I know about Brazil would just barely fill a short blog post, but I do have a lot of postcards. So I'm always interested in a new painless addition to my collection. I'm not one of those people who'd travel to the next city to pore through filthy old boxes until my fingerprints are clogged with dirt. But through serendipity, my postcard collection has swollen to fill a large drawer in the back of my house. Some of them date back a hundred years, and some of them offer tantalizing oblique clues to my family history.

There are no dates on the cards offered here, but if the clothing is any indication, they are at least twenty years old. I wasn't even going to post them at first, but I was inspired by a great show about Brazil's awesome natural waterworks and the herculean effort to tame them. Then I saw this terrific clip from a 1970 Raquel Welch special, where she sings "Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine" in psychedelic astrological costumes on location in Mexico. Check it out now, before it gets yanked and you're forced to actually buy the whole special on DVD in order to see it.

What about the cards themselves? Cheaply printed, and poorly stored for the majority of their life, they can't hope to offer the luster of modern photography, nor do they feature the kitschy overpainting beloved of so many classic postcards of the 20th Century. Their views of the Iguazu Falls are breathtaking none the less, as are the scenes of Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana beach and the statue of Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado mountain. The scenes from the ruins at Yucatán, Mexico are just as beautiful.