From: The Grand Rapids Press
There’s a chance I was wrong about Holland.
Not about the bad postcard from Tulip Time that showed some camera-shy street-cleaners showing the photographer their less-flattering side.
That one is wonderfully bad, and I’ve since stumbled upon that’s even worse, perhaps setting a record for the most backsides on a postcard. It’s fantastically awful, and we’ll get to it in a minute.
|The Holland Museum is a former U.S. Post Office|
As stated last month, I avoid Holland – actually, anything west of Grandville – after a string of disastrous visits. Readers were not amused by my tale of woe or bad postcard mockery and let me know it. Nor did they seem impressed by the sweet Statue of Liberty sprinkler on my lawn.
But then colleague Kate Nagengast informed me of an event that I could not resist. The Holland Museum was hosting “Wish You Were Here,” a whole exhibit devoted to postcards -- or maybe Pink Floyd. But I’d like that, too.
|This display shows us the different kinds of postcards.|
The exhibit was ending that weekend, so I had to bravely venture forth, nervously fearing being pelted with windmill cookies, which, let’s face it, would hurt.
The display was pretty neat. Hollander Mike Van Ark caught the postcard bug in the 1970s, adding to his mother’s collection. He assembled more than 5,000 cards of Holland and the Lakeshore.
Shockingly, Mike favors nice postcards instead of amazingly boring or otherwise awkward views. He
|Mike Van Ark's display had all kinds of postcards.|
also seemed focus on earlier, black and white cards, but included a number of linen and chrome cards that I enjoy. I’ve included a gallery of some of my favorites.
There was some interesting postcard history, noting that they were first printed only by the U.S. Postal Service and messages were written on the front, along with the photo.
The display included cards running through the 1970s, and visitors even had the chance to design their own, which the museum promised to send.
|Now here's a nice one to feature Tulip Time.|
I learned that the first souvenir postcards came in 1893 with the Chicago World’s Fair, and one can only imagine that some of them were shots of buildings that look like they were taken from Schaumburg, empty dining rooms or animals doing things they shouldn't.
Which brings us to this week’s disaster.
The back reads: “Watching the “Klompen
|This was one of the more unusual postcards.|
Dancers,” which is one of the main attractions each year in May at Tulip Time in Holland, Michigan.”
I realize this is a photo of a traditional dance, and I’m not mocking it. Klompen away. But why did the photographer wait until almost everyone was showing us their backsides? Why is the card so off-center? Why did they crop out part of the one couple that was actually facing the camera? Why do the nice, white-gloved ladies look so bored? Does the dancing stop when the traffic light turns red?
We just don’t know.
|I'm not sure what's going on in this one.|
But I do know I enjoyed my visit to the museum, the massive art fair across the street and a walk through downtown.
|Now here's a neat Tulip Time parade shot.|
|It's not a trip to Holland without visiting Russ'|