TITLE Roy's Postcards RSS rss.xml
It's 1981. Roy Richardson is a manager at a Los Angeles computer company. A devout Mormon, he has a two-year-old son, with two daughters yet to be born. He has a little over ten years to live.
I was that two-year-old and Roy was my father. I grew up without him, knowing the outlines of his life but not the details. In 2006, at my mother's house, I found three boxes of details.
My father never kept a consistent diary, but he bought over a thousand postcards between 1981 and 1991. On most of them he wrote notes to himself, reminders of what he'd done that day. Others he mailed to us from his business trips. A few he left blank—he just liked the pictures. This site is my attempt to build a picture of my father's life, one piece at a time.
Every day I add one of Roy's postcards to this archive, often with commentary. If you're interested in everyday life in the past, I hope you'll find this project interesting. You're welcome to follow along by subscribing to the RSS feed. If you only want to see a few postcards, try the best-of.
"Recognizing that my writings in this journal in recent years have been sparse, I must comment that my life has not been entirely undocumented. I have accumulated several hundred postcards — together with Frances, Leonard, Susanna, and Rachel — from our outings around town, our long-distance trips and my business trips. Many evenings in the hotel have found me writing postcards to my family and friends and also recording my own experiences on postcards. There are some I hope who will find them of some historical and biographical value — as well as lovely to look at." (From Roy's journal, 1985)
To keep things interesting, each day's postcard is selected randomly. On rare occasions my father would write 10-30 postcards in a single day, and I for one don't want to see those postcards one after another for a whole month.
I estimate this project will be completed in September 2012. I plan to put up every postcard from those three boxes, except for blank duplicates and postcards sent to us by people I don't know. I've blurred out a few personal details.
If you like this project, you might also like to see Roy's computer buttons.