Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Today's Your Birthday, Happy Birthday to You!

The unopened stash of Rooibos Tea
A Full Flyer

Malone, New York. April 12th, 1949. The world welcomed Penny. I don't know if she cried, and I wasn't quite old enough to understand what the fuss was all about, since exactly one year earlier, in the same hospital, I was born.

My fascination with mail art really didn't begin until sometime in 1953 when my folks took us (by then there were three of us, just like in the photograph on the envelope above) to the opening of the C.M. Russell Museum in Great Falls, Montana. We'd moved to Shelby, Montana, by that time, so I don't remember anything about New York or my first two years. I do have one brief memory of the actual move when we were forced to spend a night in Wolf Point, Montana, on account of the road being closed because of a blizzard. I do believe that the photograph itself was taken in about 1953, although neither Penny nor myself are really certain about the year.

Many years later, I was given the Nick Bantock trilogy, Griffin and Sabine, by Penny and my youngest sister Judy. Although I was doing what I considered envelope art all along (some of it I've posted here and will be labeled as mail art if you're interested), that was really a turning point in the mail art that got exchanged between Penny and myself. She's now become adept at finding the right little pieces that make mail art a very FINE art!

I can't think of a better way to get a smile out of someone, even if you can't see it when it happens, than by sending them a piece of mail art. Nothing fancy required. Some of what I do comes easy to me, especially since I've played this game for over fifty years. You would actually be surprised at how your small act of kindness never goes unrewarded, and it always starts with the satisfaction gained from brightening the day for someone.

We lit up the smiles for each other a little early this year. Matters not, we enjoy the giving just as much as the receiving. And by the way, that's our brother Dan in the middle, and me sitting on the edge of the wagon.


  1. Smiles again and again -:) And I'm happy to know the back, back, back story.

    Happy Birthday to both of you!

  2. Happy Birthday! Your generous spirit is inspiring!

  3. You have been doing envelopes a lot longer than me. When my friend died in Victoria (Howard N. Davies) I lost interest in it because we reciprocated–I sent one to him and he sent one back to me.

    I like your Penny envelope and the story behind it. It being "Penny" reminds me that I have a penny post card that my mother mailed to me when I was really a youngun. I looked for it just now but did not see it. If I do I will send you a copy of it.

    Thanks for the visit and comments.

  4. You're so right about it brightening someone's day to find a piece of mail art in the mailbox. I really feel LOVED when I find a masterpiece from you in mine. It takes courage to create an envelope for an artist like you, but I figure you deserve to be on the receiving end once in awhile. Here's to you, Dave; you're the best!

  5. Happiest of happiests, blogbuddy! May your year be filled with MANY gifts, and rock on to Penny as well!

  6. Fabulous.

    I came across one of the Griffin and Sabine books the other day for $1. I should have purchased it, but left it behind for some other lucky person.

  7. Belated Happy Birthday!!!
    You know what,I've been meaning to tell you that you look like a celebrity,the main actor from my favorite movie,Gone With The Wind, you exactly remind me of Rhett Butler. :)