A postcard offers a friendly hello, an update about the family or a view from your vacation. Over time, that postcard offers a peek at the past and a favorite memory.
Don Harrison collects those memories.
“I have been a real collector my whole life,” he says. “From an early age, I found pleasure in cool little things or personal gifts or finds— things I felt were special. I have collected all kinds of things, but postcards really did it for me on a lot of levels.
“I started collecting postcards, photographic images and ephemera (collectible printed loose paper) that interested me or was some type of catalyst, kindling an old memory, or something I found interesting related to a specific topic.”
Known as the UpNorth Memories Guy, Don has close to one million postcards he has found over the years. Many are from Michigan, but he also collects some from across the world.
“Postcards to me mean personal and community-oriented memories, stimulation and knowledge, photographic or artistic excellence, history, heritage, culture, family and more,” Don says. “These cards tell stories in two ways, the image story on the front and sometimes a writer’s story on the rear of the card, if posted.”
Don’s collection ranges from fishing scenes and local restaurants to iconic Northern Michigan destinations such as Sleeping Bear Dunes and Leland’s Fishtown.
These postcards and more can be viewed and purchased at the second annual 2015 Traverse City Antique Postcard & Rare Paper Show on August 16. The free event will be held at Northwestern Michigan College’s Hagerty Center from 10 am to 4 pm.
The show is geared toward antique original and vintage photos and postcards, and will feature Michigan postcards along with many others from across the US and the world. There will be a variety of categories including village street views, ships, buildings, nature, classic art, military, humor and more.
“As a professional postcard dealer, I find that this show is fun for the dealers, good for the collecting community and for the community at large,” Don says. “Postcard shows in particular help to keep national, regional and local history and community traditions in the public eye both here in Northern Michigan and statewide.”
People visiting the show are welcome to bring their own postcards to sell or to find out more information about them.