First comes love, then comes marriage. Then comes Luke and Bessie pushing a baby carriage. Lucia Catherine was the occupant of this particular baby carriage and she was the only child of their marriage. Expectations for a Luke, Jr., turned happily into a Lucia somewhere between 1908 and 1916, the date of the first post card addressed to Miss Lucia Moore in our collection.
Aunt Sadie give me this to send to your baby. This is me and Little Snookie on front.
from G (?)
To Lucia Moore from Dorothy Parker
December 21, 1922
I hope Old Santa will be good to you this Xmas and that you have a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year, Allen & M.M.
November 24, 1919
Dear Little Lucia Catherine, I rec’d your pictures yesterday and they are as sweet and pretty as can be. I am sure you are a fine little girl and your Mother and Papa are awfully proud you came to live with them. My little Edna Mae is on the Mexican border with her Papa & Mother. I’ll send her the picture and know she will think it is sweet. Tell Mother I’ll write her a letter some day. Miss Florence
Among the cards kept by Bessie was a Thanksgiving post card sent from China, Texas in 1919 to her daughter Lucia. The handwriting was tiny so all the words could fit the reverse of the holiday card, but Bessie recognized immediately the precise distinctive script of her special friend Florence. After thirteen years of sporadic correspondence via the penny cards, Bessie would have known that writing even if the card had been unsigned. China, Texas sounded a world away from Atlanta, Georgia. Would she ever see her friend again? If not, she wanted Florence to see pictures of Lucia. Everyone said Lucia looked just like Bessie had looked when she was a little girl and Florence had told Bessie many years ago how beautiful she was.
Miss Florence hadn’t married evidently and Bessie thought it was good she had a neice she loved. Tell Mother I’ll write her a letter some day was a lifetime away from Florence’s Will write you soon message to Bessie in 1907 and Bessie understood the different destinies their lives had followed with a touch of…what? Regret? Relief? Remorse? Did she even know herself?
The End As Of Today
For the faithful readers who have followed the odyssey of the Moore family for almost three months now on the blog, I thank you for your patience as I took this blip on my personal radar writing screen for an experiment with historical fiction. When my partner Teresa brought the picture post card album home from an estate sale at the end of February this year, I was fascinated with the pictures from the turn-of-the-century (twentieth, that is!) cards but had not a clue about the treasures I’d find in the words. For me, words are worth a thousand pictures and these have not disappointed. I wish I could share more of them with you, but I have literally hundreds of post cards and fear I have become too attached to them.
The estate sale took place at a home in Columbia and I tagged along with Teresa when she went for a second look. The house was a modest one in an older middle-class neighborhood not very far from our own home. I could have walked there if I’d wanted to – which I didn’t. While Teresa chatted away with her friend Shelley who was in charge of the estate sale, I wandered through the house to see what I could find without spending any money – which I didn’t. I found an old Bible in a bedroom and opened it to the family section. From your father, Luke P. Moore read the inscription. At the time I didn’t realize how close I would be to Mr. Moore and his family through their post cards in the next few months.
I asked Shelley that night if she knew anything about the family who was leaving this home. She said she didn’t know much except that it was an elderly woman in her late nineties who was moving into a nursing home because she couldn’t live alone any longer. Not an uncommon occurrence these days, I thought, as I met Teresa in the kitchen. She was making her final rounds and asked Shelley to hold several items for her before the sale actually started the following day.
I remember seeing a little navy blue magnet in the shape of a sailing ship on the refrigerator that night as I left the kitchen. I wish now I’d paid the 25 cents for it. A tiny white flag had the name Lucia on it. Lucia Catherine Moon, daughter of Luke and Bessie, was leaving her home and most of her possessions behind, including her mother’s treasured post card album entitled Greetings from Jamestown. That’s okay, though. Teresa brought it home to me.