Grandmother Sends a Boy on Skates – Atglen, PA (1932)

Elam Kennel lived in Atglen, a borough of Chester County in southeast Pennsylvania.

Before the first European settlers arrived in 1717, the place was a crossing of indigenous trails for trade and communication.

Sometime in 1932, Elam was celebrating a birthday.

For the occasion, Grandmother presented a Birthday postcard.

The postcard was not mailed, which may suggest that Grandmother lived nearby or saw Elam frequently.

The face of the postcard bears a drawing of a boy on roller skates; the boy holds a large pot of flowers.

Beside the drawing is a printed legend:

“Sincerest wishes for years and years of happiness – Happy Birthday”.

Some details of the drawing are eye-catching; the boy’s skates are fashioned like boots, the blouse and tie have a jaunty flair (perhaps a nautical theme), the boy wears brief shorts – as though he is competing in a sporting event.

Behind the skater are some stylized flower stalks.

On the reverse, we find the message from Grandmother:

“Hello Elam, I will send you this card”

It is not clear what Grandmother meant by “sending this card” as it was not mailed.

Perhaps Grandmother arranged for the postcard to be delivered by an intermediary.

One hopes that Elam was pleased by the boy on roller skates and that he and Grandmother remained closely-related for many years.


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