Updated: Mar 31
With the invent of technology people are writing letters and mailing cards less, but there are still many people who enjoy the art of sending a friend or loved one a card by mail. To some, this tradition seems archaic, and the practice is lost on them, but to others, it’s a fun and fascinating idea! And for the number of people who still love mailing cards and letters there are twice as many people who love receiving them! Who doesn’t love going to the mailbox to find a well-thought-out written note addressed to them among all the bills and adverts?
Recently, my Mom had fallen and was in a series of hospitals and rehabilitation centers. During this time I was receiving her mail and wow, did she get cards! Her generation was used to this custom, and I thought it was really sweet.
It was at this same time that I rediscovered an old scrapbook I had purchased at an estate sale years ago. It is filled with Get Well cards! 38 pages! It was really touching to see the many sweet notes and pretty cards that were carefully pasted in this book!
As I turned each page, there I discovered some fantastic artwork, and for me that’s what I live for, vintage illustrations. Some are pretty funny too!
All the cards were given to a woman named Jane. Now, for me, it's never enough to know it was just simply someone named Jane, I want to know, who was Jane? What had happened to her that prompted so many Get Well cards and wishes? I mean, here was an entire book of cards, so how sick was she? And for how long? I needed more information before I could dig deeper. I found names of friends and a club name and went from there.
Mrs. Karl George (born Jane Alice Strohecker) was from Freeport, Illinois, and from articles I found, she had been recovering from an accident, which caused her to have to stay in the hospital, and later undergo an operation. It was 1943 when some of the first cards were sent, and I discovered this as I am going along with the dates of some newspaper articles. In the article below, printed April 14, 1943, in the Freeport Journal, Jane sends out a Thank you to those who wished her well:
There were no details of Jane's accident but it must have been pretty severe as she needed surgery judging from what I read in the cards in the book. And dates are a little puzzling but Jane may have been hospitalized later on, 10 years later on, as this article is dated 1954. Can you believe that newspapers would print who was admitted into hospitals for all to see? Here’s proof from a Freeport newspaper February 8, 1954:
Even little Jeri Lee Maves had his tonsillectomy!
The club that was mentioned on some of her cards were that of the Priscilla Club, which Jane was involved.
Here's a card given to Jane from the club:
Here is an article about how Jane participated in this club:
Apparently, Jane was well-versed on the subject of “The New Plastics”!
And note: The Roll Call procedure!
And here's another, this one talks about Jane being in the hospital. Poor dear, her hospital stays were so public!
Like I stated above, the dates of Jane's illnesses, accident and operation are puzzling with differing dates. It looks as though something happened in 1943/44, 1952, and 1954.
This card was dated 1952, so Jane underwent an operation at that time too.
Jane Alice Strohecker was born on September 26th 1916, in Freeport, Illinois.
She married Karl George on June 27, 1934, they had three sons: Gerald, John and William.
Jane and Karl celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary on June 27th 1959. Here is a short write-up about their celebration, under the heading "Plan Open House":
At some point one of her sons needed to go live/visit with family, maybe she was unable to care for him being hospitalized? Anyway, that too was publicized on June 13 1944:
I wish I could post all of the cards, here are a few more:
On August 29th 2001, Jane passed away in Freeport, Illinois and is interred at Oakland Cemetery in Freeport, Illinois.
Jane’s beautiful book fell into the hands of someone who will keep it and appreciate it. Someone who will refer to it for art inspiration or just to look and appreciate a piece from the past.
Thank you Mrs. Karl George for your lovely book of cards.
Just a note: I was unable to post photos of Jane as they were only available on Ancestry.com, if they had been posted in a paper for public display I could have posted them here; or I could have gotten permission from the family first, but I was unsure I could have contacted anyone. And that goes for any and all posts I make when it comes to digging up background information of certain individuals of which I have written. Thank you to my brother, Joe, for helping me "dig" for details!
And Just one more:
Thank you and I hope you enjoyed this post as much I did writing it!
And just so you know...in case you are looking for cards to send someone. I too offer blank greeting cards with my art on the cover in my Etsy shop! Also called MidModFlair on Etsy.
Thank you again!