From: The Grand Rapids Press
Should there be a truth in advertising law for bad postcards?
After all, this week’s bad postcard is allegedly devoted to Michigan’s own Mackinac Bridge, the majestic span that allows us folks from the Lower Peninsula to cross the straits and travel to exotic places, like the Mystery Spot.
Alas, I look at this Mackinac Bridge postcard and find no sign whatsoever of the aforementioned bridge.
I see a tollbooth, with the obligatory two lanes closed causing the also-obligatory backup. I see a service building of some sort. I see some treetops. I see a safety cone, lest some hooligan try to dart out of his lane.
So that leads to this week’s mystery. Where’s the bridge? It’s amazing that there’s no bridge in our bridge postcard, considering it’s really, really big.
Seriously, just about any photo taken in Colonial Michilimackinac includes the giant steel thing rising in the background, eliminating all pretense of slipping back into colonial times.
Were tollbooths such a novelty at the time that people would be so excited at the idea of passing through one that they wanted a souvenir? And what do you write on the back of a tollbooth postcard? “Wish you were here – because I’m out of quarters?”
The back of this particular postcard actually leaves very little room for writing because it’s filled with interesting statistics and wild capitalization.
“Longest Suspension Bridge, anchorage to anchorage, in the World – connecting Michigan’s two peninsulas – opened to traffic Nov. 1, 1957.”
The anchorage-to-anchorage qualifier is important to note. These days the Mighty Mac is the 13th-longest suspension bridge in the world, and third-longest in North America behind the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
The postcard also tells us that the “father of the bridge” is former Sen. P.M. Brown. There’s no mention of the mother of the bridge, so we’re left to speculate about Sen. Brown’s adventures. Such things were not spoken about in the 1950s.
The bridge famously has a driver’s assistance program for people who are uncomfortable driving across the bridge. It didn't seem that hard to me, and we were scrambling back in a fit of fudge withdrawal after our Castle Rock adventure and near-encounter with wildlife.
There are tons of postcards of the Mackinac Bridge out there. Send me a scan of your favorite and I’ll run a gallery next week.
Good luck finding a postcard of the Verrazano-Narrows. New Yorkers just don’t get excited about it, probably because it takes you to Staten Island. I will say that the tollbooths are pretty cool.