0532 GMT October 23, 2020
Its message is written in cursive, its front shows a witch and a goose wearing a pumpkin on its head, and its address is to a Mrs. Roy McQueen in Belding, Michigan, the US. It took almost a century to be delivered, The New York Times reported.
The postcard’s arrival this week has baffled Brittany Keech, the Belding resident who found it in her mailbox with some bills and junk mail, and set her off on a new mystery — how to find the intended recipient or any of the person’s living relatives.
“When I first saw it, I thought, ‘This is old’,” recalled Keech, 30, in an interview. “I was shocked. Why is this here all of the sudden?”
She added, “I would love to be able to get it to a relative who is alive.”
The postcard is a personal family letter, providing the kind of quick update one might send in a text message or in a social media post today. It has a Halloween theme, featuring the gray-haired witch, the goose, an owl, a bat and cat with a broom. It also has a pun: “‘Witch’ would you rather be … a goose or a pumpkin head?”
The letter itself begins, “Dear Cousins,” and details how the writer’s mother has “awful lame knees.”
It continues, “I just finished my history lesson and am going to bed pretty soon. My father is shaving and mother is telling me your address.” Shortly before ending the letter, the writer asks whether Roy got his pants fixed.
A small signature is written on the side of the card and is difficult to read. It may say “Flossie Burgess.”
According to the 1920 census, a Roy McQueen, of Canada, and his wife, Nora, lived at the address where Keech now lives with her husband and two children. Roy McQueen was an agricultural manager and Nora McQueen a housewife, according to a local newspaper from the time. The 1930 census showed that the couple no longer lived in Belding.
It’s not clear where the postcard has been during the intervening decades or why it took so long to reach the address. Letters from years or decades past do sometimes turn up in people’s mailboxes, though a spokesperson for the Postal Service said it was rarely because they became lost in the system.